• Sun. Aug 1st, 2021

Dr. Anisa Shomo,

Herald Beauty Contributor

Mental health has been an important theme in my life because I have a family history of mental health issues that include addiction, anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, and more. As a family medicine physician, I understand this from a greater perspective because I treat these conditions daily. Most people do not have this perspective and they feel like they are the only ones with mental health problems. They are unaware that 264 million people worldwide suffer from depression according to the WHO. One of my hardest jobs is helping patients understand that depression is as common and treatable as Diabetes and High Blood Pressure. The treatment options for depression vary in the same way that Diabetes treatment varies. For some people we may recommend diet and exercise changes. Others may need therapy. Medication may be necessary if those options are ineffective or if the problem is severe and you need to act quickly. I speak about mental health often because, if I had not overcome my own issues with depression and anxiety, I would not be here to speak about anything. Our minds are so powerful that we can literally will ourselves to live extra years and months just by having hope that tomorrow is worth it. The beauty of mental health is that, with the right help, the transformation can be amazing. This is what inspired my husband to become a psychiatrist. I wish for everyone to know what I now understand about mental health: 

  1. You are not alone.
  2. Your brain cannot always be trusted to have your best interest in mind.
  3. Mental health treatment can be life changing and beautiful. 
  4. Healthy coping skills are necessary. 
  5. Talk to your family doctor and/or find a therapist near you online via blackfemaletherapists.com 

May is Mental Health Awareness Month so take some time to check in with yourself about how you have been feeling. Do not be afraid to ask for help. Do not feel ashamed about needing help. We need you in this world. Do not give up.