“Mental health is a state of well-being in which an individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.”
Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.
preserving and restoring mental health is crucial on an individual basis, as well as throughout different communities and societies the world over.
Mental health can affect daily living, relationships, and physical health.
Factors in people’s lives, interpersonal connections, and physical factors can all contribute to mental health disruptions.
Looking after mental health can preserve a person’s ability to enjoy life. Doing this involves reaching a balance between life activities, responsibilities, and efforts to achieve psychological resilience. It also helps you realize your full potential, cope with the stresses of life, works productively and makes meaningful contributions to society
What causes mental illness?
There is no single cause for mental illness. A number of factors can contribute to risk for mental illness, such as
- Early adverse life experiences, such as trauma or a history of abuse
- Experiences related to other ongoing (chronic) medical conditions, such as cancer or diabetes
- Biological factors or chemical imbalances in the brain
- Use of alcohol or drugs
- Having feelings of loneliness.
- Conditions such as stress, depression, and anxiety can all affect mental health and disrupt a person’s routine.
Risk factors for mental health conditions
Social and financial circumstances, biological factors, and lifestyle choices can all shape a person’s mental health.
A large proportion of people with a mental health disorder have more than one condition at a time.
It is important to note that good mental health depends on a delicate balance of factors and that several elements of life and the world at large can work together to contribute to disorders.
The following factors may contribute to mental health disruptions.
Continuous social and economic pressure
Having limited financial means or belonging to a marginalized or persecuted ethnic group can increase the risk of mental health disorders.
Modifiable factors for mental health disorders include:
- socioeconomic conditions, such whether work is available in the local area
- a person’s level of social involvement
- housing quality
Nonmodifiable factors include:
The study lists gender as both a modifiable and nonmodifiable factor. The researchers found that being female increased the risk of low mental health status by 3.96 times.
People with a “weak economic status” also scored highest for mental health conditions in this study.
The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH )suggest that genetic family history can increase the likelihood of mental health conditions, as certain genes and gene variants put a person at higher risk.
However, many other factors contribute to the development of these disorders.
Having a gene with links to a mental health disorder, such as depression or schizophrenia, does not guarantee that a condition will develop. Likewise, people without related genes or a family history of mental illness can still have mental health issues.
Mental health conditions such as stress, depression, and anxiety may develop due to underlying, life-changing physical health problems, such as cancer, diabetes, and chronic pain.
Common mental health disorders
The most common types of mental illness are as follows:
- anxiety disorders
- mood disorders
- schizophrenia disorders
Can your mental health change over time?
Yes, it’s important to remember that a person’s mental health can change over time, depending on many factors. When the demands placed on a person exceed their resources and coping abilities, their mental health could be impacted. For example, if someone is working long hours, caring for a relative, or experiencing economic hardship, they may experience poor mental health.
There are various methods for managing mental health problems. Treatment is highly individual, and what works for one person may not work for another.
Some strategies or treatments are more successful in combination with others. A person living with a chronic mental disorder may choose different options at various stages in their life.
The individual needs to work closely with a doctor who can help them identify their needs and provide them with suitable treatment.
Treatments can include:
Psychotherapy, or talking therapies
This type of treatment takes a psychological approach to treating mental illness. Cognitive-behavioural therapy, exposure therapy, and dialectical behaviour therapy are examples.
Psychiatrists, psychologists, psychotherapists, and some primary care physicians carry out this type of treatment.
It can help people understand the root of their mental illness and start to work on more healthful thought patterns that support everyday living and reduce the risk of isolation and self-harm.
Some people take prescribed medications, such as antidepressants, antipsychotics, and anxiolytic drugs.
Although these cannot cure mental disorders, some medications can improve symptoms and help a person resume social interaction and a normal routine while they work on their mental health.
Some of these medications work by boosting the body’s absorption of feel-good chemicals, such as serotonin, from the brain. Other drugs either boost the overall levels of these chemicals or prevent their degradation or destruction.
A person coping with mental health difficulties will usually need to make changes to their lifestyle to facilitate wellness.
Such changes might include reducing alcohol intake, sleeping more, and eating a balanced, nutritious diet. People may need to take time away from work or resolve issues with personal relationships that may be causing damage to their mental health.
People with conditions such as anxiety or depressive disorder may benefit from relaxation techniques, which include deep breathing, meditation, and mindfulness.
Having a support network, whether via self-help groups or close friends and family, can also be essential to recovery from mental illness.