As a PT, I’m aware I don’t have a right to talk about mental health, but still, this is a very important topic to me. I’ve seen too many amazing people fighting mental health issues, so I’ve decided to write a few lines.
I grew up in the environment, where mental health issues were considered as a sign of weakness. We can’t accept that, and everybody should be aware of the early signs of mental health issues, it can save a life.
According to the World Health Organisation, one in four people in the world will be affected by the mental or neurological disorder in their life, and the chance that one of your family member or close friend has some form of early mental health risks is higher than you would expect.
What is mental health by definition?
Mental health includes emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Good mental health is essential at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.
What is a mental illness by definition?
Mental illnesses are health conditions involving changes in emotion, thinking or behaviour or a combination of these. Mental illnesses are associated with distress and/or problems functioning in social, work or family activities.
Why is it more common these days hearing about people taking antidepressants, visiting a psychiatrist or even end up committing suicide only because they felt worthless or don’t have anyone to talk to?
More people feel isolated today than ever, ironically, in an age when technology allows us to be connected to thousands of people through social media. We often feel overwhelmed and stressed due to social demand and pressure. We see what others are doing with one tap of a finger, how great their images look, what material things they possess, and where they travel. We subconsciously compare our lives to others when we should only compare them to ourselves and see if we are progressing every day in 5 main areas of life:
What contributes to this dramatic rise?
- Increased parental pressures.
- Increased performance pressures education, career, financial, etc.
- Increase in divisive news.
- A dramatic rise in violent TV programs, movies, and video games.
- Increase in sexually explicit material.
- Social media pressure.
- Reduced face-to-face interactions and social supports.
- The breakdown of the family unit.
- Being exposed to a multitude of opinions on TV and online.
- Poor/reduced sleep.
- Increased financial pressure on parents.
- Reduced parental contact – children are prematurely separating from parents and families, and bonding to peers.
- Easy access to, and the acceptance of, recreational drugs of all types.
- Overly protected/indulged children.
- Reduced expectations for young adults.
- The ‘I’ generation where everyone believes they are entitled to whatever they want, from opinions to lifestyle choices, and whenever and however they want it.
What are the early mental health risks signs?
- Personality change – if someone is acting like a very different person or not feeling like themselves.
- Undefined anxiety, anger and moodiness, especially if they are persistent.
- Social withdrawal and isolation from family, closing off and avoiding social events.
- Lack of self-care and lose of concern of their own health and well being.
- Engaging risky behaviour like drinking and drug use.
- Sense of hopelessness and feeling overwhelmed, mental health difficulties often cause people to give up.
- Eating and sleeping too little or too much.
- Pulling away from people.
- Feeling helpless or hopeless.
How can we maintain good mental health?
- KEEP ACTIVE DAILY.
- GET ENOUGH SLEEP, TAKE A BREAK.
- ASK FOR HELP IF YOU NEED IT.
- DRINK SENSIBLY AND EAT WELL.
- DO SOMETHING YOU ENJOY EVERY DAY.
- KEEP IN TOUCH WITH FRIENDS AND FAMILY.
- TALK ABOUT YOUR FEELINGS AND PROBLEMS.
Not very different from a healthy body routine right? HEALTHY BODY equals HEALTHY BRAIN and vice versa, and unlike many other health issues, you can’t see what’s going on in other people’s minds.
Be nice to other people and listen, both cost nothing.