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Over the last decade, we have seen an increase in awareness about psychological disorders1 that affect people, and more of us are now open to seeking psychiatric help. Daily stress, anxiety, and depression are a case study today because they have led to less-than-optimal balance, and it is upon us to learn how to gain equilibrium. Luckily, there are enough free and paid resources on and offline to help diagnose a health problem and seek professional help.
What is Mental Health?
Most people struggle with the right words when asked to define mental health because it is such a broad term. It is the emotional and cognitive well-being that expresses our personal relationships with others and with ourselves. The World Health Organization defines it as the ability to cope with daily stresses and live the best way one can through realizing their capabilities and being able to contribute to the community.
Risk Factors for Mental Health Conditions
There are several of these, which include:
- Family history.
- Stresses as a result of working or living conditions.
- Brain damage.
- Childhood trauma.
- Poor social skills.
If a blood relative has a mental illness, the chance of passing it on to the next generation is relatively high. Children inherit these issues from their parents, and it helps to know this is possible so as to look out for it. Some people struggle with childhood traumas which means a whole range of possibilities. Most people feel that the reason they view themselves as less than good enough is sometimes linked to how they were treated as kids, and it takes one to tackle that if they want to live wholesomely.
An injury to the head that may cause brain damage could also lead to concerns, and it may take some time to realize this since not all damage shows immediately.
We have always been asked to establish a proper work-life balance, but that isn’t always easy when it moves as fast as it does. A person could easily fall into depression and anxiety when the stress in their lives overwhelms them.
Types of Mental Disorders
Even without the case study references on the types, mental disorders present in several ways, some more subtle than others.
Some of the more specific ones are:
- Mood disorders.
Anxiety 2is the most common mental illness that makes people feel anxious about objects that trigger their issues. It could be a conversation with some people, meeting strangers, exams, or a host of other triggers. It presents as hyperventilation when faced with a trigger, restlessness, fatigue, poor concentration and sleep, and other ways.
Mood Disorders are the feelings where one may go through a period of very high highs that are manic phases and extremely low lows – depressive phases. The medical findings at the hospital will differ from one person to another to diagnose bipolar disorder, Seasonal affective disorder 3(SAD), or major depression.
There is usually no bodily test to tell a person’s health status, but there are symptoms one can look into and address before they escalate.
- Having a hopeless outlook on everything.
- Not taking part in things that made someone happy and engaged.
- Eating too little or too much.
- Sleeping too much.
- Lacking the motivation to do essential things such as bathing.
- Suicidal thoughts.
Medical professionals diagnose these issues using the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. The doctor may start with a physical examination to rule out any bodily concerns before ordering bloodwork and imaging tests that could be followed by a psych evaluation. One could be asked some pointed questions to gauge their behavioral responses to situations that could lead the medic to the right diagnosis of their mental health problems.
Treatment is not a one-size-fits-all situation, as this condition differs from person to person. It helps to speak with a doctor to get the best scientific method to handle your concerns.
A holistic approach that includes lots of movement to stay active is ideal for some, and even the simplest activities, such as walks, could work like a charm. You want to avoid destructive coping mechanisms such as alcohol and drugs, as they only worsen the situation. If you can, you may want to look for someone who understands what they are going through and can talk to you, even if they are just friends with no medical school qualifications.
Myths vs. Facts About Mental Health
There exist certain myths about mental health which have been explained by specialists. Here they are:
Myth: Once diagnosed, you can never live a normal, healthy life, and you may need meds to regulate your mood forever.
Fact: Knowing about the mental disorder that plagues you is only the first step towards coping, and awareness can only improve things.
Myth: Depression is only about moods and an excuse to sleep all day long.
Fact: The depressive phase can make one sleepy and unmotivated to do the most basic things, so they are not lazy. It is also not about moods, as one cannot control how one feels.
Myth: Medications given at the hospital are harmful.
Fact: Some people will need antidepressants to regulate their moods and deal with depressive thoughts, so you want to keep taking them as instructed.
Myth: People with mental disorders are weak and less intelligent than those without them.
Fact: No one is weak for being mentally ill. Also, most people with disorders like bipolar have higher-than-average IQs.
How to Maintain Your Mental Health
You can start by establishing a self-care routine that will give you the opportunity to improve mental awareness. It could be a spa treatment, meditation, writing a journal or a case study, working out at the gym or taking long walks, or getting away for mini-vacations when you are overwhelmed. You may also want to find a support system that allows you to unwind and talk it out without judgment.
We hope this article and study shed some light on a topic that is now more common than ever, according to statistical data. You want to seek help as soon as you feel or think you have issues so you don’t have to deal with them alone. You may also want to study more for information on the topic to raise self-awareness so you can treat yourself and those near you well.
- Kring, Ann M., and Sheri L. Johnson. Abnormal psychology: The science and treatment of psychological disorders. John Wiley & Sons, 2022. ↩︎
- Simpson, Carra A., et al. “The gut microbiota in anxiety and depression–A systematic review.” Clinical psychology review 83 (2021): 101943. ↩︎
- Pjrek, Edda, et al. “The efficacy of light therapy in the treatment of seasonal affective disorder: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.” Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics 89.1 (2020): 17-24. ↩︎
- McCutcheon, Robert A., Tiago Reis Marques, and Oliver D. Howes. “Schizophrenia—an overview.” JAMA psychiatry 77.2 (2020): 201-210. ↩︎
- Rawte, Vipula, Amit Sheth, and Amitava Das. “A survey of hallucination in large foundation models.” arXiv preprint arXiv:2309.05922 (2023). ↩︎