Mental health is the ability to deal with stress and other problems in an effective way. It encompasses the emotional, psychological, and social well-being of an individual, affecting cognition, perception, and behavior.
It is also a key factor in determining how an individual responds to interpersonal relationships, making decisions, and dealing with life’s daily stresses. Everyone is at risk for developing a mental illness, no matter what their age, gender or income. It is important to seek help for a mental health problem if it is causing you or someone you know harm, even if you don’t think there’s a reason for it.
Most people with a mental illness recover to lead happy and productive lives, although some may have more severe symptoms that require additional treatment or support. Some conditions can be treated through medication, while others require specialised treatment such as psychotherapy.
A person’s mental health can change quickly and a person may have periods when they are feeling better. If you feel like you’re not coping or are struggling with thoughts of suicide, it’s important to seek help as soon as possible. A mental health crisis may also indicate a more serious problem, such as substance abuse, violence or domestic or sexual abuse.
There are many different kinds of mental illnesses, and each is characterized by a specific set of symptoms. Diagnosis of a mental illness is made by a doctor and is based on a medical assessment, including questions about your thoughts, moods and behaviours. If you suspect you have a mental health problem, make an appointment to see your doctor today.
Untreated mental health disorders can have a devastating impact on an individual’s life, family, and society at large. They can cause disability, unemployment, homelessness, incarceration and suicidal ideation. They also contribute to other health conditions and increase the risk for other diseases.
Mental illness affects the brain, and the latest scientific advances are unlocking its physiology and biochemistry. This is helping doctors find new treatments for mental illnesses, and bringing mental health care more in line with traditional health care.
When you are feeling depressed or anxious, it’s essential to seek help and stay on a treatment plan. It’s also important to keep your primary care physician updated on your condition and symptoms so they can adjust your medications safely if needed.
It is also important to understand that a mental health condition doesn’t have to be a life-threatening illness. With early, consistent treatment, most people can manage their condition and overcome the challenges it brings.
Some people have symptoms that can be difficult to recognise, such as a lack of energy, changes in appetite or sleeping patterns, or changes in thoughts or feelings. These can be a sign of an existing mental health disorder or could be caused by other factors, such as stress, illness, drugs or alcohol.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, about 4 in 10 adults reported symptoms of anxiety or depression. This is consistent with the number of people who reported these symptoms in the months before the pandemic began, and is above what was expected for this population.