• The “Stitches” singer recently announced that she will be taking some time off to focus on her health.
  • The frankness of outspoken celebrities can help people outside of the group feel free to speak out.
  • Experts say celebrities being honest about their mental health issues can help break the stigma.

The idea of ​​therapy or medication to help reduce stress and anxiety has often been frowned upon in American culture. But depression and anxiety are common in the U.S. In 2020, more than 20 million adults in the U.S. experienced at least one major problem in the past year, according to National Institute of Mental Health.

And according to the Anxiety & Depression Association of America, anxiety affects 40 million people in the US

Recently, celebrities have been talking about their struggles with anxiety and depression, which experts say can help create a safe environment for people to be afraid to reveal what they are going through.

Recently, Shawn Mendes, singer of the hit single “Stitches,” announced that he will be taking some time off to focus on his health. In a message on Instagram, he announced that he will be taking a three-week hiatus from the show and that the tour has brought him “to a critical point.”

He is not the first celebrity to talk about mental health issues. Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles has missed the week of the Tokyo Games as she battles mental health issues. He is currently a health care provider.

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, mental health is our mental, emotional, and behavioral state. It affects how we feel and act and helps us deal with stress and work in everyday life.

Experts say that hiding mental health problems can increase symptoms.

“Mental health stigma stems from a lack of awareness, knowledge, and education. Without understanding the signs and symptoms of anxiety, and understanding why or how mental health is difficult, stigma causes people to hide that something is wrong and increase suffering,” said Allison Forti, PhD, Associate Professor. Assistant Professor of Online Counseling at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Experts say that when people watch and talk honestly about the problems of mental illness, it can help to break the stigma.

“When a celebrity talks about their mental health issues, they spread awareness by setting an example of how mental illness can be difficult emotionally, cognitively, and behaviorally,” said Forti. “They also encourage the courage needed to reveal their problems and show the benefits of being visible – meaning, they don’t have to be alone in their problems, help is available, and there are ways to help them get better.”

Forti said that despite the political and social issues, many people can have problems that can affect their mental health.

“The causes of mental illness are diverse, both genetic and environmental,” Forti said. “Life issues such as divorce, financial problems, death of a loved one, traumatic experiences, chronic illness, childhood problems, and lack of medical care contribute to mental illness. Sometimes people are born with an innate vulnerability and a stressful life triggers the genetics. Sometimes people are born with brain chemistry that raises their risk. “

From the escalating pandemic to inflation, the war in Ukraine, and the climate crisis, people have been hit by the waves of what often feels like impending doom. The American Psychological Association found that these problems have contributed to many people’s anxiety and depression.

But every generation also has its fair share of stress-inducing challenges, from events like the Great Depression to World War II, the war in Vietnam, and the AIDS epidemic.

About 19.1 percent of people age 18 and older struggle with anxiety and depression, according to data from the National Institute of Mental Health. But experts say that this number shows that people are comfortable talking about anxiety and depression.

Experts say the younger generations have grown up with the idea that good health is part of health and are pushing to fight stigma.

“What motivates me the most is the opinion of young people that they want to be proud of the work they do. If they can’t be at the top of their game, including mental health issues, then they’re not going to be able to produce work they’re proud of,” said Ken Yeager, PhD, Clinical Director, Stress, Trauma and Resilience (STAR) Program at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. America’s focus on being more productive rather than doing a better job. We are fortunate that over time, with this epidemic, people will realize that good health is a big part of health. “

Society is changing, however, and a lot of it is because more people are talking about it, which can completely change the conversation about health.

“In a very old generation, there was a saying, ‘worthy of arrest.’ It has to do with the time when we put people in straijackets and ropes at the ends of the arms were tied behind the person’s back,” Yeager said. “If you admitted you were insane, you were put in an asylum. Naturally, people didn’t talk about that.”

No matter who you are, you will experience stress and depression. And while your environment and genetics can play a role in how you feel about stress and anxiety, mental health affects us all.

“Mental illness is connected to all people,” Yeager said. “That is inevitable. We must understand that as our world grows, and as we face these challenges that will naturally continue because they always exist, there must be a focus on good health because it leads to a good life. What we are talking about here is the importance of a good life. “

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