Why do we think our brain doesn’t get sick?

I was inspired to write this article following a LinkedIn connection sharing this post: Over two thirds of employees feel uncomfortable telling colleagues about taking a sick day for mental health reasons.

Even though mental health is across our news platforms, our social media and our non-media organisations (guess who I’m talking about…!), it still has a stigma.

I mean even the Royal Family is talking about mental health and we still don’t seem to get it… yet we all go nuts for the Royal Wedding.

It astounds me that we discredit mental health when it comes to sick days. I’ve heard it all: “She’s faking….”; “He’s lazy…”; “She’s just making it up…”; “Ugh, signed off with stress again…” The list goes on.

So I wanted to use this post to remind everyone of this: without the brain, we’d be dead. Morbid, I know, but it’s true.

Our heart might beat, or lungs might breathe, but without the brain we are not alive. There’s a reason we cannot do brain transplants yet (we probably will one day soon); it does everything. It’s like the control centre for our body; that’s why it’s called a ‘whole-body transplant.’

The brain works the hardest out of any organ in the body. So why do we only take days off for a cold or broken leg?

Do people assume that holidays are for that, you know, like we plan when our brain is going to be tired or sick? Can you imagine saying the below?

“Oooooo, I think I’m going to generate a panic disorder on the 23rd July… let me take some holiday…”

“Hmmmmmm, I reckon my OCD is going to flare up on the 25th April in 2018… best check that nobody has that week off already….”

“Oh my, Capricorn is going to be aligned with Virgo in 2020… that spells bad news for my bipolar disorder…”


So to anyone out there who’s worried about being perceived as weak (I’m with you, by the way), or condemed to “not being up to the job” or “can’t handle the pressure”, just remember that your brain does a lot of work outside of office hours.

So, let it have a break when it needs it.