Your Mental Health Ensures Your Success in Life; Importance of Mental Health
The term “Mental health” refers to the mental, emotional, behavioral and cognitive wellbeing of an individual. Our bodies are controlled by our brain. The thought process, behavior, responses, emotions, and decisions are all under the control of our central nervous system. Our mental health affects our daily life, relationships and even physical health. It also affects our perspective towards life, the ability to enjoy life and achieve psychological resilience.
Every one out of five Americans suffer from mental illness that goes untreated.
Definition of Mental Health
“Social, emotional and behavioral normality or maturity or a state of psychological well-being on which a person achieves a satisfactory integration of one’s instinctual drives acceptable to both himself and the society; or a perfect balance of work, love and leisure pursuits”
Source ~ the standard Medilexicon’s Medical Dictionary
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), mental health is a state of mental peace in which an individual realizes his or her abilities and is able to deal with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and is a valuable citizen of his or her community.
Mental health is not merely the absence of a mental disorder.
Common Mental Disorders
Here, I have enlisted some of the common mental illnesses in the general population nowadays. These include mood swing problems, anxiety disorders, depression, schizophrenia, personality disorders, and bipolar disorders.
1. Mood disorders
This category of mental disorders is known as depressive disorders or affective disorders. Significant and sudden changing of mood is observed involving either depression or elevation. Common examples of mood disorders include;
- Major depression
Patients experience prolonged periods of sadness and depression. They no longer enjoy or take interest in activities that they enjoyed in the past. They have a pessimistic approach towards life and think negative in even a positive situation or their achievements. These individuals have a sense of social insecurity and maybe over-confident or under-confident in some cases.
- Bipolar disorders
It is a very serious condition in which the patient never lives in a peaceful or normal mental state. The mood of individual switches between episodes of euphoria(mania) and depression (despair or sadness). It is known as manic-depressive illness or manic depression syndrome.
- Seasonal affective disorders
A common type of depression that is triggered by lack of sunlight and is particularly common in countries far from the equator during early spring, winter or late autumn linked to darkness and dullness of the environment.
- Persistent depressive disorder (Dysthymia)
It is a mild but chronic (long-term) depressive syndrome. The symptoms are similar to the major depression but in the mild form. The patient continues to live a normal life but struggles with daily life activities and the ability of decision making.
It is a mental disorder characterized by abnormal or psycho behavior, strange speech, and inability to accept reality and live in the present. The patients live in an imaginary mental state far from reality. The symptoms include feelings of false beliefs, fogged brain, impaired mental status, lack of decision-making ability, reduced social activity and interaction, social fear, lack of motivation and fear.
The most critical symptom of schizophrenia is that the patients live in a false mental state and experience and see things or hear voices that do not exist in reality. They live in a world of their own thoughts far from reality.
With the famous cities of Chelsea, Manhattan and New York, hundreds of cases of schizophrenia have been reported in the last few years. Mental disorders are becoming more and more common nowadays.
One of the patients of schizophrenia, after treatment, has reported the cause of his illness in the following words
“Lack of moral and psychological support and positive appreciation from the members of family and colleagues near me forced me to live in a fabricated mental state based on my thoughts”
Anxiety disorders are a group of mental disorders characterized by feelings of illness or distress that restrain a person from performing normal life activities. For such individuals, feelings of fear of worry are constant that can be disabling and can isolate them from society due to their own insecurities.
Mental health is as real as physical health, bruises or bullet wounds.
Types of anxiety disorders
Anxiety is a very broad term and includes several mental disorders including;
- Panic disorders
A panic attack is characterized by sudden intense feelings of fear caused by the activation of the sympathetic nervous system. Symptoms include sweating, chest pain, indecisiveness, and palpitations.
- Specified phobias
It is a unique disorder characterized by intense feelings of fear against situations or objects that are completely normal and harmless in most of the cases. Some common phobias include height phobia, water phobia, etc.
- Generalized anxiety disorder
Such patients are always worried and depressed without any known cause or actual problem. They create problems in their mind by overthinking or negativity.
Post-traumatic stress disorder
This is a real depressive syndrome that occurs after somebody has gone a serious traumatic event in their life, any frightening or horrible experience that leaves its impact on the mind and patients live in a state of mental distress and they are unable to forget that incidence and live a normal life.
Early signs of mental illness
It is not easy to diagnose mental illness in a patient. It is difficult for the family to decide whether the patient needs medical assistance or it’s just normal behavior. The following symptoms are some of the clues that hint towards the mental illness.
- Irregular sleeping patterns with periods of no sleep and then sleeping for days
- Abnormal eating habits characterized by periods of fasting and then overeating fattening foods
- Feeling depressed
- Lack of energy
- Drug addiction
- Alcohol overdose
- Emotional mood swings
- Confused mental status
- Suicidal thoughts
- Negative behavior
- Aggressive behavior towards family and colleagues
- Attempting self-harm
- Attempt to harm others
- Hearing abnormal voices
Treatment Options for Mental Disorders
In almost 50% of the cases, patients of mental disorders do not receive prompt and accurate treatment owing to the negligence of both family and physicians. The family should immediately consult a nearby neurologist and seek medical assistance. Patients of mental disorders sometimes only need counseling and psychotherapy.