Mental health issues and how to prevent it

Mental health issues and how to prevent it

Shehnaj Parveen Sarma

Fear, worry, and stress are normal responses to perceived or real threats, and at times when we are faced with uncertainty or the unknown. So it is normal and understandable that people are experiencing fear in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mental health refers to cognitive, behavioral, and emotional well-being. It is all about how people think, feel, and behave. People sometimes use the term “mental health” to mean the absence of a mental disorder. It affects both physical health, relationships and daily life.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO)Trusted Source:

“Mental health is a state of well-being in which an individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.”

The WHO stress that mental health is “more than just the absence of mental disorders or disabilities.” Peak mental health is about not only avoiding active conditions but also looking after ongoing wellness and happiness.

They also emphasize that preserving and restoring mental health is crucial on an individual basis, as well as throughout different communities and societies the world over.

Types of mental health problems

  1. Anger : Explains what anger is, and how to deal with it in a constructive and healthy way.
  2. Anxiety and panic attacks.
  3. Bipolar disorder.
  4. Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) .
  5. Borderline personality disorder (BPD)
  6. Depression.
  7. Dissociation and dissociative disorders.
  8. Drugs – recreational drugs & alcohol and so on.

The Seven Dimensions include of mental health includes :

Physical, Intellectual, Environmental, Vocational, Social, Emotional and Spiritual health.

Certain factors may increase your risk of developing a mental illness, including: A history of mental illness in a blood relative, such as a parent or sibling. Stressful life situations, such as financial problems, a loved one’s death or a divorce. An ongoing (chronic) medical condition, such as diabetes.

What causes poor mental health :

For example, the following factors could potentially result in a period of poor mental health: childhood abuse, trauma, or neglect. social isolation or loneliness. experiencing discrimination and stigma.

Or very simply we can put this is when our mental health is not what we would want it to be. Finding it difficult to manage how we think, feel, act with respect to daily stresses could be a sign of poor mental health.

Factors which help to work effectively with mental health wellness are :

  1. Self-acceptance.
  2. Personal growth.
  3. Purpose in life.
  4. Environmental mastery.
  5. Autonomy.
  6. Positive relations with others.

Before coming into a conclusion whether a person is troubled with mental health illness or not a proper diagnosis is very important. Diagnosis may include

  1. A physical exam. Your doctor will try to rule out physical problems that could cause your symptoms.
  2. Lab tests. These may include, for example, a check of your thyroid function or a screening for alcohol and drugs.
  3. A psychological evaluation.

Mental health symptoms

Each type of mental illness causes its own symptoms. But many share some common characteristics.

Common signs of several mental illnesses may include:

  1. not eating enough or overeating
  2. having insomnia or sleeping too much
  3. distancing yourself from other people and favorite activities
  4. feeling fatigue even with enough sleep
  5. feeling numbness or lacking empathy
  6. experiencing unexplainable body pains or achiness
  7. feeling hopeless, helpless or lost
  8. smoking, drinking, or using illicit drugs more than ever before
  9. feeling confusion, forgetfulness, irritability, anger, anxiety, sadness, or fright
  10. constantly fighting or arguing with friends and family
  11. having extreme mood swings that cause relationship problems
  12. having constant flashbacks or thoughts that you can’t get out of your head
  13. hearing voices in your head that you can’t stop
  14. having thoughts of hurting yourself or other people
  15. being unable to carry out day-to-day activities and chores

How to maintain good mental health –

It could include spending quality time with close friends and family.

Working in a job or finding an activity that is meaningful, which can provide a sense of purpose.

Learning a new skill such as painting, singing, knitting, or a foreign language which can provide a sense of pride and achievement.

How can we prevent mental health problems

Value yourself: Treat yourself with kindness and respect, and avoid self-criticism. 

Take care of your body: Taking care of yourself physically can improve your mental health.

Surround yourself with good people.

Forgive yourself for the things not under your control.

Learn how to deal with stress.

Quiet your mind – meditate , exercise

Set realistic goals that could be achieved.

Break up the monotony learn and do new things.

To boost your mental health, focus on eating plenty of fruits and vegetables along with foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon. Dark green leafy vegetables in particular are brain protective. Nuts, seeds and legumes, such as beans and lentils, are also excellent brain foods.

Mental health is a vital concern for healthcare professionals. Most people know the signs and symptoms of physical illnesses, like a heart attack or stroke. But, they may not be able to pinpoint the physical effects of anxiety.

Prevention is better than cure – if you feel you are having mental health issues please don’t delay seek help from people trained in mental health problems. Seek therapy talk your problem out . Mental health is the most neglected aspects in our lives but we must remember if we are mentally fit and happy our lives will work efficiently.

Talk about it with friends and family seek guidance from therapist and counsellors .

Seek help from people who knows how to help .

Shehnaj Parveen Sarma from Guwahati practicing NLP counsellor and Life Coach and has a Facebook Page called Mind Triggers related to counselling.