A born and bred Mallee girl, Arnna has worked within the health industry since she was 15 years old. With a Science, Nursing and Public Health background – Arnna specialised in child and youth mental health for ten years before becoming a Kinesiologist and opening her own practice, Evoke Kinesiology, after the birth of her son. As a Kinesiologist, Arnna guides you, in a non-intrusive way, to identify and help you work through all that is stopping you from living the life you want – from pain, to emotions and more. Arnna is real, raw and honest and is committed to taking the stigma out of mental health.
Talking about it – Part 1
For me, one of the biggest barriers towards people willingly talking about mental health – is the term itself.
In your mind say the two phrases ‘mental health’ and ‘physical health’. What do you feel when you say them both? What are your thoughts?
For the majority – the following exists:
Physical Health – is just that. Health and wellness for your physical body. It isn’t either good nor bad. It just is. These words don’t evoke any fear, anxiety or stigma.
But Mental Health – this phrase can be quite polarising. Still, today, the term mental gets attached to other words like ‘psycho’ and ‘mad’; and it is also used as a label for emotional outbursts – ‘oh my goodness, she just went mental’.
Maybe it’s because people can still recall the mental asylums that existed until the mid 1990’s. Places where those with mental illnesses were cared for. On the large, they weren’t warming and inviting environments and have been depicted in media as ‘clinical, cold and ghastly places, with corridors full of screaming and moaning inpatients’. Not at all a positive picture huh?
So for me, it makes sense that one of the reasons people avoid the topic of ‘mental health’ – is because of the stigma attached.
Now, couple that with the archaic cultural and societal belief that if you show any mental and/or emotional vulnerability then you must be weak and soft and not able to ‘handle’ life.
So, see why we have a boiling pot of mental ‘un’wellness.
Now be a bloke, it’s even harder for them. Because ‘boys don’t cry’, ‘just suck it up’ and ‘stop being a sook’. Get the drift?
Mental health is hard for people to talk about it. And there are many reasons why.
Whilst the ad campaigns, the ambassadors and the not for profit organisations are doing a phenomenal job in encouraging people to speak out – it just doesn’t seem to be reaching everyone.
Because sometimes, those people that need mental health support have internal programming that stops them from accessing it. Maybe they’ve been told as a young person ‘we don’t talk about family stuff out of the family’, or they’ve witnessed their Mother being taken away to hospital because she ‘lost her mind’, or the gender roles within their family have dictated that ‘at all costs you provide the income’. Additionally, there may be ancestral trauma, frozen emotions, sub-personalities, adrenal stress, co-dependency and let’s not forget fear; paralyzing fear.
The reason why someone won’t speak is very rarely because they are lazy – it’s because the fear of speaking out is greater than any perceived benefit gained from talking. And in Kinesiology terms, this is what is known as self sabotage: when despite the path that you need to take for your own health and wellness being crystal clear – you do the complete opposite – and it keeps happening time and time again. People sabotage themselves and their lives daily. And mostly without knowing. It can happen in all aspects of your life – from eating to relationships, communication and exercise – not just in regards to seeking help.
Want to know more about this – pop back next week for Part 2!