Mental health is a state of well-being in which people realize their own abilities, can cope with normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and contribute to the community. It also includes a dynamic state of internal equilibrium that is flexible enough to allow for the full range of human emotions – happy, sad, angry, fearful and joyful – without becoming overwhelmed by them.
There are many different treatments for mental illness, and what works for each person varies. Talk therapy (like counseling or psychotherapy), medication, support groups and other community services can all play a role in treatment.
The goal is to find the right combination of treatments that will help you feel better and have a more positive outlook on life. This will include learning to recognize the warning signs of a mental health problem, like a sudden change in your mood, so you can get help before things worsen.
A mental illness is a disorder of the brain and can affect your thoughts, feelings and behaviors. It can cause severe symptoms that interfere with daily functioning and can be difficult to live with. Mental illnesses are common, but they can be treated and managed. Most people with a mental illness recover and can lead meaningful lives.
It’s important to know that mental illness is not your fault. It’s not something that you did or didn’t do, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. Most of the time, it’s because of a mix of factors, like your genes and how you learn to interact with the world around you, and stressors that can come from both the environment (like economic crises or disease outbreaks) and personal experiences, like trauma, childhood abuse or relationship problems.
Symptoms of mental illness can include anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia or other psychoses, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), eating disorders and substance use disorders. They can also be caused by medical conditions such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes.
While research is ongoing, it is clear that the causes of mental illness are complex and varied. It is also clear that there are risk and protective factors at both the local and global levels. These can include the availability of healthcare services, the quality and affordability of education, and environmental factors such as air pollution and climate change.
There is no single test for mental illness, so it’s important to see a doctor or therapist if you have any concerns. Your doctor will start by asking questions and doing some screenings, like a physical exam or blood tests. They will also ask you about your family history and your past experiences. This information can help them make a diagnosis and decide on the best treatment for you. Treatment options may include medications, talking therapies or self-care practices like exercise, a healthy diet and sleep. You may also need to build a support network and take part in social activities that you enjoy.