What is mental illness?
A mental illness is a physical illness of the brain that causes disturbances in thinking, behavior, energy or emotion that make it difficult to cope with the ordinary demands of life.
Jean Holthaus, LISW, MSW mentions that mental illnesses affect 19% of the adult population, 46% of teenagers and 13% of children each year. People struggling with their mental health may be in your family, live next door, teach your children, work in the next cubicle or sit in the same church pew. However, only half of those affected receive treatment, often because of the stigma attached to mental health. Untreated, mental illness can contribute to higher medical expenses, poorer performance at school and work, fewer employment opportunities and increased risk of
Healing from mental illness requires a long journey of acceptance. Those with mental illness must accept who they have become. Must learn to accept disability and learn to live with stigma.
Understanding is the first step to acceptance, and only with acceptance can there be recovery. Lauren Mizock, PhD, outlines that her research has found that acceptance is not a simple outcome that is either there or not there. Instead, acceptance is a dynamic process that involves several factors that develop over time. This process requires moving from a passive state of denial to an active position of agency.
The article "The Impact of Illness Identity on Recovery from Severe Mental Illness" outlines that little is known about the impact of illness identity, which is defined as the set of roles and attitudes that a person has developed in relation to his or her understanding of having a mental illness. It is important for individual with mental illness to accept, open up, and create awareness about this issue so the society can better understand them and their limitations.