Mental health is a critical aspect of overall health and well-being. Unfortunately, many people do not understand mental health or how it can be struggled with. This lack of understanding can lead to people feeling ashamed or embarrassed about their struggles and being reluctant to seek help.
To combat this, it is important to first understand what mental health is and then learn how to overcome any challenges that may be faced.
What is it about?
Mental health is defined as “a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and can contribute to her or his community” (World Health Organization). This definition emphasizes that mental health is not simply the absence of mental illness, but rather a state of overall well-being. Everyone has mental health, and everyone can experience mental health struggles at some point in their lives.
There are many different ways in which mental health can be struggled with. Some common challenges include anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, eating disorders, and addiction. These challenges can range in severity from mild to severe and can have a major impact on someone’s life.
How does it unhinge?
Some people may experience mental health challenges as a result of a traumatic event or series of events. Others may have a family history of mental illness. And still, others may struggle with substance abuse or have another underlying health condition that contributes to their mental health challenges.
Some people are familiar with the cause, but many are not. Talk to a mental health professional. A therapist can help you understand your mental health challenges and develop a treatment plan to address them, or suggest a place with comprehensive mental health services exactly suited for your needs. There, you will learn more about the causes of your struggles and how to effectively manage them.
What are some common signs?
Some common signs that someone may be struggling include changes in mood, sleep, or appetite; withdrawing from friends and activities; feeling hopeless or helpless; experiencing excessive anxiety or fear; self-harming; engaging in risky behaviors.
If you recognize your feelings or behaviors in any of these signs, it is important to reach out for help. You might only need help from a therapist or mental health services to get you through a tough time. In other cases, medication or hospitalization may be necessary.
On the other hand, some people may not experience any obvious signs that they are struggling. This is why it is so important to be aware of the potential for mental health challenges and to talk openly about mental health with friends, family, and mental health professionals.
The importance of support groups
One of the most important things you can do for your mental health is to seek out support. This can come in many different forms, but one of the most beneficial is joining a support group.
Support groups are designed to provide people with a safe space to share their experiences and connect with others who understand what they are going through. These groups can be incredibly helpful in reducing feelings of isolation and loneliness, which are common among those struggling with mental health challenges.
In addition to the support groups offered by mental health professionals, many online communities can provide support and information.
Making lifestyle changes
In addition to seeking out support, many lifestyle changes can be beneficial for mental health, including eating a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, and getting enough sleep.
It is also important to find ways to cope with stress healthily, and rather than turning to alcohol or drugs, try to find healthy outlets for stress such as journaling, talking to a friend, or spending time in nature.
Medication and therapy
For some people, medication and/or therapy may be necessary to effectively manage mental health challenges. As there are many different types of medication used to treat mental health conditions, it is important to work with a mental health professional to find the right medication for you.
Therapy can also be an incredibly beneficial treatment for mental health challenges. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is one type of therapy that is effective in treating conditions like anxiety and depression.
Mental health struggles can be incredibly isolating and scary, therefore, it is important to remember that you are not alone in your struggle and many people want to help. Seeking out therapy, joining support groups, and making lifestyle changes are all great ways to manage mental health challenges.
And if medication and/or therapy are necessary for you, don’t be afraid to reach out for help. There is no shame in getting the treatment you need to live a healthy life.