Jonathan Richie BW.tif

Out of my brain on the train!” - lyric, “5:15” by The Who

That is my favorite lyric from The Who and this just so happens to be printed on May 15 or 5-15. I am not entirely sure why I like the lyric so much, I have never seen myself as truly “out of my brain.” But from time to time I feel I’m pretty close to losing my mind.

May is mental health awareness month. Let me know if you heard this one before – “We should treat depression like a broken arm or any other physical ailment.”

It’s true and only recently has it become popular to discuss mental health and illness. But now it has become almost hip to talk about mental illness. It’s 2019 and the stigma around mental health and mental illness is slowly falling.

In the past, mental illness was seen as a form of religious punishment or demonic possession by civilizations like the ancient Egyptians and Greeks.

In the 1800s, the U.S. government started building state psychiatry hospitals. Those institutions were pretty much one-way roads and after getting admitted, people would spend their entire lives in there. People were rarely “cured” — they were more or less contained.

As a millennial (and a human) I have regular stress in my life, then I’ve got work stress and personal stress and stress about the future (I could go on, but I won’t for both of our sakes.) So naturally that has led medical professionals to believe I have too much stress and anxiety in my life.

Luckily, I don’t get panic attacks. But I do have a sliding scale for my anxiety. It goes from 0-10. 0 being no stress at all and 10 being – “I’m about to lose it.” Disclaimer: the only time I am ever at 0 is when I’m sleeping and most days I’m around 12.

It is something I have dealt with my whole life and most days I’m relaxed enough to let things roll off my shoulders. And as medical professionals have said in a much more serious manner – don’t sweat the small stuff.

My uncle has a good phrase I lean back on from time to time. It is something to the effect of, “you can’t control anything past your nose.” I understand it to mean I can only control my actions. Therefore, if someone else is doing something they shouldn’t be, don’t try and control them or force them to do what you want because it’s just a waste of your time.

Burnett County has a 24-hour mental health crisis hotline at 1-888-636-6655. If you or anyone needs or would like some help be sure to reach out and ask for it.

Gotta question? Gotta tip? It’s easy to contact me, give me a call at 715-463-2341 or shoot me an email - editor@burnettcountysentinel.com.

See ya next week.