In recent years, public awareness of mental health has soared. People are beginning to understand the value of caring for their emotional and mental well-being as much as they would for their physical health after decades of unwarranted stigma. Find out more about mental health, including how to support your own sense of psychological balance and contentment.
What Is Mental Health?
Your emotional and psychological well-being and stability are referred to as your mental health. When nothing is wrong with your physical health, it's easy to overlook your mental health. Even so, when something goes wrong, it's difficult to think of anything else. People may experience problems with their psychological wellness due to mood, personality, or substance use disorders. Professional assistance and treatment can help in these situations.
Why Is Mental Health Important?
Mental health is critical to your overall well-being as a human being. When you have a mental health problem, your quality of life suffers. In such cases, some people turn to substance abuse as a form of self-medication. Others commit self-harm or have suicidal thoughts. In short, these "invisible illnesses" impose a significant burden on those who suffer from them.
Mental health treatment has long been stigmatized. Many people used to think that admitting to having mental or emotional problems was a sign of weakness. Since then, an increasing number of people have recognized the folly of this assumption. Because your brain is an organ like any other, treating depression or anxiety is no different than treating heart disease or cancer.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and the World Health Organization (WHO) have all led initiatives emphasizing the importance of mental health and suicide prevention.
What Is a Mental Health Disorder?
A mental health disorder is a psychological or emotional problem that interferes with your basic quality of life. For example, you may feel incapable of dealing with life's stresses or notice a significant decrease in your social well-being. While it can be difficult to define what constitutes mental normalcy in the first place, disorders are easy to identify due to the extreme anguish they can cause those who suffer from them.
Types of Mental Health Disorders
There are numerous mental health conditions that can have a negative impact on a person's well-being. Consider the following types of mental disorders:
1. Body dysmorphia: People who suffer from body dysmorphia have an irrational and unrealistic view of their physical selves. It is common for people to develop eating disorders in order to cope with their weight issues. By encouraging a more accepting society, the body positivity movement hopes to reduce the likelihood of people developing these disorders. This condition is also notable for the high prevalence of occurrence among adolescents.
2. Obsessive-compulsive disorder: This disorder causes people to over-ritualize their behaviours. Someone may believe that they must wash their hands ten times in a row before they are clean. Another person may feel incapable of performing even basic tasks unless their daily routine is perfected. People suffering from OCD can benefit from mental health treatment.
3. Mood disorders: People may develop mood-related conditions as a result of both environmental and biological factors. Anxiety disorders cause people to feel excessive fear or stress, whereas depressive conditions such as bipolar disorder can cause profound despair. Anxiety and depression are also significant risk factors for developing substance abuse problems.
4. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): People who have been through traumatic events are more likely to develop PTSD. Little triggers can cause them to relive their worst moments as if they were happening for the first time. Treatment, as with other mental health issues, can help reduce the severity of this disorder.
5. Schizophrenia: This type of psychosis causes people to have hallucinations and hear voices that aren't there. Early warning signs of this mental illness usually appear in adolescence. Caregivers can assist those suffering from this diagnosis in achieving a sense of stability.
Tips to Improve Mental Wellbeing
Good mental health care can help you both prevent the development of certain disorders and alleviate any problems you are currently experiencing. Here are a few pointers to help you improve your personal mental health:
1. Seek assistance. When you are struggling with your mental health, seek help from family members, friends, and loved ones. They can assist you in regaining your full potential while you seek professional help from mental health services such as therapy.
2. Take care of yourself. Be gentle with yourself as you learn to live with your illness. Self-help books should be read. Exercise mindfulness. Take care of your overall health while also focusing on your mental and emotional health. Eating well and exercising, for example, are just as important for coping with stress and other negative emotions as they are for staying fit.
3. Consult a mental health professional. Meet with a qualified mental health care provider to discuss your concerns. Psychotherapy (weekly sessions with a psychologist) and psychiatry (receiving medication for mental health issues) may both be beneficial. By reading fact sheets about mental health issues online, you can avoid self-diagnosis.