Mental Health Matters: Why We Need to Talk About It

As with all of our well-being, maintaining mental health means striking a balance between activities and responsibilities and doing our best to strive for psychological resilience. The terms stress, depression, and anxiety can be detrimental to one’s mental health, interrupting a person’s routine. Even though these words are very commonplace, psychological disorders like these are often rooted in physical illness. In this article, we will discuss the various mental disorders as well as how to identify their early signs and what can be done to alleviate the issue.

What is mental health?

Simply put, mental health is a person’s ability to effectively manage life. Often, being mentally healthy means feeling good about yourself, enjoying your life, and getting along with others. It also means feeling that you can handle whatever comes your way. 
According to the World Health Organization (WHO)Trusted Source: “Mental health is a state of well-being in which an individual realizes his or her abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively, Encanto contribute to his or her community.”
The WHO stress that mental health is “more than just the absence of mental disorders or disabilities.” Peak mental health is about not only avoiding active conditions but also looking after ongoing wellness and happiness.
They also emphasize that preserving and restoring mental health is crucial on an individual basis, as well as throughout different communities and societies the world over.

Mental disorders that are most often experienced

These are the most common types of mental illness
  1. Anxiety disorders
  2. Mood disorders
  3. Schizophrenia disorders

Anxiety disorders

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety disorders are the most common type of mental illness. Those who have anxiety often experience excessive fear or anxiety over specific objects or situations. People with an anxiety disorder are more likely to stay away from triggering situations. Here are just a few of the many anxiety disorders out there.
  • Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) – Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is an unnecessary, recurrent, and, at times, immobilizing concern that interferes with everyday life. Symptoms might include high anxiety, physical symptoms, and an obsession with living a perfect life.
  • The crippling symptoms of panic disorders- People with a panic disorder regularly experience panic attacks, in which they are plagued by sudden, overwhelming terror or a sense of imminent disaster and death.
  • Irrational Fears: Some common phobias are 
Simple phobias might involve fears of particular objects, scenarios, or animals. Many people are afraid of spiders or butterflies.
Social phobia, also known as social anxiety, is the fear of being subjected to the judgments of others. Those with social phobia tend to limit their exposure to social situations.
Agoraphobia denotes a fear of crowded places or situations in which it may be difficult to escape, such as an elevator or Obsessive-Compulsive
  • Obsessive- Compulsive disorder (OCD)Sufferers of OCD experience constant and persistent thoughts of the need to do certain things, like hand washing.
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)Post-traumatic stress disorder can be caused by deeply distressing or traumatic events that the person has experienced or witnessed. Emotions from traumatic events, such as anxiety and fear, may lead to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Mood disorders

Another word for a mood disorder is an affective disorder. People with these conditions may experience highly dramatic mood swings that may include periods of moodiness and euphoria or deep periods of hopelessness. Mood disorders include : 
  • Major depression: an individual with major depression has a bleak outlook and doesn’t experience the things they once found pleasurable. It’s common for people with depression to experience spells of prolonged depression or episodes of intense sadness.
  • bipolar disorder : They can experience mood swings, depression, high levels of energy, insomnia, impulsiveness, etc. Mood swings from periods of depression to euphoria are part of a bipolar’s mania phase. In periods of anxiety, one is undergoing a depressive phase.
  • Seasonal affective disorder (SAD): People with seasonal affective disorder will often suffer the worst symptoms during the fall, winter, and early spring. For more information about Seasonal Affective Disorder, visit this site.

Schizophrenia disorders

It’s not known whether schizophrenia is a single condition or a set of related illnesses since it is so complex. Typical signs of schizophrenia first appear around the age of 16 to 30, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. This is when people might have thoughts that appear disconnected and will find it hard to process information.
Schizophrenia manifests with two types of symptoms: positive symptoms which are delusions, thought disorders, and hallucinations, and negative symptoms which are disturbances in movement, emotional expressions, and behaviors. Symptoms of the disorder can vary between patients. Common examples may include, among other things, an inability to find any motivation, a lack of interest in anything, and flat or inappropriate moods.

Earliest symptoms

A way to identify whether someone has a mental illness is if they’re exhibiting a certain behavior. It may take some practice to learn how to tell, but common examples of these behaviors are
  • withdrawing from friends, family, and colleagues
  • avoiding activities that they would normally enjoy
  • sleeping too much or too little
  • eating too much or too little
  • feeling hopeless
  • having consistently low energy
  • using mood-altering substances, including alcohol and nicotine, more frequently
  • displaying negative emotions
  • being confused
  • being unable to complete daily tasks, such as getting to work or cooking a meal
  • having persistent thoughts or memories that reappear regularly
  • thinking of causing physical harm to themselves or others
  • hearing voices
  • experiencing delusions

The course of treatment

It may be necessary to have various different treatments, tailored to each individual. Some treatments are more successful when combined with others. A person with a chronic mental disorder may change what treatment he or she is taking as time goes on. Doctors need to work closely with patients in order to identify their own needs and make requests for treatment accordingly. Treatments may include : 
  • Counseling and therapy – Cognitive behavioral therapy, exposure therapy, and dialectical behavior therapy are examples of psychological treatments for mental illness. This kind of treatment is primarily conducted by psychiatrists, psychologists, psychotherapists, and some primary care physicians.
    It helps people understand the origins of their mental illness and how to create healthy thoughts patterns which result in improved day-to-day living and reduce the risks of isolation and self-harm.
  • Pharmaceutical drugs –In some cases, people take prescribed drugs such as antidepressants, antipsychotics, and anxiolytics. Medications cannot cure mental disorders, but some medications can reduce the intensity of symptoms and enable someone to resume a normal routine and interact socially as they work on improving their mental health. Some medications either boosts the availability of brain-produced feel-good chemicals, such as serotonin, or stops the break-down of these chemicals.
  • Personal development- Those with mental health issues might want to take care of themselves and make lifestyle changes to better their well-being, for example by reducing alcohol intake, getting enough sleep, and maintaining a healthy diet. They might also need to take time off from work and solve personal issues to manage their mental health. Those with anxiety and depression might find that certain relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, and mindfulness could help. In order to recover from mental illness, a person may need the help of others such as assistance from a self-help group or a loved one.
  • Get out of your head – do something physical or creative- Is it possible to be depressed, anxious or angry and enjoy life? Absolutely. Mental health issues affect many people, with and without diagnoses; they don’t have to define you. It’s important that you recognize your feelings, find healthy ways to deal with them and not let them overwhelm you. But equally important is that you do not equate those feelings with your identity – because when mental health issues are part of who we are, we can lose sight of all else that makes us who we are. So get out there and break a sweat, express yourself creatively or give someone a hug today! Start living again!

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