Mental Health Basic Concepts

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Mental Health
Scientifically reviewed

The article Mental Health Basic Concepts has been scientifically fact-checked and all relevant references to the claims are through peer-reviewed journals, scholarly work, and research papers. All medical and scientific references have been mentioned in the references section. The article follows the editorial guidelines and policy of WYF. Recommendations made in Mental Health Basic Concepts are meant to be general guidelines. In case you have any medical conditions, consult your doctor.

Our mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. Our mental health affects how we think, feel, and act, how we deal with stress, and how we relate to others. The importance of mental health doesn’t stop in childhood and adolescence. If you have mental health problems in your life, your thinking, mood, and behavior may suffer. Mental health problems can be caused by a variety of factors, including biological factors like genes or brain chemistry, life experiences like trauma and abuse, and family history.

The five dimensions of mental health are subjective well-being, perceived self-efficacy, autonomy, competence, intergenerational dependence, and self-actualization. A positive psychologist or a holistic thinker may see mental health as the ability to enjoy life and find a balance between life activities and psychological survival. We need to take action on mental health because it has intrinsic and instrumental value, and it’s integral to our well-being. There are affordable, effective, and feasible ways to protect, promote and restore mental health. There is a complex interplay between individual, social, and structural stressors and vulnerabilities that determines mental health.

Importance of Mental Health

Globally, mental health is a major issue, and there are shocking statistics to prove it. COVID-19 has led to an increase in mental health problems. Google search trends reveal a steady increase in searches for mental health over the past five years.

As of 2022 (vs. 2016), Google searches for mental health have increased by almost 87%. World mental health day is dedicated to “making mental health and well-being a global priority for all”. A mental health crisis erupted around the world as a result of the pandemic, aggravated by lockdowns imposed in many countries. Anxiety and depression increased by 25% worldwide in the first year of the pandemic. Over 5 percent of adults suffer from depression, according to the WHO. 280 million people suffered from depression in 2019 alone, while 301 million suffered from anxiety. According to WHO, mental health conditions cause 1 in 6 people to have a disability and those with severe mental health conditions are 10 to 20 years younger on average. The absence of mental health is a major cause for concern, but it’s important to understand that mental health isn’t just about the absence of mental disorders.

Types of Mental Illness

Psychiatrists use the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders to identify and diagnose mental disorders. Some of the main groups are

  1. Disorders of the mood (such as depression or bipolar disorder)
  2. Disorders associated with anxiety:
  3. Disorders of the personality
  4. Schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders
  5. An eating disorder
  6. Disorders resulting from trauma (such as PTSD)
  7. Disorders associated with substance abuse

It can be difficult to diagnose mental illness. There have been many discussions in the medical community about what constitutes mental illness.

Signs of Poor Mental Health

A person with a mental illness can have a variety of symptoms depending on the disorder, the circumstances, and other factors. It can affect their emotions, thoughts, and behavior. It is common for someone suffering from a mental illness to exhibit the following

  • A hard time understanding and relating to people and situations
  • Alcohol or drug use issues that affect a person’s well-being
  • A change in eating habits
  • Hostility, aggression, or anger that’s out of control
  • Anxiety or suicidal thoughts
  • Insomnia, fatigue, or low energy
  • An uncontrollable sense of delusion (delusions), paranoia, or hallucinations
  • Concentration problems or confused thinking
  • Worrying excessively or feeling guilty excessively
  • Changes in mood from extremes to lows
  • Stress or problems that you cannot handle on a daily basis
  • A feeling of sadness or depression

Taking care of Mental Health

You might not believe that it’s easy to protect our mental health. You can do it every day, and if you do simple things that make you feel OK, you can deal with life better. Here are 6 ways recommended by the WHO.

Speaking about it – In order to feel better, you might want to openly share what you are going through with someone you trust, whether it is a friend, family member, or colleague. Talking with someone you trust can help. Even if your face-to-face interactions are limited in your area, you can still remain connected to your loved ones through video calls, phone calls or messaging apps.

Physical Health – It is important to maintain good physical health as it improves your mental health. Take part in physical activity for at least 30 minutes daily, whether that be running, walking, yoga, dancing, cycling, or even gardening. Eat a healthy and balanced diet. Make sure you get enough sleep.

Try to keep doing activities you enjoy – Keep doing the activities you enjoy, such as cooking for yourself or your family, playing with your pet, walking in the park, reading a book, or watching a movie. It is important to maintain a healthy mental state by following a regular routine of activities that make you happy.

Keep away from harmful substances – Don’t use drugs, kava, alcohol or tobacco to cope with your feelings. Even if they seem to make you feel better in the short term, these substances can make you feel worse in the long run. They can also cause you to get sick or injured.

Focus on what’s around you for a few mins – Get rid of constantly swirling thoughts by remembering where you are right here and now.

Professional Help – If you are unable to cope with the stress you are experiencing, you may seek professional help by contacting your local mental health helpline or consulting with your doctor or counsellor. It is important to remember that you are not alone, and that there are things you can do in order to support your emotional well-being. It’s okay if you can’t cope with the stress you’re facing. Call your local helpline or see your doctor if you need help. Don’t forget that you’re not alone, and there are things you can do to take care of yourself emotionally.

What is mental health?

A person’s mental health includes emotional, psychological, and social well-being. Our thoughts, feelings, and actions are affected by it. Our relationship with others, how we handle stress, and how we make healthy choices are all influenced by it. Every stage of life needs mental health, from childhood to adulthood.

What is WHO’s definition of mental health?

Mental health is a state of mental well-being that enables people to cope with the stresses of life, realize their abilities, learn well and work well, and contribute to their community. It is an integral component of health and well-being that underpins our individual and collective abilities to make decisions, build relationships and shape the world we live in. Mental health is a basic human right. And it is crucial to personal, community and socio-economic development.1

Why is mental health important?

A healthy mental state can help you handle life’s stresses, be physically healthy, have good relationships, make meaningful contributions to your community, work more productively, and achieve your full potential.

How to take care of your mental health?

The WHO has given 6 simple things to do to take care of your mental health. These include the following.
1. Start by talking to someone you can trust.
2. Maintain good physical health
3. Participate in activities you enjoy
4. Make sure harmful substances are kept away from you
5. Spend two minutes observing the world around you
6. Don’t hesitate to seek professional assistance

How does social media affect mental health?

It is important to remember that social media has a reinforcing nature. When you use it, the brain releases dopamine, a “feel-good” chemical associated with pleasurable activities like eating, drinking, and talking to others. The platforms are designed to be addictive and are associated with anxiety, depression, and even physical ailments. As a result, a large portion of the population is at an increased risk for anxiety, depression, and illness as a result of their use of social media.

Does mental health improve with exercise?

There’s no doubt that people who exercise regularly are happier. Their day is more energetic, they sleep better, their memories are sharper, and they feel better about themselves. And it’s also a powerful medicine for a lot of common mental health issues. Depression and anxiety can be drastically better with regular exercise. Research shows that modest amounts of exercise can really make a difference. You don’t have to be an exercise fanatic to get the benefits. It relieves stress, improves memory, helps you sleep better, and boosts your mood. Exercise is a great way to deal with mental health problems, feel better, feel more energetic, and live a more fulfilling life, no matter what your age or fitness level is.

How does Yoga help with mental health?

The effects of yoga on depression have been proven in studies. Researchers have found that yoga is comparable to other treatments, including medication and psychotherapy. Yoga reduces stress hormones in our bodies while simultaneously increasing beneficial brain chemicals such as endorphins and GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid). Anxiety and mood are improved by these feel-good chemicals. It is usually inexpensive and doesn’t result in the same side effects as many medications. Several studies, dating back to the 1970s, indicate that yoga can be a beneficial tool for people who are struggling with anxiety, depression, or stress.

How does sunlight affect mental health?

People with depression tend to have lower vitamin D levels-and vitamin D supplementation (whether from sunlight or food or supplements) can help reduce depression and improve symptoms. The role of vitamin D in regulating serotonin and calcium could have therapeutic effects on depression, according to research. A review from 2020 found that people with the lowest vitamin D levels were more likely to be depressed.

Does meditation help with mental health?

When you meditate, you can relax a lot and calm your mind. Meditation involves focusing your attention and getting rid of the jumble of thoughts that may be clogging your mind and stressing you out. It’s possible that meditation can boost your physical and mental well-being. You’ll feel calmer, more peaceful, and more balanced, which will help your health as well. Using meditation can help you stay calm and centered, cope with stress, and keep your inner peace by refocusing your attention.

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  1. who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/mental-health-strengthening-our-response