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Mental Wellness Isn't Just For Writers

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

IF taking care of yourself usually shows up on the bottom of your to be done list it’s time to make a change. Women especially are at risk for depression because we tend to be the first line of defense in our families to take care of others and not us. As a Licensed Independent Social Worker counseling nursing students, I deal with mental health issues every day at work. But what many of us don’t think of until we get depressed or suffer from anxiety is what mental health looks like? What is a definition of mental health as opposed to mental illness?
One definition of mental health is:


1. psychological well-being and satisfactory adjustment to society and to the ordinary demands of life.


1825–35 Unabridged

My definition of Mental Health is the absence of disease and the enjoyment of life. I like to say the absence of dis-ease. Just like any other part of the human body the human mind can have illnesses. You can read up on all of these problems at the National Alliance on Mental Illness You can help stamp out the stigma against those with mental illness just by becoming informed and sharing your knowledge. I think Jesus demonstrated the objective of mental health when HE said: "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28 NIV

There are many ways to relieve stress in our lives (my top pick is massage, bet you couldn't guess). I think other effective strategies are 1) Talking about your problems with someone you trust, 2) Pray and seek God’s wisdom for your particular concerns, 3) Set healthy boundaries, in other words, learn to say no. Resource: Boundaries (When to Say YES When to Say NO To Take Control of Your Life) Dr. Henry Cloud, and Dr. John Townsend, and 4)Exercise that releases endorphins and helps you feel better.

One of the biggest mental health disorders that we all know something about and many writers suffer from is depression. Did you know that Sir Winston Churchill suffered from depression; he called it his Black Dog.
British folklore talks about a ghostly black dog that has large glowing eyes. This made me wonder if that was the thought behind Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s, The Hound of the Baskervilles. I have not researched that idea but made a quick run of the question on the internet and found not surprisingly that Conan Doyle did suffer depression after his wife and several other family members died.

There are many mysteries yet to be solved regarding the human body. The health of the spirit is also related to the health of the brain. Please remember that the brain is part of the body and those who suffer with any type of mental illness are due the same respect as anyone else who has cancer, diabetes, thyroid disease, etc.. It’s just different. Taking care of you means taking care of your brain, too. How are you going to take care of you and your brain health this summer? I know that I'll be walking.

Why not search for a new scripture and use it to guide your wellness needs?

If mental wellness was a color, what color would your choose?


  1. I think my mental wellness colour would be claret, or a cranberry red. It's cheery, rich, warm and inviting.

    Great post, Jillian. Too many of us think that being good to ourselves is indulgent and self-centred. I like to remember that scripture says my body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, and I believe it's important to take care of that God-given gift.

  2. Hi Carol,
    Wonderful color! Mine would be a vibrant orange for energy. I can never have enough in my opinion. :) I think women in particular sacrifice too much of themselves at times for too long. You're right, the temple of the Holy Spirit deserves much care. Why is that so hard for us to remember?

  3. My blog Amish Stories is having its first ever contest this week. The First prize winner will win 2 tickets to tour the farm where the 1985 move "Witness" staring Harrison Ford and Kelly Mcgillis was made in Strasburg,Pa . This farm is now Amish owned, and the family has given permission for folks to tour their farm. This may be the last time anyone will be able to walk and see the same things that Harrison Ford and the other actors saw during the making of "Witness". The Witness tour should last about 2.5 hours. In addition to the Witness farm tour tickets, 1st prize winner will also receive 2 tickets for Jacobs choice. There will also be a 2nd place prize, which will be 2 tickets for the Amish Homestead. Please go to My blog for contest details, and more information on the prizes. Richard from the Amish settlement of Lebanon county.