Behavioral Health Expert Ben Brafman Encourages Regular Mental Health Check-ins
Recent shootings raise questions about mental illness and violence.
Fort Lauderdale, Fla (PRWEB) April 30, 2014
Behavioral health expert Ben Brafman encourages everyone to regularly take stock of their mental health. With recent news events such as the shootings in Fort Hood and Kansas City raising questions about mental illness and violence, it’s a good time to talk about mental health.
“First, it’s important to note that mental illness does not automatically mean that someone is more prone to violence; that’s simply not the case,” said Ben Brafman, who has over 20 years of experience in the behavioral health industry. “Instead of drawing the conclusion that mental illness links to violence, we should be talking about what we could have done to help that person.”
The nature of mental health is that it is constantly in flux. Many mental health disorders develop later in life, and an individual may even cycle through symptoms. That means that for long stretches of time, it may appear that a mental illness has gone away, when it is just not active at the time. For these reasons, regular mental health check-ins can be beneficial.
“Mental health is not the same from year to year,” said behavioral health expert Brafman. “Mental illness can happen to anyone for a variety of reasons. Some of those factors may be internal, some may be external; there is no blueprint. Mental health check-ins can help you keep tabs on your mental health, just like a physical check-up can catch a medical ailment before it worsens.”
Mental health disorders like depression are often dismissed, written off as a severe case of “the blues.” Although it is normal to feel down in the dumps at times, that is not the same as depression. The same goes for anxiety, bipolar disorder, and all other mental illnesses. Taking stock of your mental health can be as simple as asking yourself how you feel that day, and noticing any red flags or patterns of emotions.
“When someone commits a crime, one of the first things the police do is look into their mental health history,” said Brafman. “In some cases, there isn’t one, but often the family or friends are able to pinpoint a pattern of behavior that raised concern. A behavioral health expert may have been able to provide a diagnosis or at least an insight into these behaviors.”
If you have ever considered seeking treatment for mental health, there is no shame in doing so. Conduct a mental health check-in with someone you trust, such as a close friend or family member. They may be able to help you see something that you don’t, and vice versa. Remember that a diagnosis should only be made by a professional, just as you wouldn’t self-diagnose cancer or diabetes.
“In many situations, therapy can be extremely helpful even for people who aren’t diagnosed with a mental health disorder,” said Brafman. “Anyone can struggle with their emotions, and talking them through with a qualified professional can help you recover. If you suspect that you could benefit from seeing a behavioral health expert, you probably can.”
Brafman, founder and CEO of Destination Hope, Destination Hope: The Women’s Program and the Sylvia Brafman Mental Health Center is a 20 year veteran of the behavioral health field. He speaks across the country at addiction and mental health conferences as well as to private industry groups on addiction, mental health and behavioral health. As a behavioral health expert, Brafman also writes articles on the subject for a variety of health publications. More information on Ben Brafman can be found at http://www.benbrafman.com.
For the original version on PRWeb visit: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/05/prweb11809330.htm