The constant sounds of traffic, blaring horns, construction noise, and chatter of New York City can make it nearly impossible to hear your own thoughts, let alone consider them. In the city that never sleeps and where so much is happening, it is easy to become mentally overwhelmed by the continual bustle. Work, school, and just trying to make it in the Big Apple can create a debilitating level of stress.

The diverse and far ranging effects of stress have been studied and well-documented for many decades. Stress can leave us irritable, vulnerable to disease, reclusive, and can affect performance at work or school. One of the most dangerous things about feeling overwhelmed by stress is that it can produce feelings of shame that make it difficult to seek personal and professional help. Read on to see why it is so important to seek professional help when mental stress becomes too much to bear.

You’re not crazy or alone

If stress gets to the point of causing a mental health issue it’s important to keep in mind that a mental health issue is just that: a health concern. Just as with all other health issues, it is no indicator of a person’s character or their intelligence. As mentioned before, mental health problems can cause sufferers to feel alone and ashamed because, for centuries, mental illness has been misunderstood and stigmatized.

It is estimated that 40 to 50 percent of people who suffer from bipolar disorder or schizophrenia do not seek treatment. Also, close to 40% of those with depression go untreated. Similarly, approximately 40% of people with anxiety report that they haven’t tried therapy or medication. .

These numbers are even more alarming when they are put within the context of the prevalence of mental illness in America. It is estimated that almost 1 in 5 Americans, about 44 million people, suffer from some form of mental illness annually. Additionally, 4 percent of Americans, about 12 million people, faced a debilitating level of illness that seriously diminish their ability to function in one or more areas of their life.

The point is, mental illness is not about intelligence, punishment for moral failings, or uncommon. It is estimated that 47 percent of people will suffer from some form of mental illness in their lifetime. What is important to know is that if you or a loved one suffers from mental illness, you are not alone, and there is help and hope.

The importance of seeking help

It can be hard to reach out for help when you’re distressed and feel as though walls are closing in around you. The symptoms associated with mental illness can make you feel  intensely lonely and isolated. However, it is of paramount importance to you and your loved ones that you do seek help if your struggles have become too much for you to bear.

For some perspective, suicide kills two times more people in the United States than HIV/AIDS. There are more suicides than the number of new cases of mental illness annually. Just like any other serious illness, mental illness can be fatal when it is untreated.

A mental health professional can help you in several ways, and not all of them require medication. You would be surprised how much talking with someone who is trained to help people to work through their problems can benefit. They can help you identify the underlying causes of your problems and aid you in coming up with strategies to overcome what’s ailing you.

Mental illness can also be the result of chemical imbalances in the brain. Qualified professionals can identify such issues and prescribe the right medicine to balance out the chemical reactions in your brain.

You don’t have to suffer in silence if stress or even mental illness becomes overwhelming. There are therapists in NYC can help you manage your problems and get you back on the road to happiness and fulfillment. You’re too valuable to not give yourself a shot at regaining your mental health.