I wasn’t really sure if I should write this post. I thought some people would not like it or maybe find it insensitive, but I have been thinking about this from the beginning of everything happening in the world and shutting the world down because of a pandemic.
I see this all the time. Physical illness viewed as more important than mental illness. I don’t really say anything when this happens, because I pick my battles, and sometimes this is a delicate topic. What we need to realize is mental illness is linked to physical illness just like physical illness is linked to mental illness. They go hand in hand. So why does physical illness sometimes seem favoured in our world.
The smallest example of this is when I fly. Sometimes because of my anxiety I board early, and everyone stares at me like I shouldn’t be able to board early. People with physical health problems always go in front of me, and I am told this by everyone who works at the airline. One time everyone with a physical illness walked through, and one of employees stepped in front of me, blocked my path to board. To be honest, I am used to this, so I just nicely waited and knew I would board at the end. I am fine with this, and I don’t really care (maybe I do and just don’t vocalize it) but this experience always reminds me of how physical illness is always viewed as more important or more difficult than mental illness. And every time I fly, I remember this feeling, that mental health is viewed as not as important as physical health.
When the pandemic first happened, I told my parents, this might do something to everyone’s mental health. Work and socializing are two very important factors for improving mental health and managing your mental health. When I was extremely ill, my father made me work part time, and this helped me greatly. Also, studies are showing that work actually benefits mental health.
I told my parents that I am worried, that I am honestly worried about everyone’s mental health in all of this. But there is a bigger picture to this. I understand maybe an airline not understanding that mental health and physical health are equal and of course linked, but top medical officials are thinking this.
These are people at the very top basically saying physical health is more important than mental health. This is interesting, isn’t it. To me, I thought this might be a breakthrough, in changing the way we look at mental health. For me, both mental health and physical health are linked and equal, at all times. If your physical health fails your mental health fails and if your mental health fails your physical health fails. So why is one viewed as more important than the other, if they are linked and equal in the health world, why do people at the top think that taking work and socializing away from people is good?
I get it, we are trying to contain a virus, I do follow all of the rules and I do understand this, but why take away two things that are so important for your mental health. Like I said, I was not really sure about posting this, because it is a delicate topic, but maybe this will make everyone realize that physical health and mental health are equal, just as important as the other, and always linked. In everything we do we need to focus on them equally and at all times, because focusing on one and not the other is the wrong way to look at overall health.