What is Mental Health?
Mental health is the overall wellness of an individual’s thinking, behaviour, and emotional regulation. The disturbances in certain areas of mental functioning are defined as mental health disorders. Mental ill-health can impact people’s ability to complete various activities by disrupting their thinking, feeling, and behaviour patterns.
A mental disorder can have a significant impact on the following areas of a person’s life:
Social and cultural norms play a role in the perception of mental health. By working together, we can end stigma and discrimination and defend the human right of every individual with mental ill-health.
What is a Mental State?
The term mental state denotes a person’s general state of mind. Mental states can include various areas of human functioning, such as perception, memory, beliefs, desires, intentions, emotions, and experience of pain. The impairment of one or more of these areas indicates that the person may be struggling with their mental health.
A person’s mental state can be conscious or unconscious.
When individuals are aware of their state and have subjective feelings, we refer to a conscious mental state. On the other hand, unconscious mental states lack the notion of introspection. The individual can go through an unconscious mental state (such as repressed desires) without awareness.
What Does Well Being Mean?
Well-being does not have one set term. It can be defined as a state of both physical and mental content. It can also be defined as a sense of satisfaction, fulfilment, and a positive attitude toward personal and professional experiences. Overall, well-being refers to how well someone feels and is functioning.
Various social and biological factors can impact a person’s wellness, including physical health, interpersonal relationships, personal beliefs and values, and work-life balance.
Unlike traditional interventions regarding mental health challenges, the modern approach to mental health care focuses on well-being rather than merely fixing symptoms. Comprehensive mental health support tackles internal factors (such as self-esteem, resilience, and optimism) and external conditions (e.g. housing, income, and social integration) that can impact wellness.
What Affects Mental Health?
Anyone can develop a mental health disorder, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, or income. In most developed countries, mental disorders are one of the leading causes of disability. Many people struggling with mental ill-health can have more than one illness at a time.
Apart from the person’s genetics and physical wellness, several external factors can affect mental health and contribute to the development of certain disorders. Common risk factors that shape one’s mental health include:
Common Mental Health Disorders
Almost everyone experiences mental health concerns in particularly stressful moments. However, when symptoms of mental distress persist over a prolonged time and affect the individual’s ability to function, they may indicate mental ill-health.
Mental illness affects one’s thinking, mood, and behaviour. Below are listed the most common mental health conditions among young people and adults.
Anxiety refers to persistent distress, fear, and insecurity, varying from mild to severe. Anxiety symptoms may include:
In its severe form, anxiety can disrupt one’s integration in various areas of life. Anxiety is often related to other mental health illnesses, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Bipolar disorder causes drastic shifts in the person’s mood, energy levels, and motivation to participate in daily activities. Bipolar disorder can cause people to experience manic or hypomanic episodes (periods of high mood) and depressive episodes (periods of low mood).
Depression is a prolonged low mood that affects a person’s emotions, thought processes, and behaviour. A person with depression may seemingly excel in some spheres of life, but this illness makes many activities seem harder and less worthwhile to them.
Severe forms of depression may lead to suicidal thoughts. There are different types of depression, including dysthymia, seasonal affective disorder (SAD), and prenatal or postnatal depression.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is triggered by experiencing or witnessing a violent, dangerous, or shocking event. In some individuals, PTSD symptoms appear shortly after the traumatic event, while others may start showing signs more than a year after it. Common symptoms of PTSD include:
Eating disorders include various mental illnesses characterised by a person’s harmful eating behaviours like undereating, overeating, and purging. These illnesses are most common in young people affected by social and environmental factors. Common eating disorders include anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder.
Disruptive Behaviour and Dissocial Disorders
Disruptive behaviour and dissocial disorders include several types of behavioural disorders in children and adolescents that cause hostile behaviours directed at any authority figure. The most common illnesses in this category are conduct disorder and oppositional defiant disorder (ODD).
Schizophrenia is a serious and disabling mental illness that causes a distorted perception of reality. This illness may lead to delusions, hallucinations, and severely disordered thinking. People with schizophrenia need lifelong professional treatment to manage these symptoms and live independently.
Neurodevelopmental Disorders and Differences
Neurodevelopmental disorders (ND) and differences impact the brain’s function by altering neurological development. NDs may cause difficulties in emotional, social, and cognitive functioning.
Early Warning Signs of Mental Health Decline
It isn’t always easy to distinguish signs of mental ill-health. Early symptoms of mental health decline are sometimes ignored or mistaken for indications of a physical illness. The person’s changes in behaviour can often be brushed off as a common state of laziness, nervousness, or decreased motivation.
Each mental illness has a unique combination of symptoms. However, these warning signs indicate a person’s need for professional help:
What is Emotional Well-Being?
Emotional well-being, also known as emotional health or wellness, refers to the individual’s control over their emotions and experiences in all areas of life. It is acknowledging and embracing one’s feelings and capacity to handle life challenges.
Our emotional wellness significantly impacts our education, work, and relationships. Therefore, it shapes the individual’s physical and mental health state. Disruptions of emotional wellness may lead to mental health problems and physical illness, such as a weakened immune system and higher blood pressure.
What is Social Well-Being?
Social well-being is a state that allows the person to develop and maintain meaningful relationships with others. These relationships give the individual a sense of authenticity and belonging in their community.
When someone experiences disruptions to their social well-being, they risk becoming socially isolated. Unlike the choice to spend time alone and enjoy solitude, social isolation is a prolonged withdrawal from human interactions that leads to negative feelings.
When Should a Person Seek Mental Health Help?
The early signs of most mental illnesses can easily be mistaken for situational changes that will pass on their own. Without proper access to mental health information, individuals with different mental health problems may ignore their symptoms and hesitate to seek professional help.
It is important to note that you do not need to experience severe mental health struggles to reach out and find support from a trained expert. Any emotional or social wellness disturbance is a valid reason to seek professional advice. That being said, there are several indications of mental health problems that you should not ignore.
Change in Your Feelings
Most mental health disorders cause significant changes in the person’s feelings. Below are listed the common differences in emotional functioning that require professional mental health support:
Change in Your Thoughts
Mental health disorders also change the individual’s thinking, understanding, and perceiving reality. You should consider reaching out for professional advice and support if you struggle with the following cognitive changes:
Change in Your Behaviour
Finally, mental health disorders often cause drastic behavioural changes. Some of these signs may put the individual and those around them at risk. Therefore, the person may require medication and various treatments to improve their quality of life. Common behavioural indications of mental disorders include:
Mental Health Support and Care with Leaf Complex Care
At Leaf Complex Care, our mission is to create a world with better mental health awareness. Our expert team is passionate about the destigmatisation of mental ill-health and removing social barriers imposed on individuals. We deliver humanised, person-centred care to children and adults with mental health challenges in the comfort of their own homes.
We imprint kindness, compassion, and dedication to human rights on every individual we serve. Regardless of the diagnosis, our trained practitioners will do everything to preserve your privacy, dignity, and personal boundaries while you receive the professional support you need.
If you or a loved one needs to find support in a mental health crisis, Leaf Complex Care is the right place for you. We provide CQC-regulated home care in Bristol, Exeter, Slough, Somerset and the Midlands.
Contact us, and we will outline a personalised care plan for your needs.