On today’s episode, let’s take a dive into the world of mental health. It’s a discussion that is beginning to enter more circles, a trend that must continue to save lives. Part of that discussion involves the exploration of mental health medications and how they play a role in healing for some. What are the side effects? What do they mean? How do I know?
These are all questions that we explore with someone who has played a key role in my mental health journey.
His name is Dr. Theodore Osuala. “Dr. Osuala graduated from the University of Port Harcourt College of Health Sciences in 1989. He works in Lanham, MD and 4 other locations and specializes in Neurology, Psychology and Psychiatry. Dr. Osuala is affiliated with Washington Adventist Hospital and Prince George’s Hospital Center,” says Web MD.
He joins us today for a discussion on psychiatric medications and various mental health topics.
Releasing the stigma.
For centuries, the conversation surrounding mental health science has been viewed as weak. It’s prohibited some from getting the help they need, fearing that addressing their mental health is frowned upon.
According to Johns Hopkins, 26% of Americans 18+ suffer from diagnosable mental health disorders each year. “Many people suffer from more than one mental disorder at a given time. In particular, depressive illnesses tend to co-occur with substance abuse and anxiety disorders,” says Hopkins.
Numbers prove that the fight is more common than initially realized. We spoke with Dr. Osuala about the stigma. He was passionate about defeating it. “Most people think seeing a psychiatrist is such a bad thing,” says Osuala. “Especially culturally. Some people think if you see a psychiatrist you are a weak person. Even the strongest people, tough military guys, still get help.”
He would know having served at Veterans Affairs hospital.
We stray away from the conversation for all sorts of reasons. We’re fearful of how our pain will be accepted. “Often, people avoid or delay seeking treatment due to concerns about being treated differently or fears of losing their jobs and livelihood,” says Psyhiatry.org. The shame cripples our growth.
“It’s time we forgot about the stigma,” Dr. Osuala shared during our interview. Just like other illnesses, it won’t be solved in a day. Those who aren’t familiar with the conversation should research. The ones who are familiar with it should educate.
We can close the gap together and beat the stigma.
Help for Mental Illness from NIH
If you or someone you know has a mental illness, is struggling emotionally, or has concerns about their mental health, there are ways to get help. Use these resources to find help for you, a friend, or a family member.