Mental health refers to cognitive, behavioral, and emotional well-being. It’s all about the way people think, feel and behave. People sometimes use the term « mental health » to refer to the absence of a mental disorder.
Mental health can affect daily life, relationships, and physical health. However, this connection also works the other way around. Factors in people’s lives, interpersonal relationships, and physical factors can all contribute to mental health problems. Taking care of your mental health can preserve your ability to enjoy life. This includes balancing life activities, responsibilities, and efforts to achieve psychological stability. Conditions such as stress, depression, and anxiety can affect mental health and interfere with a person’s daily life. Although the term « mental health » is widely used, many of the conditions that doctors perceive as psychological disorders have physical roots.
In this article, we explain what people mean by mental health and mental illness. It also describes the most common types of mental disorders, including early signs and methods of treatment.
What is mental health?
“Mental health is a state of well-being in which an individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.”
The WHO stress that mental health is “more than just the absence of mental disorders or disabilities.” Peak mental health is about not only avoiding active conditions but also looking after ongoing wellness and happiness. They also emphasize that preserving and restoring mental health is crucial on an individual basis, as well as throughout different communities and societies the world over.
Early Warning Signs
Not sure if you or someone you know is living with mental health problems? Experiencing one or more of the following feelings or behaviors can be an early warning sign of a problem:
- Eating or sleeping too much or too little
- Pulling away from people and usual activities
- Having low or no energy
- Feeling numb or like nothing matters
- Having unexplained aches and pains
- Feeling helpless or hopeless
- Smoking, drinking or using drugs more than usual
- Feeling unusually confused, forgetful, on edge, angry, upset, worried, or scared
- Yelling or fighting with family and friends
- Experiencing severe mood swings that cause problems in relationships
- Having persistent thoughts and memories you can’t get out of your head
- Hearing voices or believing things that are not true
- Thinking of harming yourself or others
- Inability to perform daily tasks like taking care of your kids or getting to work or school
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