World Health Organisation recognises World Mental Health Day on 10 October every year. The day provides an opportunity “for all stakeholders working on mental health issues to talk about their work, and what more needs to be done to make mental health care a reality for people worldwide”. This year’s theme set by the World Federation for Mental Health is young people and mental health in a changing world.
Being mentally healthy doesnt mean that you dont have a mental health problem. If youre in good mental health, you can make the most of your potential, coupe with life, play a full part in your family, workplace, community and among friends. Some people call mental health emotional health or well-being and its just as important as good physical health. Mental health is everyones business. We all have times when we feel down or stressed or frightened. Most of the time those feelings pass. But sometimes they develop into a more serious problem and that could happen to any one of us.
Everyone is different. You may bounce back from a setback while someone else may feel weighed down by it for a long time. Your mental health doesnt always stay the same. It can change as circumstances change and as you move through different stages of your life.
Theres a stigma attached to mental health problems. This means that people feel uncomfortable about them and dont talk about them much. Many people dont even feel comfortable talking about their feelings. But its healthy to know and say how youre feeling.
Mental health problems range from the worries we all experience as part of everyday life to serious long-term conditions. The majority of people who experience mental health problems can get over them or learn to live with them, especially if they get help early on.
Mental health problems are usually defined and classified to enable professionals to refer people for appropriate care and treatment. But some diagnoses are controversial and there is much concern in the mental health field that people are too often treated according to or described by their label. This can have a profound effect on their quality of life. Nevertheless, diagnoses remain the most usual way of dividing and classifying symptoms into groups.
Most mental health symptoms have traditionally been divided into groups called either neurotic or psychotic symptoms. Neurotic covers those symptoms which can be regarded as severe forms of normal emotional experiences such as depression, anxiety or panic. Conditions formerly referred to as neuroses are now more frequently called common mental health problems.
Less common are psychotic symptoms, which interfere with a persons perception of reality, and may include hallucinations such as seeing, hearing, smelling or feeling things that no one else can. Mental health problems affect the way you think, feel and behave. They are problems that can be diagnosed by a doctor, not personal weaknesses.
Mental health problems are very common .According to research people in the past week experienced a common mental health problem. Anxiety and Depression are the most common problems, with around 1 in 10 people affected at any one time.
How do Mental Health Problems affect people
Anxiety and Depression can be severe and long-lasting and have a big impact on peoples ability to get on with life.
Between one and two in every 100 people experience a severe mental illness, such as bi-polar disorder or schizophrenia, and have periods when they lose touch with reality. People affected may hear voices, see things no one else sees, hold unusual or irrational beliefs, feel unrealistically powerful, or read particular meanings into everyday events.
Although certain symptoms are common in specific mental health problems, no two people behave in exactly the same way when they are unwell.
Many people who live with a mental health problem or are developing one try to keep their feelings hidden because they are afraid of other peoples reactions. And many people feel troubled without having a diagnosed, or diagnosable, mental health problem – although that doesnt mean they arent struggling to cope with daily life.
Good mental health is not simply the absence of diagnosable mental health problems, although good mental health is likely to help protect against development of many such problems.
Good mental health is characterised by a persons ability to fulfil a number of key functions and activities, including the ability to learn, the ability to feel, express and manage a range of positive and negative emotions, the ability to form and maintain good relationships with others, the ability to cope with and manage change and uncertainty.
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