What Is Mental Health, and What Triggers Mental Health Decline?
Emotional, psychological and social attitudes influence how we process thoughts, feelings and reactions to situations. Nurturing mental well-being is essential as it shapes our perception of life and ourselves and profoundly impacts our choices.
Mental health describes an internal state that allows adequate responses and promotes the ability to cope with stress and daily challenges.
When coping with daily life becomes difficult, seeking help to improve how we manage thoughts, moods, and behaviours is crucial. Reaching out at early signs of mental health decline might allow one to work on the triggers when recovery is still manageable with therapy only.
Unfortunately, starting therapy often encounters some resistance. While the stigma of mental illness is fortunately not as strong as it was in the past, there is often a sense of shame in admitting that we are struggling emotionally and mentally.
“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.”
What Facilitates the Uprise of Mental Illness?
Every situation is unique, but some circumstances may increase the chance of experiencing mental health problems in the future:
Repeated negative emotional responses
Use of drugs and alcohol
Stressful life events
Racism and bullying
Loneliness and isolation
Mental illness can be understood in terms of what the person has experienced without the appropriate tools to cope with the situation. A combination of the above circumstances may cause long-term mental stress, leading to mental illness.
Australian researches show that one in five people is experiencing mental health issues any year.
The World Health Organization research has increased this number to one in four people.
In the middle of winter I at last discovered that there was in me an invincible summer.” Albert Camus
Numbers around mental illness are impressive. Most people will experience mental health problems at some point in life; most will recover with appropriate care and attention. Mental health support is also fundamental, and when needed, so is medical treatment.
Spotting Early Signs of Mental Health Struggle
Early intervention is vital as it allows early treatment and support. Mental health issues are strongly connected with somatic symptoms. When the mind is challenged, physical responses may also indicate a problem.
Unhealthy sleep pattern, too little or too much
An 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.
Mental health conditions impact emotional, psychological and physical well-being, with significant repercussions on our daily lives.
Every task becomes overwhelming when emotional, psychological, and physical well-being are challenged. It's important to understand that mental struggle goes beyond merely showing concerning symptoms; it becomes the lens used to see the world. It impacts every single perception throughout the day; it modifies the sense of self and the meaning of every aspect of life.
Mental struggle becomes a distorted lens through which one experiences every single aspect of life. And the experience is concerningly real.
Societal expectations of strength often pressure one to pursue goals even while struggling. Most are unaware of how their attempt to maintain their standards impacts their mental health, affecting moods and thinking patterns. Ignorance of the impact of mental struggle overlooks that checking up on mental health is just as important as checking on your physical health.
You are not alone. You are seen. I am with you. You are not alone.
Expanding the understanding of mental health avoids stereotyping the challenges associated with experiencing emotional struggle.
Increased awareness of how to support mental health promotes empathetic and supportive behaviours when someone is struggling with emotional scars.
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 emphasising social and personal resources, as well as physical capacities.”
Remember, when unpleasant feelings rule your day for too long, it's time to reach out. Remember that you don't have to face everything alone and find someone you trust to talk to.
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