There’s something very bizarre about our societal beliefs regarding health. From the moment a baby is born, doctors take preventive measures to preserve the Physical Health of the baby. They administer and schedule the necessary immunizations and educate the new child’s parents on what to do if they suspect their baby is getting sick.

Looking after physical health starts in childhood

Children are recommended to have pediatricians they can visit regularly and when medically necessitated. Adults have primary general practitioners who regularly monitor the overall state of their patient’s physical health.

Starting at a young age people are directly and indirectly taught about the importance of monitoring and maintaining their physical health. These messages are socially distributed in a variety of packages.

Schools require children to be up to date on their immunization shots. Disregarding special circumstances, parents must provide their school of choice with their child’s immunization records in order for the child to be a student at the school.

We teach young children how to cough, sneeze, and prevent the spread of germs and infections by promoting healthy hygiene standards.

Even children are able to explain in comprehensible detail when they aren’t feeling physically well and can typically sufficiently dictate what is wrong.

Schools require, or at least strongly encourage to get their child medical attention if something indicates the child may be unwell, such as them running a fever.

Caring for our physical health as adults

As we get older, we are taught that it is not enough to simply notice and treat physical symptoms as they occur. We are taught that our physical health needs to continue to be monitored even if we are feeling well.

We are encouraged to get a complete workup done, a physical, at least once a year to ensure everything’s functioning optimally and to catch, treat, and manage any problems or abnormalities as early as possible.

What about our mental health?

Imagine if we paid even half as much attention or devoted half as much energy to our mental health as we do for our physical health.

What if we made it a priority to teach children about emotions: that it is okay to have them, how to describe the emotions they are feeling, and how to express them in a safe and healthy way?

What if we encouraged adults to feel their feelings and applied societal pressure to talk about, express, and process their feelings?

What if we were equally as socialized to notice, treat, and maintain our mental health as we are to protect our physical health?

Anything can go wrong in your body at any time, with or without your awareness. Due to this and many other factors, it is important to get a physical done every year to make sure everything is okay and to catch and address abnormalities before they become real, active problems.

Our mental health deserves the same amount of attention at a minimum.

People should have their mental health thoroughly evaluated at least once a year, too. If an abnormality or something otherwise concerning is uncovered that person should engage in the same active, frequent treatment, they would seek if they received a physical health diagnosis.

Therapy is for everyone

Just as important, if not even more, as seeing a medical, mental health professional is having a therapist or counselor that you have sessions with regularly. Everyone can benefit from therapy. We all have problems, so why not discuss them with licensed individuals who can help us process them and teach us the necessary skills to manage or resolve them?

Stop ending the conversation about health at physical health and add mental health to the discussion. A person cannot be truly healthy without both. We need for our bodies and our minds to be functioning as intended to be well truly.