May is National Mental Health Awareness Month. Recently, the Biden administration announced an investment to combat this crisis that is sweeping the nation.
According to medical experts, any mental illness, such as anxiety, stress or depression, carries a social mark, something that the patient sometimes hides and suffers in silence. That’s why South Texas is trying to eradicate what it thinks is a mentally healthy community.
Today, in the Rio Grande Valley, one in five people has, or has had, depression, one of the most common mental illnesses.
“Well, actually our numbers are high because the diseases we are treating are starting to be very common,” said Dr. José Igoa, medical director with DHR Mental Health.
According to recent reports from the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, nearly 60% of adults in the state with anxiety disorders do not receive treatment.
“I will not tell you a lie that it is a little difficult, it is very difficult, about schools, doctors, therapists, offices, that is, everything is stressful”, said Minerva Barrera, suffering.
Barrera is one of the 40 million adults in the United States with mental illness, as her daily battle with her son with Autism turned into deep stress and anxiety.
“Sometimes you literally lose your breath, I take a deep breath, I exhale, I feel like there’s a pause, your heart beats faster, even my jaw hurts, my teeth hurt, I live with a headache every day,” commented Barrera.
For cases like that of Minerva, a resident of Pharr, medical resources are available in the Rio Grande Valley at different clinical points, sometimes even free of charge.
“The main thing is that both the government and the state will know that these are big problems, these frequent problems,” explained Dr. Igoa
According to psychiatrist Igoa, after the COVID-19 pandemic, mental health illnesses have increased by about 30%.
“And what about problems with substances, alcoholism, drug addiction, and also typically psychiatric diseases such as schizophrenia, since it is one in 100, or bipolar disease, three out of 100 are common, frequent and chronic diseases said Dr. Igoa.
These conditions usually generate relapses, so if you suffer from symptoms, seek professional help and prevent it from progressing to a higher level.
Although at the level of resources, according to psychiatrist Igoa in South Texas, both treatments and medical care have improved, the main recommendations for early detection of mental health are if you show insomnia, appetite, energy or something. I don’t know what affects the biological need, you need to seek help.