Mental Illness Can Harm Your Business
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Mental Illness Can Harm Your Business

Sometimes we take good mental health for granted. We just expect that a person's thoughts and moods will be what we have convinced ourselves as being "normal". But that isn't always the case.

The American Psychiatric Association published a manual in which hundreds of mental disorders are listed and described. Things that you might never suspect can be found in this resource - like stuttering, sleep disorder and parent-teen conflict. Each of these has clear criteria that is used for diagnosis.

Interestingly, most people have their own definition for the word "crazy" and some are even afraid of it. This is primarily because of media sensationalism that tends to focus on the most horrible cases or abuse, addiction and murder.

Over the years, I have worked with over 7000 clients. Many of them have thought and mood disorders that are diagnosed as mental illness. When treated, however, they function very well. Others may have absolutely nothing wrong and yet they cannot get out of bed in the morning. You see, the key word is "function".

It is easy for people to use a diagnosis to whitewash a person's life and assign expectations. But this practice is not appropriate or wise. Just because someone has been diagnosed with a type of depression, doesn't mean that they don't can't have a good day. People with anxiety can learn to handle stress with a good treatment plan.

Think about the Academy award-winning "The King's Speech". Although the King was tormented with the stutter that he had and struggled in order to be able to give public speeches, he was still the king who was a leader in Britain's very troubled times.

You see, it is not the label that really matters. That is merely a tool to help identify criteria and facilitate invention, What is really the most important is whether the individual is able and willing to function. This usually is associated will what they do to enhance good mental health. Basics - like eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, participating in an exercise program, being involved in enjoyable activities and following recommendations from the doctor.

It is not the problem that determines your life - it is what you do about the problem!

Mental illness can hurt your business - but only if you let it. And if you have someone in your life or on staff who has mental health issues, make sure that you are supportive, encouraging that person to get the help that they need so that they will do better. When they do better - everyone does better - even your business!

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