mental health, wellness, psychology

What is Mental Health?

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Mental health is the overall wellness of how you think, regulate your feelings and behaviours. Sometimes people experience a significant disturbance in this mental functioning. A mental disorder may be present when patterns or changes in thinking, feeling or behaving cause distress or disrupt a person’s ability to function. A mental health disorder may affect how well you:

  • Maintain personal or family relationships
  • Function in social settings
  • Perform at work or school
  • Learn at a level expected for your age and intelligence
  • Participate in other important activities

Cultural norms and social expectations also play a role in defining mental health disorders. There is no standard measure across cultures to determine whether a behaviour is normal or when it becomes disruptive. What might be typical in one society may be a cause for concern in another.

When is an evaluation or treatment needed?

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  • Marked changes in personality, eating or sleeping patterns
  • An inability to cope with problems or daily activities
  • The feeling of disconnection or withdrawal from normal activities
  • The unusual or “magical” thinking
  • Excessive anxiety
  • Prolonged sadness, depression or apathy
  • Thoughts or statements about suicide or harming others
  • Substance misuse
  • Extreme mood swings
  • Excessive anger, hostility or violent behavior

Why is it important to address mental health?

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It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood. Over the course of your life, if you experience mental health problems, your thinking, mood, and behavior could be affected.

What is the impact of mental health of individuals on the lives of family members?

Mental illness has been an area under discussion and was bounded with mystery and fear, but at present, there has been a remarkable improvement in our understanding and, especially in our ability to offer effective treatments. However, questions about mental illness often go unanswered and stand in the way of people receiving help.

Mental illnesses are medical conditions that disrupt a person’s thinking, feeling, mood, ability to relate to others and daily functioning, mental illnesses are medical conditions that often result in a diminished capacity for coping with the ordinary demands of life.

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Mental health refers to our cognitive, and/or emotional wellbeing – it is all about how we think, feel and behave.

Serious mental illnesses include major depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder; post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), with mental illness recovery is possible. Mental illnesses affect people of any age, race, religion, or income. Mental illnesses are not the result of personal weakness, lack of character or poor upbringing. Most people diagnosed with a serious mental illness can experience relief from their symptoms by actively participating in an individual treatment plan.

Mental illness can be treated with the use of psychosocial treatment such as cognitive behavioural therapy, interpersonal therapy, peer support groups and other community services can also be components of a treatment plan and that assist with recovery. It cannot be overcome through “will power” and are not related to a person’s “character” or intelligence.

Image Source–Harvard Health

Mental illness usually strikes individuals in the prime of their lives, often during adolescence and young adulthood. All ages are susceptible, but the young and the old are especially vulnerable. Without treatment the consequences of mental illness for the individual and society are staggering: unnecessary disability, unemployment, substance abuse, homelessness, inappropriate incarceration, suicide and wasted lives.

It is very critical and of vital importance that mental illness is identified for effective recovery to be accelerated and the further harm related to the course of illness is minimized.

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