The month of May has been deemed Mental Health Awareness month. Even before COVID-19, people experienced their share of mental health issues. COVID-19 has shed an even greater light on this subject. Mental health impacts us all and affects how we think, feel and act. It also determines how we handle stress, relate to others and make healthy choices. No one is exempt from dealing with mental health issues. These issues could arise at every stage of life from childhood, adolescence through adulthood.
Mental health includes our social, emotional, and psychological health that affects our way of thinking, feeling, and how we act. It helps in handling stress, anxiety, depression, and other mental health problems. Mental health problems are common, but help is always available for those suffering. According to the statistics, 50% of mental issues begin at the age of 14, and 75% of all lifetime mental health problems start at the age of 24. There are a number of ways that mental health issues are addressed. Common treatments consist of psychotherapy, medications, support groups, complementary & alternative medicine. Let’s take a look at the types of mental health issues.
Types of mental health issues
Mental health problems affect our mood, thinking, and behaviors. Here are some common types of mental health issues:
2. Panic attacks
3. Bipolar disorders, which affects a person’s mood and their ability to think
5. Depression and other mood disorders
6. Post-traumatic stress disorder
7. Personality disorders
8. Schizophrenia disorders, which includes lack of motivation
9. Family history of mental health problems
Factors that lead to mental health problems
Many factors contribute to mental issues and make daily life difficult to handle. These factors include:
1. Biological factors
4. Rapid social change
5. Stressful work conditions
6. Gender discrimination
7. Unhealthy lifestyle
8. Humans right violations
Signs help in recognizing that you or someone you know is suffering from mental health problems. Are you dealing with or know someone struggling with any of these warning signs:
1. Eating too much or too little
2. The decrease in sleep time
3. Low or no energy or feeling numb like nothing matters
4. Feeling hopeless
5. Avoiding favorite activities
6. Ignoring family members and friends
7. Usage of drugs more than usual
8. Feeling angry, upset, worried, or confused
9. Fighting or yelling with your friends or family members
10. Severe mood swings
11. Thinking or planning to harm self or others
Tips to reduce mental health problems
It is vital to practice self care and get the help needed early on. Anyone can face mental health problems, but it is how we handle them that matters. Learning coping skills is critical for survival.
Here are a few tips to reduce stress and to promote good mental health:
· Small, but huge rewards: :Pause, breath, reflect
Try not to panic and practice taking slow breathes….Breathing in and out is best to release the stress as it signals your brain to relax your body.
· Connect with others
Talk to your parents, siblings, friends, counselors, church leaders or people who you trust. Please stay in contact with them and share your feelings and concerns.
· Follow healthy routines
Get up early and go to bed at a decent time each night. Turn off the TV, social media and put your electronics away. Eat healthy food and minimize eating junk for better mental health. Exercise regularly or take 30 min brisk walks or other light-intensity physical movements like stretching.
· Avoid these things
Try avoiding things that provokes anxiety. Plan out your day with work, school or activities to prevent boredom or social isolation. Do not use alcohol, drugs or other harmful things as a means to “feel” better or “cope”. Also, avoid listening to and watching news, movies or having conversations with people that will make you feel anxious.
· Be kind to yourself and others.
Do not expect a lot from others and yourself, especially on difficult days. Always help and support others as they will also help you in your difficult time.
· If you need help, reach out for it.
Never hesitate, if you need help, always seek help from trustworthy sources. Helplines can be part of your support system.
Mental health is an essential part of your whole being. It is important to identify mental health issues early on and get the necessary support. Pay attention for the signs so you can help others too. There are a plethora of resources available to manage mental health issues. Reach out for help.
Here are a few support lines:
• Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255
• Veterans Crisis Line 1-800-273-8255
• Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline (1-800-662-HELP (4357)
• OK2Talk Helpline Teen Helpline 1 (800) 273-TALK
• Crisis Text LineText SIGNS to 741741 for 24/7, anonymous, free crisis counseling