5 Frequently Asked Questions About Mental Health

Today in this article, we will cover some frequently asked questions about mental health.

A study by World Health Organization estimates that a person dies by suicide every forty seconds. Every forty seconds, someone is left behind to grieve.

That is, almost 800,000 people die every year. Why does this happen? Why do people think that it’s better to die than to live?

In medical terms, mental health refers to emotional and mental well-being. It can be defined as how people think, feel, behave, respond and act. It is an integral part of health same as physical health. It can disrupt everyday functioning.

According to WHO, mental health is more than mental disorders and mental illness. It is not about only illnesses but also working towards your happiness and overall wellness.

Everyone has some risks associated with mental health no matter their gender, caste, sex, religion, or nationality. Around the world, approx one-third population suffers from some mental illness, knowingly or unknowingly.

There are many determinants of mental health1. Many factors such as environment, psychological and biological factors, and social and socioeconomic factors affect a person’s mental health. It is also associated with stressful living conditions, violence, unhealthy lifestyle, poor physical health, social exclusion, loneliness, discrimination, and human rights violations.

Among the frequently asked questions about mental health one is about the causes of mental health issues.

Causes of Mental Health Issues

Mental illness does not have a single cause. A number of factors can affect this. The more risk factors you have, the more chances you have of developing mental illness2. Let’s look at some of the factors which contribute to mental illnesses.

Genetics: Mental illness could often see running in the family. A person is more likely to develop a mental illness if any family member is suffering from it or has a history of mental illness in the family.

Traumas: Traumas play an important role in developing mental illnesses. Things that happened to you in childhood may trigger you which could develop mental health problems.

Environment: Sometimes, living in a particular event can also lead to mental health problems such as living in poverty, debt, or even full-stress situations.

Drugs and alcohol: Drugs and alcohol can have a very important impact on mental health and they can even trigger mental illnesses.3

Negative Thoughts: Sometimes, all the negative thoughts can lead you to stuck in the cycle of feeling depressed and anxious.

Social Isolation: Social isolation can lead to loneliness and negative feelings, which causes mental illness.

Brain Chemistry: Sometimes, improper balances of chemicals in the brain can also lead to the development of mental illnesses.

Mental Health Problems and Their Types

Mental illnesses have different types and each type can impact the life of a person on a large basis. They can have a long and large effect on their everyday life and various relationships.

1. Anxiety Disorders

Mental Health Minute: Anxiety Disorders in Adults

It is the most common mental illness prevailing around the globe. According to the study, almost 38 million Indians suffer from Anxiety disorders. Some know it and most do not know it.

It is a condition in which people respond to various situations in fear and panic. It includes panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and specific phobias.

The symptoms include rapid heartbeat, dizziness, panic attacks, sweating, trembling, feeling nervous and tense, excessive worry, insomnia, nausea, unwanted thoughts, irritability, feeling weak and tired, and many more.

Everyone feels depressed and anxious. Feeling anxious sometimes is normal. However, when it starts to affect your daily life and your stamina to respond to certain situations, it is the time for you to seek professional help from therapists, including cognitive therapy and counseling.

Small changes in your daily life will have a big impact on your anxiety levels. These changes include taking care of yourself, a properly balanced diet, regular exercise, reducing caffeine intake, quitting smoking, and many more.

2. Depression

Depression is another type of mental disorder 4that negatively affects how your brain thinks in certain situations, the way you feel, and then act.

The symptoms include being worried, sad, and having an empty mood, feelings of hopelessness and guilt, lack of interest in hobbies, irritability, frustration, trouble sleeping or excessive sleeping, either weight gain or weight loss, anxiety, feeling not worthy of anything, suicidal attempts, trouble thinking, not paying attention, unexplained physical problems such as constipation, headache, stomachache, back pain and many more.

If you have suicidal thoughts and have even tried to attempt them, it’s time to see mental health professionals and seek help from them. Before it gets any worse, seek help and go to the doctor for treatment.

3. Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder (depression & mania) - causes, symptoms, treatment & pathology

Bipolar disorder is a mood disorder that largely affects the mood and the energy levels of the person. It can make the daily life of the person very difficult. It can impact a person’s behavior, work, relationships, daily activities, and every aspect of life.

The symptoms include a change in sleep patterns, change in energy levels, experiencing how and low mood, anxiety, anger, loss of interest, inability to focus, unwanted thoughts, manic episodes, weight gain or weight loss, self-harm, risk-taking activities, crying, agitation, restlessness, guilt, delusion, excess or no desire for sex and many more.

The main cause for it is still unknown but the factors such as environment, genetics, and biological factors play an important role in this.

A mental health professional will diagnose bipolar disorder using some criteria and some physical tests including blood and urine tests. The treatment includes a combination of counseling and psychotherapy, medication and drugs, lifestyle remedies and changes, and many more.

Treatments help the patients make a balance in their life to work, study and live a life with excitement and productivity. However, if the treatment is stopped, the symptoms may return.

4. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) - causes, symptoms, treatment & pathology

PTSD is a serious mental illness that is triggered by any traumatic event either by witnessing it or either experiencing it. These events may include sexual violence, physical assault, an accident, or childhood abuse.

Most people go through a traumatic event in their life once and it’s difficult for them to cope temporarily but it gets better with self-care and little changes. However, if it starts affecting your daily life, including your relationships, you have PTSD.

The symptoms occur after an event, but in some cases, there are no symptoms even after many years.

The symptoms include avoiding places or people who remind you of the event, not talking about it or ignoring it, negative thoughts, memory problems, nightmares about the event, reliving it as if it was happening again, feelings of hopelessness and guilt, feeling worthless and numb, lack of interest, trouble sleeping, self-harm.

If you are having suicidal thoughts, reach out to your close friend and ask for help and seek professional help.

After an event, it is normal to feel guilty, anxious, fearful, and depressed. Getting timely help and support may prevent the symptoms of PTSD.

This may include turning to friends and family who will listen to the way you feel or maybe taking therapy for a short period of time. Some people also prefer to seek help from support groups. Asking for help can also prevent bad habits such as consuming drugs and alcohol too much.

How Does Therapy Work?

What to Expect in Therapy

If you have never been to therapy, you must be wondering how does a therapy session work? What happens there? Well, we are going to answer these questions.

In individual therapy, the success key is the relationship between the patient and that therapist. The therapist listens to all the things that you have to say and tries to identify your thinking process.

Therapy is the best platform for anyone to share their thoughts as it offers a non-judgemental and safe place.

After listening to you, your therapist might provide you with some coping strategies to deal with situations.

  1. Being in therapy also has many benefits, such as:
  2. Improved communication skills
  3. Learn to make healthy decisions
  4. You will feel happy
  5. Helps you to feel empowered
  6. Your relationships might get better with every one
  7. You will know your coping strategies and can work on them

However, therapy cannot fix everything automatically. Therapy will only work when you work on yourselves. It also takes time. It is not some magic that will fix everything.

Remember, there is always hope. Everything is going to be better soon. Things are going to get better soon. Take your time and work towards your healing. All you need to do is to trust.

How to Take Care of Your Mental Health?

It is always said that prevention is better than cure. So, it is better to take care of your mental health the way you do for your physical health. Here are some tips to take care of your mental health.

  1. Eat a balanced diet. Your body needs nutrients to function properly. This is very important for both your physical and mental health.
  2. Be physically active. Do regular exercise. Do meditation or even yoga. It keeps you motivated and your body organs healthy.
  3. Take out some time for yourself and so whatever you like. It does not mean that you have to excel in it. Beat your stress by being happy. Do things that make you happy, or you do enjoy it.
  4. Accept who you are. We are not super humans. We all have flaws. Accept your flaws with your perfectness.
  1. Talk about your feelings when you feel depressed with your close friend or anyone you trust.
  2. Ask for help. In case your mental well-being is not in a good condition, ask for help. Remember, asking for help does not mean you are weak rather it means that you are brave enough to talk about it and ask for help when you need it.
  3. Journalise your thoughts. You can also make a gratitude journal. Be thankful for all the things you have.
  4. Take a break. You might feel exhausted at a certain point in time. So, taking a break sometimes is totally okay. It does not matter if your break is for five minutes.
  5. Drink alcohol in a certain amount. Some people drink it to beat loneliness but it has a very bad impact on your health.
  6. If someone talks about it, don’t neglect their feelings. Listen to them and try to help them.
  7. Always set realistic goals.
  8. Try detoxing. Don’t use any technology devices for a day, not even your mobile phones.
  9. Enjoy every moment. Live in the present.
  10. Learn to deal with your stress. Quit your mind. For this, try mediation and prayer. Go on a walk, watch sunrise or sunset, play with your pet, etc.

It is important to take care of your mental health as it affects every aspect of your life.

Mental Health Issues and Lack of Awareness

We All Have Mental Health

You may have heard someone saying “it’s all in your head” and neglecting their feelings. It is true that there are a lot of stigmas that surround mental health.5

However, more people reporting the issues of mental health shows that the issues are being concerned. People are becoming aware of this and started to take care of their mental health.

There are a lot of stigmas around therapy too. Society often makes fun of those who go to therapy.

People taking therapy sessions are often called weak and crazy. However, it should be perfectly normal to visit a therapist in case you are having any mental health issues.

Why is it Important to Have Awareness About Mental Health?

It is important to teach people about mental health problems and make them aware of them.

According to National Survey, most people are not able to seek help because they could not recognize their symptoms. This is because they have no idea about mental health. People suffering from depression might feel tired and show no interest to work. They are often termed as lazy.

Having some awareness about it will make people recognize their symptoms quickly and seek help when they need it. This will also allow people to take care of themselves.

Education can play a very important role in this mission. Making this a part of the syllabus can go a long way. Workshops and seminars could also help people to learn about these things.

People who have gone through it should often talk about it. Knowing that others have also gone through this could be a big relief. Let’s not forget social media in this age. Social media can also help to make people aware of this.

Only if there was no lack of mental health awareness, people who have died by suicide would have been there if they had received professional help at the right time. They could have been saved.

Frequently Asked Questions about Mental Health

1. Is It All in A Person’s Head?

It is often heard that mental health is all in a person’s head. However, this is not true in any case. The feelings, tiredness, hallucinations, negative and suicidal thoughts, and fears are not imagined by a person, but these all things are real.

2. How Can We Treat Mental Illness?

One should always take care of themselves physically and mentally. In treating mental illness, therapy plays the most important role. The therapist will identify the symptoms and will help you to fight them.

Sometimes, you might have to seek medication too. However, the most important thing is to always work on yourselves and take care of yourselves. A healthy diet, self-care, exercise, detoxification, and all these things will help you.

3. How Can We Normalize Mental Health?

To normalize mental health, we should talk more often about it. The educational sector can play a big role in this by educating children about this issue and making them learn about self-care and mental health issues. They could also learn to take care of themselves.

4. What Causes Mental Illness?

There is no definite cause of mental illness. Various factors could affect poor mental health. These include biological and social factors, genetics, unhealthy lifestyle, poor physical health, and many more.

5. How Can We Support People Who Are Struggling with Mental Illness?

The most important thing to keep in mind is not to judge anyone or make fun of anyone. If anyone shares something about it try to understand it rather than neglect their feelings. Allow them to vent. Show them that you care. Be a good listener.

Encourage them to talk with mental health professionals and make them understand that there is no shame in going to therapy and asking for help.

We hope that you liked our article. As of now, we have to leave but we will meet again with a new piece of an article very soon.

  1. Allen, Jessica, et al. “Social determinants of mental health.” International review of psychiatry 26.4 (2014): 392-407. ↩︎
  2. Watson, Jennifer B., et al. “Prenatal teratogens and the development of adult mental illness.” Development and psychopathology 11.3 (1999): 457-466. ↩︎
  3. Meltzer-Brody, Samantha, and Alison Stuebe. “The long-term psychiatric and medical prognosis of perinatal mental illness.” Best Practice & Research Clinical Obstetrics & Gynaecology 28.1 (2014): 49-60. ↩︎
  4. Boisen, Anton Theophilus. “The exploration of the inner world. A study of mental disorder and religious experience.” (1936). ↩︎
  5. Schulze, Beate. “Stigma and mental health professionals: A review of the evidence on an intricate relationship.” International review of Psychiatry 19.2 (2007): 137-155. ↩︎

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