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Its mental health week and the internet is agog with different views on mental health and coping with it. I believe a lot of us has been faced with mental health issues at one point or the other in our lives. Your mental health is a sum total of your psychological and emotional well being
The status of your mental health/well being is not something to be ashamed of but rather should be talked about and shared as talking and sharing will go a long way to helping you cope.
Table Of Contents
What Is Mental Health?
Mental health is a sum total of your psychological and behavioral well being. It is a person's condition as regards their psychological and emotional well being. Simply put, mental health is an absence of mental illnesses.
Hiding Mental Health Status
I think striking a balance between your psychological and emotional well being could be difficult if one is being faced with a lot of personal issues but it is ideal you do. Your mental health and well being will ultimately determine the quality of life you live.
Years ago, while at the university, i used the services of a male stylist who was so gifted and talented, the way he ended shook the town where i lived.
There was no hairstyle this guy couldn't handle. The babes that were the creme de la creme of the town, lined up to have their hair done by him. He was always fully booked and you are lucky if you go without an appointment and you get attended to. He was that good.
Monday (that was his name), was a jovial, fast talking smallish guy. Aside from being a great hair stylist, he was also a good joker. He would make clients laugh non stop (well unless you are the type that is difficult to please lol). The time just goes and then viola, you are all done and looking all glam!
I felt the guy had everything going well for him, his life mapped out with him going high and mighty places with his talent and good relation skills or so i thought not until i went home from a school holiday and was told he committed suicide! He hung himself! On a ceiling fan!
It was crazy and so sad. His death was discussed along the breath and length of the town, and of course even those that didn't know him nor have any personal contacts with him whatsoever, had one or two, two cents juicy stories to tell!
The long and short of the whole sad incident was that Monday had some psychological and emotional problems that led to him taking his own life. Rather than seek help, he took an alternative route!
Don't go there. Please! Your life is worth more than any issues you are going through right now. It is a phase and it will pass. Trust me!
Early Signs of Mental Disorders
Sadly though, suicidal thoughts and suicide are one of the common problems of people suffering from one form or the other.
Early warning signs of mental disorders include the following, eating or sleeping too much or too little, thoughts of harming oneself and others, abuse of drugs and alcohol, hearing voices in your head, feeling numb and like as if nothing matters, severe mood swings, feelings of helplessness and hopelessness to mention but a few.
Importance Of Mental Health
The importance of mental health cannot be overemphasized. Seeing as it involves our emotional, psychological and social well being, it affects how we think, feel and act. The level of our mental health determines how we react to situations and the choices we make in life.
This is why it is important to strike a balance so as to maintain a positive mental health at all times.
The 10 Facts About Mental Health
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has extensively researched the issue of mental health and have come up with facts associated with it. These facts are built around the leading causes of mental illness as well as its effects.
- Fact 1: 20% of the world's children and adolescents have mental disorders or problems. Now that is a huge percent of the population to be worried about! Half of mental disorders begin before the age of 14 according to WHO stats.
- Fact 2: Mental and substance use disorders are the leading cause of disability worldwide.
- Fact 3: About 800,000 people commit suicide every year. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among persons between the ages of 15 and 29. Mental disorders play a huge role in this statistics.
- Fact 4: War and disaster have a large impact on mental health and psychosocial well being. This therefore mean that war torn countries have a higher rate of mental illnesses in relation to where there is peace.
- Fact 5: Mental disorders are important risk factors for other diseases as well as unintentional and intentional injury. What this means that mental disorders increase the risk of getting ill from other diseases such as HIV, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and vice versa.
- Fact 6: Stigma and discrimination against patients and families prevent people from seeking mental health care. Despite the existence of treatment for mental disorders, there's general misunderstanding that they are untreatable. This has led to general stigma on people with mental disorders. Stigmatization can lead to abuse, rejection and isolation thereby complicating issues, further.
- Fact 7: Human rights violations of people with mental and psychosocial disability are routinely reported in most countries. Very few countries have a legal framework that adequately protects the rights of people with mental disorders.
- Fact 8: Globally, there is a huge inequality in the distribution of skilled human resources for mental health. Shortages of psychiatrists, psychiatric nurses, psychologists and social workers are amongst the barriers to providing treatment in low and middle income countries
- Fact 9: There are 5 key barriers to increasing mental health services. These barriers include the absence of mental health from the public health agenda & implication for funding, the current organisation of mental health services, lack of integration within primary care, inadequate human resources for mental health and lack of public mental health leadership.
- Fact 10: Financial resources to increase services are relatively modest.
What To Do About Your Mental Health
Dealing and ensuring that you continually ensure a positive mental health status involves a combination of lifestyle changes. These could include but not limited to the following:
- Getting professional help if you need it. Often times, we want to bottle up a lot of things inside of us instead of speaking out and this ultimately leads to stress and affects our mental well being. When you think you are experiencing any form of mental health challenge, seek help!
- Connecting with others. For a while now, i prefer my own company but that in itself can be injurious to health. No one is an island, it is not the way of things. Constantly connect with people. Of course, on a positive level.
- Keeping it positive at all times. Look up, look ahead. Try as much as possible to take the positives out of every situation. This helps you to be balanced. I did a whole blog post on positive daily affirmations that you can read HERE to help you on this.
- Getting enough sleep. For someone like me that has insomnia, this is not a small feat but i do and practice a number of things to make me get enough sleep. Sleep is good for the mind and is essential to having positive mental health.
- Getting physically active. I have recently started exercising again and it is a good feeling. You always feel good after a very good workout session and its relevance to your mental health cannot be overemphasized.
- Helping others. I cannot advocate for this enough. What the world need is love and one way you can show love is by helping others. This is one of those things you do that gives you a perpetual feeling of goodness deep inside of you. You know what translates to. Positive mental health.
- Development of coping skills. One of the big culprit of mental disorder is stress and stress usually happens when we do not have coping skills to deal with things happening around us. Look for things that you can do, that will relieve you of stress. My blog post on Stress Management will give you great insight on how to manage stress and ultimately help you maintain a positive mental health status.
Disclaimer: I am not a mental health professional. Information contained herein and indeed on my website are all written from a purely personal angle. Read my privacy and disclaimer policies!
There you have it. Facts and what to do about mental health. How do you strike a balance that works for your mental health? Please share your tips on maintaining a positive mental health. I look forward to hearing from you!