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Why Should I Celebrate National Silence the Shame Day?

People carry shame with them. Whether the shame is rooted in behaviors or illness, the urge to stay silent is normal. However, suppressing feelings, including shame, isn’t healthy. National Silence the Shame Day, on May 5, is the perfect opportunity to begin a conversation about mental health or substance use disorder (SUD).

Stigma With Substance Use and Mental Health Disorders

Society has attached a label to those trying to cope with certain disorders. However, mental health disorders and SUD are chronic diseases. Why should anyone be shamed into silence for a condition they didn’t ask to have?

For example, people diagnosed with most cancers aren’t shamed for their diagnosis because it is known that people do not cause cancer. Genetics and environment play an essential part in chronic diseases like mental health and SUD, meaning people do not cause their mental health issues either.

Silencing the Shame

Silencing the shame surrounding alcohol or drug addiction provides an opportunity to educate people. SUD isn’t a punishment or the result of unhealthy lifestyle choices. Discussions that include the effects of the chemicals found in substances on the brain are crucial. People can learn how addiction, like some cancer genes, is passed down from a parent or grandparent. Instead of silencing the conversation, talking about addiction frees individuals from hiding their SUD.

Mental health disorders, like SUDs, are also not a result of unhealthy lifestyle choices. No one asks to be diagnosed with disorders like bipolar disorder or anxiety. Instead, mental health disorders can occur because of genetics or the environment. For instance, past trauma affects an individual’s mental health.

Why It’s Important to Speak Up

Open, honest conversations about SUD or mental health disorders help others learn about your chronic illness. Every time you speak to someone about your experience with a SUD or mental health disorder, you give life to the disease. The mystery or preconceived ideas of what a person with an addiction or mental health issues disappears when you share your experiences. Your strength in talking guides others to understand substances and mental health issues don’t discriminate. Anyone can have a SUD or be diagnosed with a mental health disorder.

Does Therapy Help?

Substance addiction or mental health therapy is essential. Treatments exist that can help decrease or cure the symptoms of addiction or mental health disorders. Many treatment centers treat both mental health and SUD. When you enter therapy, you can discover an underlying cause for your condition.

For example, a person with anxiety could use alcohol or drugs to help them socialize. When they enter a treatment program for addiction, they might discover the underlying factor in their addiction is a mental health disorder. Traditional treatment and holistic treatment are healthy ways to learn new habits. Treatment is also the place to learn how to speak your truth.

The stigma and shame surrounding substance use and mental health disorders are harmful. Participating in National Silence the Shame Day can help you and others speak up and share your story. People who share can also educate and open the door for others like them. The Guest House is here to help you address your addiction or mental health disorder. We guide you through traditional and holistic therapy sessions to understand you’re not to blame. We encourage you to find peace and comfort on our historic estate near Ocala, Florida. To learn more, call (855) 483-7800.