Updated: Oct 7
Fortunately, nowadays the stigma on mental illness is not as strong as it was, but the truth is that we still feel a sense of shame when it comes to 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 understand and nurture your mental health throughout your life, as it can be affected both positively and negatively in each developmental stage. Understanding what mental health is can help with how you manage your thoughts, moods and behaviours.
Understanding what mental health is, and how to take care of it, can help to avoid any general confusion around the topic. Mental health awareness can help you in your life but also help others and to be more empathetic and supportive of one another.
What causes mental illness?
Numbers around mental illness are impressive. Most people will experience mental health problems at some point in life, and the majority of them heal entirely with the appropriate care and sometimes by adding the appropriate treatment.
Australian researches show that one in five people is experiencing mental health issues in any one year. World Health Organization researches are increasing 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 your daily life. What once seemed to be easy achievements can now 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 who may not be showing any mental health difficulties. 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?
Researches also confirm that mental health improves when one is surrounded by an appropriate support system and is open to internal growth, Giving space to creativity or learning new skills can add a sense of achievement and value to our mental health. Building positive social relationships and understanding the value we add to our communities is just as vital as taking care of our physical selves.
Positive mental health empowers people to:
● Recognize their capability
● Cope with the stress
● Be productive and confident
● Give back to the community
We should be able to treat mental health like we do with any other health issues by getting an appropriate diagnosis and treatment plan. For example, if you were to force someone to perform greatly while in pain, it would only prolong the injury and most likely worsen over time, and the same applies to mental health.
Mental health improves when one is surrounded by an appropriate support system and is open to internal growth, Giving space to creativity or learning new skills can add a sense of achievement and value to our mental health. Building positive social relationships and understanding the value we add to our communities is just as vital as taking care of our physical selves.
“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.” Fred Rogers
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.