Is Mental Health Illness Or Well Being? – Mental Health

What does your mind conjure up when you see the words ‘mental health’? Yes, the phrase does reek with all sorts of connotations doesn’t it!When you think of the phrase Mental Health….. is it about
People who are strange or not normal.
Mental illness is a stigma or label to be avoided or kept quiet about
Referring to issues of incapacity of the mind and behaviour
A term that is a label to describe insanity, madness, weird people
Pathologies like depression, schizophrenia.
Or even the Mental Health department in your State’s Health Department? The World Health Organization defines mental health as “a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.”Not the first thing that comes into many people’s minds with that phrase is it?Part of the problem is the actual term ‘mental health’ – it conjures up images of illness, yet the word health is the opposite of illness – if we have health, we have wellness, not illness.Formally, it is a term used to describe either a level of cognitive or emotional well-being or an absence of a mental disorder. From perspectives of the discipline of positive psychology or holism mental health may include an individual’s ability to enjoy life and procure a balance between life activities and efforts to achieve psychological resilience.The problem lies in the term itself – it is not accurately descriptive of what it means
So perhaps mental wellbeing or wellness is more to the point when encouraging or doing something positive about your own inner health.Mental good health can also be defined as an absence of a major mental condition (for example, one of the diagnoses in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, IV) though recent evidence stemming from positive psychology suggests mental health is more than the mere absence of a mental disorder or illness. Therefore the impact of social, cultural, physical and education can all affect someone’s mental health.We live in a society that takes great care of physical health or well being/wellness – look at the tremendous technological, pharmaceutical and research advances occurring every day.Consider all the resources for physical health we have put before us constantly – weight loss programs and diets, gyms and exercise programs, fitness activities, sports, obesity concerns, nutritional supplements and so on.Yet where is the equivalent education and push for mental well being? We readily take steps to ensure we avoid infections, injury and organic conditions (e.g. heart) – yet what do we do to avoid negative effects on our mental wellness?So do you think of your own inner health as it were? And take care of it?This is critically important when you consider that depression and anxiety affect so many, let alone more serious mental illness diagnoses.In families, do we put as much conscious focus on mental well being as we do on physical health. Many know lots about good physical well being activities, but are we as informed about good mental health equivalents as we raise and teach our kids.And, what State doesn’t have under-funded mental health department?We have lost the concept of an holistic approach to our bodies, lives and society. We too readily compartmentalize – and put mental health into the too hard basket or simply neglect it.We have ‘abnormalized’ mental health, instead of seeing it as important to our well being and a normal part of life – even if someone suffers from a mental illness.People who suffer adverse mental well being conditions are still ‘normal’ people – just as an injured person is ‘normal, or just as a deaf person is normal.

The Power of Mental Health – Mental Health

Mental health is something all of us want for ourselves, whether we know it by name or not. There are no easy answers here – mental fitness is the awkward stepchild you sent away to the state hospital in the country and visited once a year.In fact good mental health is an integral part of good overall health for people with HIV. Primary Care Mental Condition is a new, peer-reviewed journal on research, education, development and delivery of mental health in primary care. But mental health is far more than merely the absence of mental illness.Depressions are the greatest ProblemPeople are four times more likely to break off a romantic relationship if their partner is diagnosed with severe depression than if they develop a physical disability. Overall, the two strongest predictors for thinking about suicide were depression and substance abuse.Through compelling personal stories told through television, video, the Internet, and print media, the campaign encourages men to recognize depression and its impact on their work, home, and community life. However it will also enable Cam-mind to launch a project designed to help employers tackle stress, anxiety and depression in the workplace. But what’s the difference between “normal” feelings of sadness and the feelings caused by depression.Topics covered vary widely, from healthy self esteem in adolescence and signs of depression to resources for diagnosing mental health problems in children.Problems about Mental ConditionThose with schizophrenia are particularly likely to face problems: 20% of women said they would break up with a partner who was diagnosed with the condition. The research team have also found that stress at work is associated with a 50 per cent excess risk of coronary heart disease, and there is consistent evidence that jobs with high demands, low control, and effort-reward imbalance are risk factors for mental and physical health problems (major depression, anxiety disorders, and substance use disorders).The Mental Condition and Poverty Project called on the SAHRC to consider setting up a commission that will primarily focus on the needs of people with mental health problems. Even the best-trained psychiatrists do not necessarily have an internship in the problems of normal living. “What many people don’t realise is that we all have mental health – just as we have physical health – and that mental health problems can affect anyone, whatever their age or background.Psychological therapies are based on talking and working with people to understand the causes and triggers of mental health problems and on developing practical strategies to deal with them.Searching for InformationThe first step is to reduce the stigma surrounding mental illnesses, using targeted public education activities that are designed to provide the public with factual information about mental illnesses and to suggest strategies for enhancing mental fitness, much like anti-smoking campaigns promote physical health.It therefore makes good sense for people with HIV to have information about the ways in which HIV can affect their mental health and about common mental fitness issues such as depression, anxiety and emotional distress. This comprehensive information resource for child mental Condition and parenting information includes articles, resources, a glossary, an Ask the Expert section, a disorder guide, publications, and FAQs.Offers useful information explaining educational evaluations, and also lists interventions that may be used to address various mental fitness conditions, including anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, depression, bipolar disorder, ADHD, autism spectrum disorders, and more.Mental Condition is more important than physical health. Mental fitness is more than the absence of mental disorders Mental health can be conceptualized as a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.In this positive sense, mental health is the foundation for well-being and effective functioning for an individual and for a community.

Reclaiming Good Mental Health – Mental Health

What is good mental health? We are all more or less mentally healthy, and this usually varies through our lives especially as we deal with difficult life events, change and so on. Whether we call this psychological wellbeing, happiness, contentment, positive mindset, all these terms relate to good mental health.With our physical health, it’s part of our everyday discourse to be aspirational. We want to feel physically fit, energetic, strong, balanced in our weight, eating a healthy diet, supple, resilient and not prone to minor ailments. Sure we complain about our problems, and talk about how we can’t do all the things we know we ought to do. We know it’s not easy to stay physically healthy without working at it, especially if we’ve experienced health problems. We know that even if we reach the peak of physical fitness, we can’t maintain this for the rest of our lives without paying attention to it.Research tells us that good mental health is even more beneficial than good physical health. A positive mental outlook increases the rate and speed of recovery from serious, even life threatening, illness. Psychological resilience and wellbeing gives people the strength to turn problems into challenges into triumphs.Yet whenever I ask a group of people to tell me what words come into mind in relation to ‘mental health’, their responses are about mental ill-health! It’s as if the term has been hi-jacked to become totally problem-focused.In the meantime, we’re experiencing an epidemic of mental ill-health. About 1 in 4 people are experiencing some form of common mental health problem such as depression, anxiety and various stress related symptoms. GP surgeries are overwhelmed with such problems, mental health services are only able to provide support for the 1% of the population with much more severe mental health difficulties, and there’s a plethora of largely unregulated services, treatments and remedies out on the private market. A recent research study showed that the majority of long term sickness absence from work resulted from stress related conditions.The trouble with focusing on the problems and the pain, is that that’s what we become experts in. We’re looking for cures and treatments to fix the problem, instead of focusing on what makes for good mental health. We know that physical health is multi-dimensional – no-one imagines that pumping iron to build your muscles is a recipe for overall physical health, although it will certainly make you stronger for certain activities.So what are the essentials of good mental health?Connection is certainly one of the best known. Having positive close relationships is good for our mental health, as is having a wider network of friends, colleagues and acquaintances which will vary over time. Giving to others is another really important aspect of connection, improving our sense of self worth and wellbeing.Challenge is about learning and development, it’s how we grow. For children, everyday brings new challenges, yet as adults we often become increasingly fearful of change, unwilling to learn new skills or put ourselves in unfamiliar situations. So expanding our comfort zone, sometimes in small ways if we’re feeling particularly vulnerable, will help develop our self-confidence and sense of personal achievement.Composure means a sense of balance, and ability to distance ourselves from our thoughts and emotions. It means our ability to respond rather than react. This could be described as our sense of spiritual connection, which may come through a particular belief or faith, or may be found through connection with nature. A mentally healthy person will feel an inner strength of spirit, and find ways to support that.Character relates to the way in which we interpret our experiences and our responses to them. We all have our own personal story, or stories, which we may or may not tell others. We may cast ourselves as the hero, the victim or the villain, and however we do this will impact generally on our mental health. Someone who has experienced severe life trauma may have great difficulty piecing together their story at all, leaving them feeling literally fragmented. Good mental health means having a strong sense of personal values, awareness of our own strengths, skills and resources, and personal stories of learning from mistakes, survival, success and appreciation.Creativity represents the fun, childlike aspects of our mental health. As children we are naturally creative and we play. As we grow into adulthood, our creativity and playfulness is often discouraged or devalued, and this can cause great frustration, literally diminishing the capacity of our brain to function as well as it could. Exploring creative activities has often been found to have a powerful therapeutic effect, and good mental health certainly depends in part on opportunities to bring fun, playfulness and creativity into our lives.These 5 C’s of good mental health offer a framework within which we can think about our mental health in the same way as we might our physical health. It’s pretty damned hard to be a perfect specimen of physical health,but then who needs to be perfect? Just like our physical health, our mental health is a work in progress and always will be.In years gone by, many people with physical illnesses were treated cruelly because of ignorance and shame. I recall when cancer was spoken in hushed whispers as the Big C. Nowadays mental ill-health is the ‘elephant in the room’ which we need to be looking at long and hard, exposing to practical common sense and intelligent discussion.World Mental Health Day on October 10 has been a timely reminder that good mental health really is something we can aspire to for everyone. Let’s make it so!

Debunking Myths Surrounding Mental Health – Mental Health

In a given year, 1 in 5 adults struggle with a mental health disorder in the United States. This corresponds to 43.8 million people or 18.5 percent of the total population. Nevertheless, millions of people are stigmatized, discriminated, and isolated by their families, friends, and even employers because of the widespread myths surrounding mental health. This can make it difficult for a person dealing with a mental illness to recover. It is therefore, indispensable to dispel such myths and provide help to those grappling with a mental health disorder as early diagnosis and intervention can help a person recover completely and lead a normal life.Read on to find out if certain things believed about mental health are myths or not.

Myth – Mental illnesses are rare.

Fact – Mental health conditions are more common than one can imagine. With 1 in 5 people being affected by it, 1 in 25 of those affected get a diagnosis of a serious mental disorder that impairs life function in a given year. It can affect anyone irrespective of one’s gender, age, ethnicity, race, religion, and/or income levels.

Myth – A mental disorder is a consequence of poor parenting.

Fact – Mental illnesses are not a result of poor child-care practices. It is a common affliction that affects 1 in 5 teens and young adults. Mental health is affected by genetics, environment factors, trauma, and so much more.

Myth – People pretend to have a mental illness.

Fact – No one chooses to have a physical illness. Likewise, no one chooses to have illness like this. The causes behind this is extensively investigated and are genuine. Sometimes, the symptoms of a this might not be visible, however, that does not mean that someone’s condition is not real.

Myth – Mental health disorders are a result of personal weaknesses.

Fact – Just like any other major physical illness, mental health is also not a result of a person’s character or personal weaknesses. It is caused by genetics, environmental factors, and lifestyle choices. A stressful marriage, job conditions, or strained relationships can make some people more susceptible to this. Biochemical processes, faulty circuits and the structure of the brain may also contribute. Long-term consumption of alcohol or drugs also leads to the development of mental illnesses.

Myth – You are simply sad, not depressed.

Fact – Depression is not something a person can just get rid of. People often tell the depressed one to cheer up or shake it off. However, it is not just the blues that can be willed away. It is a serious mental health disorder which necessitates medication and therapy for proper management.

Myth – Medications will help, you do not need therapy.

Fact – People with mental illnesses have different treatment requirements. They cannot be treated with a one-size-fits-all approach. The treatment plan for mental disorders should be customized to suit a person’s requirements and medical history. People usually benefit from a combination of medications, therapy, and self-care. One must talk to a mental health counselor to know about their options.

Myth – Individuals with mental disorders cannot handle school or work.

Fact – It could be challenging to handle stressful situations for all people, not just for those living with a mental illness. However, people with mental illnesses do have jobs, go to schools, and lead an active life in their communities. And if under treatment, they are usually seen to be doing well.

Myth – People with mental disorders are dangerous and violent.

Fact – Research has shown that people diagnosed with a mental illness are subjected to violence and crime rather than being violent themselves. The onset of a mental illness is associated with a heightened risk of subjection to violent and non-violent crimes.

Myth – Only positive thoughts and prayer can heal a mental illness.

Fact – Prayer, positive thinking, and spirituality can be used as effective tools for recovery, however, these are not the only tools. Lifetime recovery can be ensured by integrating these tools with proper medication, therapy, and self-care. For this, one must talk to a licensed mental health therapist or seek treatment in a residential mental health treatment center, if the condition is severe.

Myth – People with mental illnesses should be kept in institutions.

Fact – People with severe mental illnesses or psychosis need to be institutionalized. The rest can stay in an inpatient mental health treatment center for the period of time of their treatment. With advancement in medical science, it is now possible for people to live with their families, secure a job, have a social life, and live a life well, while still being in treatment. A certified mental health therapist can diagnose the severity of the condition and help one ascertain their options.Seeking help for mental disordersMental illnesses are real and if left untreated, they can affect each and every area of one’s life. They can affect school or work performance, relationships, and can also cause suicidal ideation. Overall, these problems worsen the quality of life. Therefore, it is important to receive a diagnosis and early treatment.