Updated: Feb 7
Nowadays, the stigma on mental illness is fortunately not as strong as it was in the past, but the truth is that there is still a sense of shame involved in admitting that we are struggling mentally.
Mental health has a great impact on our daily lives and the choices we make. It involves our emotional, psychological and social well-being, and it influences the way we process our thoughts, feelings and how we react to certain situations.
It’s essential to nurture your mental health throughout your life, as it can be affected positively or negatively at any stage. Understanding what mental health is can help you manage your thoughts, moods and consequently your behaviours, in a more positive way.
Expanding awareness around mental health, and how to take care of it, avoids to add confusion around this already controversial topic. Mental health awareness can help you in your own life, help others, and promote empathetic and supportive behaviours toward one another.
What causes mental illness?
Numbers around mental illness are impressive. Most people will experience mental health problems at some point in life; the good news is that most of them heal entirely with the appropriate care and attention, and in some cases by adding mental health support and medical treatment.
Australian researches show that one in five people is experiencing mental health issues in any one year. World Health Organization researches increase this number to one in four people.
Some circumstances can increase the chance of experiencing mental health problems:
● Genetic factors
● Brain injuries
● Trauma and abuse experiences
● Use of drugs and alcohol
● Stressful life events
How To Spot Early Signs?
Early intervention is vital as it allows early treatment and support. One or more of the following could be an indication of a problem:
● Unhealthy sleep pattern, too little or too much
● Unhealthy relationship with food
● Distancing friends and family
● Prolonged feelings of hopelessness or numbness,
● Lack of motivation and energy
● Experiencing unusual overwhelming feelings
● Drastic mood changes impacting daily life
● Lengthened dissatisfaction and consequent fights with family and friends
● Increased drinking, smoking or use of drugs
● Persistent upsetting thoughts.
Once mental health conditions begin to cause distress, they can have a substantial impact on daily life. What once seemed to be easy achievements can become overwhelmingly challenging.
It’s important to understand that mental health goes beyond the mere showing of concerning symptoms as it can still impact a person unknowingly. Some people are unaware that mental health difficulties affect their moods and thinking patterns. Checking up on your mental health is just as important as checking on your physical health, and that is why talking with your GP about any concerns is essential.
How to facilitate mental health?
Positive attitude allows people struggling with mental health conditions to:
● Recognize their capability
● Cope with the stress
● Be productive and confident.
● Give back to the community.
Mental health should be seen like any other health issues and supported by an appropriate diagnosis and treatment plan. Forcing someone to perform greatly while injured and in pain, would only prolong the healing process and most likely worsen the condition. The same applies to mental health.
Mental health improves when one is surrounded by an appropriate health care system and promotes internal growth, Giving space to creativity or learning new skills can add a sense of purpose and value to our mental health. Building positive social relationships, feeling inclusion, and being recognised as a valued member of the community is just as vital as taking care of physical health.
“Anything that’s human is mentionable, and anything that is mentionable can be more manageable. When we can talk about our feelings,
they become less overwhelming, less upsetting, and less scary.”
How to maintain mental health?
● Accepting professional help when needed
● Feel connected with your community
● Help others
● Stay physically active
● Have regular sleep patterns
● Have a positive attitude
● Have a work/life balance that promotes thriving
From Medical News Today: In 1948, the World Health Organization (WHO) defined health with a phrase that modern authorities still apply.
“Health is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”
In 1986, the WHO made further clarifications:
“A resource for everyday life, not the objective of living. Health is a positive concept emphasizing social and personal resources, as well as physical capacities.”
As always, feel free to contact me for any question.