People who have mental health concerns can struggle with a number of issues that impact their lives. These include a lack of emotional well-being, difficulty maintaining a healthy and stable relationship to self and others, social problems, work and school challenges and even physical health concerns. Psychological health professionals are available to help with these issues. They provide a wide range of services, including counseling, medication and education to those affected.
A psychological disorder is any problem that affects one’s emotions, thoughts or beliefs and interferes with daily functioning. It can be mild to severe and can cause a variety of symptoms, including anxiety and depression. These disorders can be so disruptive to life that they affect the ability to function, concentrate, learn and have meaningful relationships. They can also make it difficult to sleep, eat and have self-esteem. Depending on the type of disorder, it can lead to substance abuse, eating disorders or suicidal behavior.
When someone is in a state of good psychological health, they have the ability to cope with stress and negative experiences. They can handle their emotions and maintain a positive attitude. They can also develop a healthy and productive relationship to themselves and others, take care of their personal hygiene and enjoy satisfying, lasting relationships. People who are in good psychological health are flexible, able to change their plans and ideas as needed to deal with unexpected events.
While mental illness can be found in people of all ages, certain groups are more likely to experience psychological problems than others. Some of these groups include racial, ethnic and sexual minorities as well as individuals from low socioeconomic backgrounds. These populations are also disproportionately represented in juvenile justice systems and among those receiving treatment for behavioral problems. They may also receive less culturally competent care from mental health providers.
It has been suggested that some mental illnesses may be linked to an abnormal balance of special chemicals in the brain called neurotransmitters, which allow nerve cells to communicate with each other. These chemicals are required for normal brain functions. If there are too few or too many of them, messages can be blocked or misinterpreted, resulting in the development of a mental illness.
Poor psychological health can have a significant impact on a person’s overall quality of life, causing him or her to miss work or school and be unable to engage in healthy activities or relationships. Untreated, mental illnesses can also cause more expensive medical expenses and a higher risk of suicide.
A person who is not in good psychological health can be at risk of developing depression, bipolar disorder or an eating disorder. He or she can also experience anxiety, panic attacks, obsessive-compulsive disorder, schizophrenia or a variety of other conditions. In some cases, a combination of medication and therapy can improve an individual’s condition and restore his or her sense of wellbeing. In addition, individuals with mental health disorders can benefit from support from family and friends, community groups, schools and faith-based organizations.