Mental health is the way we think, feel and act, when we’re at our best. Other words for this are psychological well-being, emotional well-being, or happiness. It’s important to have a sound mental health at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood. It affects how we deal with stress, relate to others, and make choices.
Mental health is more than just staying mentally well. It’s also about staying physically healthy because good physical health can affect your mental health as well as the other way around.
An important part of being healthy is feeling good about yourself and your life. To be mentally healthy, it’s important to feel confident, optimistic, and able to handle life’s challenges. Sometimes you may feel overwhelmed by your feelings and thoughts. This is called an emotional crisis—you may be sad, or worried, or both. Life events can trigger this too; it’s a normal response to the kind of changes that life throws at you. And while it can be scary, if you feel this way, know that you are not alone.
Common mental health disorders
Mental health disorders are often long-term, brain-based illnesses that affect a person’s thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and ability to cope with daily life. A wide range of mental health disorders exists, including conditions that make it hard to cope with stress or relate to other people.
The most common disorders are:
- Anxiety disorders
- Mood disorders
- Schizophrenia disorders
Anxiety disorders are common mental conditions in which a person has persistent patterns of excessive fear or anxiety. Many people experience anxiety and don’t develop an anxiety disorder.
A person with anxiety disorders experiences anxiety that is so frequent and severe that it interferes with work, school or other activities, or lasts for several months. Anxiety disorders occur when a family of chemicals in the brain (called neurotransmitters) may not properly send signals from one brain cell to another.
People might also experience physical symptoms, including
- tense muscles
- interrupted sleep
Anxiety disorders are the most common form of mental illness, affecting slightly more than 1 in 5 adults.
Mood disorders, sometimes called affective disorders, are serious conditions in which the person’s mood regularly changes. It’s Mood disorders are often called “The blues”, a bad mood, or feeling down, is common during times of stress and trouble. They worsen if you ignore them and can cause great stress on relationships and your ability to function at home or work. Although they can occur at any age, they arise most often during adolescence and early adulthood.
These Mood disorders are medical conditions that can cause extreme shifts in mood, energy levels, and sleep habits. Left untreated, mood disorders can lead to isolation and suicide.
Mood disorders are serious conditions that disrupt your ability to function in daily life. They include depression, bipolar disorder, and seasonal affective disorder.
Major depression is a mood disorder that affects how you feel, the way you think, and how you act. You have difficulties to deal with daily life activities and can lower your self-esteem. You may feel hopeless and even suicidal. it’s might lose interest in things that you used to enjoy, like hobbies. And you may have sleeping problems or you may eat too much or too little. You may have the following symptoms If you have been diagnosed with major depression:
- Low mood
- Loss of interest in activities that you enjoyed once
- Feelings of guilt or worthlessness
- Loss of appetite or overeating
- Trouble falling asleep or staying asleep
- Problems concentrating
- Feelings of restlessness or agitation
- Thoughts of death or suicide If you are experiencing multiple symptoms for more than two weeks, then it is important to seek treatment from your doctor as soon as possible
Bipolar disorder used to be called manic depression because people who have it often go through extreme highs and lows that last for weeks, months, or even longer. When this happens, they feel almost completely different than they did the last time they were normal. Some people talk too fast, move too much or even become violent. Others go from being so sad that they cannot function normally to having bursts of sudden energy and feeling happier suddenly than ever before.
It sounds frightening, but in reality, it’s one of the most commonest mental health problems. It’s a serious illness that affects the way you feel. Your emotions go up and down over a matter of days or weeks, rather than being constant all the time. At times you’ll feel euphoric or manic and at other times you’ll be depressed and down.
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD):
People with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) experience a reduced amount of light during fall and winter months. The lower amounts of light impact chemicals in the brain called serotonin and melatonin.
The long dark days of winter make it harder for some people to get out of bed. Others might have symptoms like being grouchy or not feeling like eating. SAD affects about 1 in every 15 people.
People with schizophrenia may hear voices, see people or things that aren’t present, and believe in things that aren’t real. They may put themselves or others in danger because of these hallucinations or delusions. The severity of symptoms varies widely between people with the disorder, ranging from subtle problems in social interaction and eccentric behavior to severe disorders that interfere with everyday life. People with schizophrenia may seem like they have lost touch with reality, but what they are experiencing is real to them. The delusions, hallucinations, and disorganized speech of people with schizophrenia reflect their attempt to make sense of the world, to solve problems, or communicate distress.
Schizophrenia is a brain disorder that is largely characterized by distortions in thinking, perception and language. The disorder is commonly divided into three groups of symptoms: positive, negative, and cognitive. Positive symptoms include hallucinations and delusional beliefs. Negative symptoms include loss or decreased ability to experience pleasure, problems with motivation, movement or thought such as disorganized thoughts, trouble concentrating, and lack of will to initiate activities and poor personal hygiene. Cognitive symptoms usually develop later but can persist during the course of the illness and may affect an individual’s ability to learn.
Common signs of mental health problem
It can be hard to tell when your feelings are normal or unusual. You may have a mental health problem if you find yourself feeling:
- Experiencing changes in your eating habits (all or nothing thinking) or sleeping habits (sleep too much or too little)
- Some people who have a mental health problem withdraw from the people and activities they enjoy.
- Suffers from physical exhaustion and lack of energy.
- Mental health problems can cause aches and pains, like headaches or back pain.
- Feeling sad, empty, helpless or hopeless;
- You might smoke more cigarettes or drink more alcohol than usual.
- You may feel unusually confused, forgetful, angry, upset, worried, or scared
- Some mood swings are natural, but if you feel persistently unhappy and irritable, you may be suffering from a common mental disorder.
- If you feel like your thoughts or memories won’t go away. These feelings may interfere with your daily life, or make it hard to achieve your goals.
- Experiencing repeated or unusual thoughts, hearing voices or believing things that are not true.
- Thinking of harming yourself or others, you may feel suicidal or violent toward other people.
- A mental health problem disrupts your life, if you are not being able to perform daily tasks like taking care of your kids or getting to work or school it is sign of mental health problem
Can your mental health change over time?
We all feel stressed and blue at times. For some people this passes quickly, but other people can find these feelings come back time and time again. The reality is that most of us will experience a mental health problem at some stage in our lives. Dealing with everyday stresses or mental health problems can put a strain on your relationships with friends and family. These difficulties may lead you to make changes to the way you live your life and how you interact with others. If you are experiencing a mental health problem, you’re not alone – many other people experience similar challenges at some point in their lives.
This can change over time depending on many factors, including stress, trauma, major life events, and whether a person has access to support networks. Long hours or caring for a sick relative can quickly affect a person, or even longer periods of economic hardship. Be your own best friend, and have a healthy mind by looking after yourself. Your mental health is important by looking after yourself and finding your own balance, you can ensure that your mental health stays healthy.
Good mental health means your mind and body work the way they should. Your mental health is made up of how you think about and what you do about things. It means that you have the ability to meet life’s challenges. Think about driving a car without knowing how the pedals, steering wheel and mirrors work or what to do in case of an emergency. This is similar to not understanding mental health disorders, illnesses, and their treatments.
Why is mental health important?
Your mental health plays a big and important role in your physical health. Mental disorders can raise your risk for a wide range of physical health problems, including stroke, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. Getting the right care early can make a difference in reducing these risks. Your mental health helps you to:
- Cope with the stresses of life
- Be physically healthy
- Have good relationships
- Make meaningful contributions to your community
- Work productively
- Realize your full potential
What can affect on your mental health?
Your mental health can be affected by many different factors, including:
- If you have mental health problems, your problems might have a biological cause, that is, an underlying genetic or brain biochemical cause.
- A wide range of life experiences can affect our mental health and well-being. These range from trauma and abuse, to losing a loved one, struggling with money or relationships.
- Family history of mental health problems
- Your daily lifestyle, such as diet, physical activity, and substance use
You can have a positive influence on your mental health, such as by being self-aware, building relationships with others, taking steps to improve it, doing meditation and relaxation techniques, and practicing gratitude.
Following Things, You Can Do for Your Good Mental Health
1. Value yourself:
Take a moment now to appreciate all you do and who you are, and share that appreciation with others. Be kind to yourself, and avoid self-criticism. Treat yourself with kindness and respect and make time for your favourite things.
Sometimes we just need to take a break from it all and do a Few Minutes for Our Mental Health. Maybe a Few Minutes for Your Mental Health will help you start something that you’ve wanted to do for a long time. Learn something new, join a club, or volunteer. Dedicate a portion of each day to the things you enjoy. For example, spend time with your pet or catch up on a hobby that you’ve been neglecting. You can also make a list of new ideas for self-improvement such as finding time for exercise or trying a new recipe from Cooking Light magazine.
2. Take care of your body:
Eat nutritious food:
If you eat something that is not healthy for your body, this can negatively affect your mental health. To stay healthy physically, it is important to eat a nutritious meal.
Make sure to eat three meals a day and make each one count. It’s important to fuel up with lots of slow-burning carbs like pasta or baked potatoes. Always include protein in your meal. It will keep you feeling full and focused for longer. Snacking is also important, as it can help prevent you from getting too hungry and overeating at your next meal.
Avoid smoking and vaping:
Both of these habits can lead to lung damage, heart disease, mental health diseases and cancer. There are many resources available to help you quit smoking. It’s important to take good care of yourself, especially mentally. You can do this by avoiding things that aren’t good for your health, such as smoking and vaping.
Drink plenty of water:
Drink at least eight 8 (237 ml) glasses of water every day. This will help to keep your brain and body healthy.
If you feel the need to release some stress, daily exercise is a great way to do so. By exercising regularly, you can reduce your risk of depression and anxiety as well as improve your moods. Exercise increases endorphins, which are the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Participating in exercise also increases levels of dopamine, a neurotransmitter, when released, makes you feel better about what is going on around you.
Get enough sleep:
Make sure that you get enough sleep. You can’t think straight if you don’t have enough sleep. Make it a goal to go to bed around the same time every night, and wake up at the same time every morning. Sleep is important for your mental health. Both adults and teens need 7-8 hours of sleep each night.
3. Surround yourself with good people:
Make it a point to choose friends and people in your life who make you feel good about yourself. A support network of family, friends and co-workers can make all the difference when you’re feeling blue. Seek out company, join an activity group or organize an outing with your buddy from work.
4. Give yourself:
Look for opportunities to volunteer at a homeless shelter, food pantry, or other local organization. If you want to really make a difference, look for organizations that need help regularly, so you can become a regular volunteer and form friendships with the people you’re helping.
Giving you the gift of giving is one of the most fulfilling, enriching experiences a person can have! Research shows that people who volunteer have higher levels of well-being and happiness, live longer and cope better with stress.
5. Learn how to deal with stress:
Many things in life that are stressful cannot be eliminated all at once. For example, family members may always be rude to you, or your boss may yell at you for being late to work. Practice good coping skills, such as doing activities that you enjoy and getting a lot of rest. Also, remember to take care of yourself and smile often.
Some stress is normal and acceptable. But, too much stress can have serious health consequences, so it is important to identify stress-busters that work for you and stick to them.
6. Quiet your mind:
Meditation can be an effective way to reduce stress and cope with negative feelings. It’s easy to break the cycle of worry and become more mindful. Research shows that meditation may help you feel calm, enhance the effects of therapy, and improve concentration and flexibility of mind.
7. Set realistic goals:
Set realistic goals for your studies and professional life. Think about what you really want to achieve, and write everything down. Don’t over-schedule yourself – you’ll enjoy a tremendous sense of achievement and self-worth as you work to meet your goals.
8. Break up the monotony:
It’s a good thing the human body responds well to routine. Not only does it make us more efficient and enhance our feelings of security and safety, but it also makes us feel good. However, in order to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle, it’s important to break up the monotony of daily routines with a little change of pace every once in a while. Take some time out for rejuvenation on a regular basis.
Perk up your daily life with a little routine change. Take a walk in a different park, hang new pictures, try a new restaurant, or run on a different route.
9. Avoid alcohol and other drugs:
Make sure to keep alcohol use to a minimum and avoid other harmful drugs. Alcohol use can lead to feelings of depression, anxiety, irritability and anger. Plus, it can actually cause such mood changes!
10. Get help:
If you or someone close to you is dealing with a mental illness, addiction, or co-occurring disorder (an illness that occurs together with a mental illness), getting evidence-based treatment is the most important step. Treatment works. It can help make it easier to get better and stay better.
The best way to find someone to help you is to ask for recommendations from your primary care doctor or a trusted colleague who knows your situation.
Mental health care and treatment
The most important thing to remember is that there is hope, and treatment can help you to deal with stress, solve problems, control or stop bad feelings or behavior, have better relationships, and feel good about yourself. You’ll meet a therapist face to face, either one-on-one or in a group. There are many options available. Different treatment options for good mental health may include medications, therapy, lifestyle changes, self-care strategies, or support groups. You’ll get to choose what treatment is right for you. Exercise, eat a healthy and balanced diet, sleep well, and learn to be more relaxed and calm keeps you happy.
Effective and scientifically proven ways to take care of your mental health are available to you. If you think you might be at risk of developing depression or another mental health issue, early intervention can help prevent this from happening. Speak to a psychotherapist or a doctor about being referred for treatment that could make all the difference in preventing further problems from developing.
The World Health Organization (WHO) is working to protect and promote mental well-being. Mental health has a major impact on the daily lives of people whether they live in rich or poor countries. Mental health care and treatment include available interventions such as mental health medicine and psychological treatment.
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