Having good mental health is a major component of overall wellness. It determines how you handle stress, how you choose your decisions, and how you relate to others. It also contributes to your physical health, since exercise and a healthy diet help reduce symptoms of depression. In addition, meditation, yoga, and breathing exercises can be very helpful.
However, a person’s mental health can also be negatively affected by adverse childhood experiences. These can include parental illness or separation, child abuse, and other stressful events. These situations can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder, which is characterized by a combination of distressing memories, negative emotional states, and difficulties concentrating.
In addition to negative emotions, people with traumatic stress disorders may experience persistent negative emotional states, such as flashbacks, and diminished interest in or ability to engage in significant activities. This type of mental illness can be diagnosed and treated with medication and psychotherapy.
Some of the common types of mental illnesses are anxiety, mood, and psychotic disorders. Generally, people with these disorders have unusually strong reactions to a specific situation. They may feel depressed, agitated, angry, or sad. In extreme cases, these individuals may have thoughts of suicide. Whether these feelings are related to a traumatic event or simply a prolonged state of depression, most of these conditions can be successfully treated.
Other types of mental illnesses are associated with genetics. Some people have a predisposition to certain disorders, such as generalized anxiety, social phobia, or obsessive-compulsive disorder. NIMH suggests that genetic family history may be a factor in the risk of mental disorders. It is important to learn about the signs and symptoms of these diseases. In addition, there are medications that can help, such as antidepressants and anti-anxiety drugs.
The DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) is a commonly used tool in diagnosing and treating mental health disorders. This manual includes a list of conditions and symptoms to be considered in evaluating a person for a mental disorder. Depending on the nature of the disorder, it can be categorized into one of three categories: severe, moderate, or mild.
Regardless of the type of condition, the goal of treatment is to provide relief from the symptoms and help the individual to regain full function. For serious conditions, this usually means participating in an individual treatment plan. In addition to psychotherapy, these treatments can include group therapy, peer support groups, and other community services.
These programs can offer the opportunity for people with a mental illness to take part in semi-independent living and training in entry-level work skills. For those with a more serious condition, they can also receive wraparound services, such as 24/7 access to mental health services. They can also participate in a sheltered or competitive employment setting with a job coach.
Despite the challenges of overcoming a serious mental illness, most people are able to live healthy, happy, and fulfilling lives. In fact, the majority of those with a serious mental illness are able to find a measure of independence and achievement without the need for medications or other intervention. It can take some time to recover, but the right mix of support can help.