Being mentally healthy is a goal for all of us. But what is mentally healthy?
Good mental health means more than the absence of symptoms. It is to have a positive outlook on life while properly dealing with the challenges that life inevitably might throw at you. A person with good mental health will ultimately find peace and vitality in themselves. Whatever we go through in our life further determines our thoughts and actions.
It is fine to feel differently at times or to have various sorts of emotions like discontentment, unhappiness, lonesomeness, or disappointment. But if these feelings are constant then you must consult a doctor. These feelings will impact your day-to-day life, therefore they may need medical attention.
WHAT ARE MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES?
The term applies to a range of health conditions that involve changes in emotion, thinking, and behaviour. It is observed that like all other illnesses, mental health problems are also a result of some emotional distress or family history such as heart disease.
Like other medical issues, the susceptibility towards mental health is also thought to be a combination of genetic factors as well events in life. An example of this is heart disease. If it runs in the family, and the person doesn’t follow a healthy lifestyle, they are more vulnerable to develop heart disease.
Likewise, the same factors can cause mental illnesses. Genetic predisposition is one of the causes but a person who is unable to control their stress suffers more at the hands of mental health issues. Stress is a normal response to a challenge or demand, but sometimes it is constant and can be due to a traumatic childhood experience, drug side effects later in life, or distressful instances at work or in a relationship.
People experience different levels of stress, from mild to high grade. It all depends on the ways people perceive things or their past experiences.
Common mental health issues include Anxiety and Depressive disorders. Other severe mental health conditions like Schizophrenia require medical attention as these are psychotic issues and can not be treated on their own. People also suffer from psychological disorders, for example Border Personality Disorder.
There is no particular time for a person to experience mental health issues, they can have it in their early as well as later stages of life. Some people may suffer from a mental condition for a long time and some might experience it in a short-lived way after an event. It varies from person to person. People with serious mental issues might require support for a lifetime whereas temporary issues can be treated.
Fortunately, now there are advanced treatments and support for people dealing with mental health issues, so they can get better and live a normal life. However, access to these treatments might be a challenge at times, especially for those in rural or remote areas.
Treatments can help deal with a range of mental health issues and people who get adequate treatments even get rid of their mental illness. Some people are unable to receive proper treatment as they do not have proper facilities near them. Providing treatment in remote areas can be an issue because of this lack of access. On the other hand, some people also refuse treatments due to the nature of their symptoms or may be a taboo for them.
These treatments help the patient’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviours. Psychological treatment is also termed psychotherapy and is a form of therapeutic treatment for treating certain mental issues such as depression, anxiety disorder, and borderline personality disorder.
During psychotherapy, an experienced mental health professional calmly talks about all the emotions and distressing thoughts that a person might be feeling, helping patients make sense of the issue and address it. This is an effective treatment as one eventually feels better after “pouring out” everything. The therapist tries to connect the dots as to why a person might be feeling that way and helps them be more positive about life by dealing with issues competently.
Medications combined with therapy can be really effective. People with Schizophrenia, personality disorders, and anxiety need medications. These medications must be taken as per the advice of a doctor and their side effects must be looked into and monitored wisely to avoid other issues.
Support in the community
Support services help foster mental health and well-being for everyone. Sometimes people who suffer from serious mental illness might become psychologically disabled and require a lifetime of support from the community. A support service helps them overcome their disabilities and promotes positive communication and relationships where the person feels connected. When people have access to rehabilitation, education, and accommodation, they eventually feel less anxious and stressed.
Staying mentally healthy
People sometimes fail to understand the importance of sound mental health, as it is just as crucial to maintain as physical health. For a person to be mentally healthy, they need to have a healthy lifestyle and spend quality time with family and friends. Other factors like proper diet, physical exercise, and good sleep also help in keeping the stress and anxiety levels at bay.
People who involve in exercise in their daily routine have fewer chances of having a mental illness. They have better mental health and emotional wellbeing. It boosts our mood and improves focus and physical health as well.
ANYONE CAN DEVELOP A MENTAL HEALTH ISSUE
There is no particular age of a person to develop a mental condition. It is also not necessary that everyone has to face this issue but there is a chance that anyone may experience mental health problems at some point in their lives.
Complex mental illness (CMI) is experienced by almost 800,000 Australians, but it not only affects the person. The people they are surrounded by for example; parents, partners, friends, peers, are also affected. it is observed that a person with CMI can impact 5 other people, which makes 4 million Australians affected.
Mental illness can be treated in the same way as other illnesses, a person dealing with mental health issues might only need a hospital trip if the symptoms are uncontrollable and serious. Otherwise, they can have a normal personal and professional life even while undergoing treatments.
MOST PEOPLE WITH MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES CAN WORK
Mental illness doesn’t need to be a barrier to employment. In Australia, it is reported that 3 out of 5 people get employment even with a mental illness, which is comparatively low than those without a mental health issue.
Almost 43% of employers handling different projects ranging from small to medium say that they would prefer people with a mental illness but the figures dropped to a lower of one-fifth when asked about people with a psychotic illness or other addiction problems.
As per research, many employers who hire people dealing with mental illness are satisfied with their quality of work. Such people try hard to give their best and maintain positive, respectful relationships with their colleagues. The more the stigma around mental health is reduced, the higher the prospects of such people getting hired.
THE CAUSES OF MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES ARE COMPLEX
At times it is difficult to find the root cause of a mental illness as it is not caused by a virus or bacteria. Multiple factors combined can cause a mental health issue. Some severe mental illnesses like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder can be due to a genetic predisposition but it is difficult to say the same for other mental health disorders, as not all are associated with genetic activity.
Not all mental disorders are complex, some are developed due to the intersection of biological, physical, and environmental factors. People who have had developmental problems and traumatic life experiences might also be vulnerable to mental illnesses.
THE IMPORTANCE OF GETTING HELP
People often do not identify the mental health issue at an early stage which can result in problems later over time. They may have a poor social life and suffer isolation and depression, for example.
However, early detection and diagnosis can lead to proper treatment that can further help a person lead a normal life. Psychotherapy along with medications can certainly help in coping with this issue, people also benefit from a positive talk. It helps people communicate about their condition in a much better way which eventually makes them feel better.
Oftentimes, people fear being judged which is why they tend to keep their feelings to themselves and can be offended if someone tries to ask about it, as they are sensitive to the topic. At this time, all they need is a good listener and a person who understands. Reassure them that everything will get better and support their journey.
MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES ARE TREATABLE
Treatments vary from person to person and a person carrying a mental illness can contribute to society if they are supported. Treatments are effective but everyone needs to consult their doctor before starting a medication, as these are not the same for all patients.
You can try a combination of various therapies and medications, before choosing the one that suits you best. Early diagnosis and treatments are important as they would further prevent complications. You deserve a normal life and only your doctor or a GP can help you on the road to recovery.
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