While we have focused our efforts on spreading awareness about Myositis, we want to pause to talk specifically about mental health, which has been identified as one of the major struggles that our community faces.
We asked Izandra Rudolph-Heard our new Community Outreach Advisor for Research who is currently pursuing her Masters of Education in Mental Health Counseling at Auburn University Montgomery, to share her thoughts about this topic. Izandra is an advocate for underserved youth in rural communities throughout the South and is dedicated to community service. Before she had to take medical retirement, she was a Speech-Language Pathologist for 10 years. Izandra is a myositis warrior and has been fighting this disease for 9 years. She brings a strong voice to MSU in this area.
Taking care of your mental health is extremely important, just as important as taking care of your physical health.
May is mental health awareness month. The objective of mental health awareness month is to educate people about mental illness, the causes, signs to look for, and how to ask for and find help.
Individuals battling chronic illnesses often face mental health challenges as these diseases can be overwhelming.
The reality is that living with a chronic illness is extremely hard on someone’s mental health – it’s overwhelming, it’s draining, it’s exhausting, infuriating, and anxiety-inducing. There are moments when you feel hopeless, lost, confused, and angry. And after all that emotional toll, it’s even less encouraging to spend more time and energy seeking out mental health resources. Taking care of your mental health is extremely important, just as important as taking care of your physical health.
Here are four ways you can care for your mental health:
- Take time to process your diagnosis and prognosis.
- Practice self-care.
- Join a community – MSU is a perfect choice.
- Talk to a mental health professional.
Living with chronic illness can be stressful, but you can take steps to manage your condition and maintain a good quality of life:
- Learn as much as you can about your illness and treatment needs. Be proactive about following your treatment plan and leading a healthy lifestyle.
- Make time for activities and relationships that leave you feeling happier and supported while avoiding people and things that stress you out.
By adjusting your expectations and practicing self-care, you can prioritize your health and well-being.
A focus on emotional health
Join Lori Wong, IBM patient and retired mindfulness meditation and Stanford-certified Compassion Cultivation Training (CCT) teacher on Thursday, May 26 from 6-8 ET for a webinar on Emotional Health: Simple steps to focus your emotional wellbeing.
Here are some mental health resources you might find helpful:
National Institute for Mental Health
Understanding your Mental Health
Chronic Health Conditions & Mental Health Infographic