Mental health embodies all emotional, psychological, and social aspects of human existence. It affects how people think, feel, and act. It helps determine how an individual handles stress, relates to others, and makes choices. Mental health affects every stage of life, from childhood through adulthood. It affects cognitive ability, mood, and behavior. Many factors contribute to mental health problems, including genetics, brain chemistry, life experiences, and family history. People who suffer from mental health problems should seek out a qualified medical professional immediately and use the mental health informational resources below.
Sufferers of a mental health problem may not realize the subtle differences in their perception. In fact, early discovery may come from a family member or friend who suggests that the sufferer find help for his or her problem. Many sufferers deny their problem exists until the torment becomes intolerable. Close relatives, friends, coworkers, and even school personnel, can identify early warning signs in the sufferer to let them know a problem exists. For instance, if a student seems to pull away from people and usual activities, or experiences severe mood swings, then he or she may be starting to develop a mental disorder. Sufferers often exhibit signs of hopelessness, low energy, and poor hygiene. They may resort to substance abuse in an effort to self-medicate their distress. More severe signs of psychological disturbance may include hearing voices, expressing delusional beliefs, and attempting suicide. If these behaviors occur, then the sufferer may be experiencing a psychotic episode which requires immediate attention.
Many myths surround mental health problems insomuch that society has attached a negative stigma to people who have received a diagnosis. This may lead to denial from family members and friends who do not want to see their loved ones suffering. Mental health problems are actually very common. In 2011, one in five adults experienced a mental health issue, one in ten young adults experienced major depression, and one in twenty lived with a serious mental illness. Mental health problems can range in severity from minor depression and anxiety to full-blown schizophrenia. Sufferers can recover from their illness with proper medical treatment
A variety of treatment options exist for sufferers with mental health disorders. In general, a sufferer would see a psychiatrist to treat mental health disorders resulting from a biochemical imbalance. Sufferers may also choose to see a psychologist or licensed therapist to work out underlying psychological issues resulting from life experiences. Sufferers may also decide to work on themselves by reading self-help material.
Recovery from a mental disorder requires improvements in four major dimensions of a sufferer’s life. The first dimension involves making informed, healthy choices that support physical, psychological, and emotional well-being, in other words, making adjustments to dietary and exercise protocol should help in coping with the stress involved in suffering from a mental disorder. Cutting off unhealthy social connections that previously led to substance abuse also encourages recovery. This same rule applies at home, where family members remain a strong center of support for the sufferer. Sufferers should also try to engage in meaningful daily activities, such as reporting to a job or school. Lastly, sufferers must build relationships and network with others who have the same issues. These four dimensions will make recovery a lot faster in addition to medical treatment.
- What Is Mental Health?
- Warning Signs of Mental Illness
- Diseases and Conditions: Mental Illness
- Facts About the Prevalence of Mental Illness
- Mental Illness Basics
- Understanding Depression: Types of Depression
- Understanding the Facts of Anxiety Disorders
- What is OCD, or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder?
- Understanding Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Bipolar Disorder
- Frequently Asked Questions About Schizophrenia
- Borderline Personality Disorder
- Getting Help for Mental Health
- Finding Help When Your Mental Health Is Off
- Caring For Yourself Guide
- Seeking Help for Mental Illness
- Feeling Better: A Guide to the Mental Health System and Getting the Help You Need (PDF)
- What to Look for When Your or a Friend Needs Help a Mental Illness
- Mental Health in Schools: An Overview
- Responding to the Mental Health Needs of Students (PDF)
- School-Based Mental Health: An Empirical Guide for Decision-Makers
- What Students Say About Mental Health (PDF)
- Mental Health Problems: Capacity to Identify, Refer, and Manage
- The”ActionSigns”Project (PDF)