What is Mental Health: Key Concepts in Mental Health??

Mental Health MattersDefinition:

Mental health is defined as a state or condition on which an individual feels a sense of well-being. This gives him or her the capacity to live life in fulfillment of what he or she wants to achieve in accordance to the available resources. This condition also provides an individual the capacity to be resilient to the stresses he meets and to respond to these challenges without having to compromise his well- being. This also makes him productive and fruitful for himself and his community. Mental wellness could also be defined as the lack of mental problems or disorders. People who do not present diagnosable behaviors that could qualify as a mental disorder are seen as mentally healthy. For example, someone who has an obsession on things may not necessarily have a mental disorder like obsession. Thus he is said to have mental wellness. But when this obsession is combined with unrelenting compulsion to do the object of obsession, the person may already be diagnosed with a mental disorder called Obsessive-compulsive Disorder or OCD. Your Mental Health Story Matters!

It could also be seen as a positive element in an individual’s personality which makes it possible to enhance mental wellness regardless of a diagnosable mental disorder. This definition covers a person’s capacity to “live life to the fullest”, to respond well to his environment through the conscious or unconscious use of coping mechanisms and to be able to balance emotional as well as psychological well-being in relation to constant flow of experiences. So it is very important to speakup about this issues as Your Mental Health Story Matters!

Disruption in Mental Health and why Your Mental Health Story Matters!

Disruption in Mental Health
Disruption in Mental Health

Abnormalities in mental health could lead to a number of problems with various representations. Some people with mental illnesses have aggressive behaviors while others are withdrawn and lack social interest. Each type of disorder has its own signs and symptoms therefore; diagnosis as well as treatment vary depending on the nature of the mental health problem. Every individual suffering from mental health issues has a different story. Every other person has different symptoms. There are several factors that disrupt mental health including: environment or upbringing, biological make-up of a person, pre-programmed instructions in the genes, medical disorders, traumatic experiences such as loss and abuse and substance abuse. While one factor could be dominant than the other, all of these are contributors to the development of the majority of mental health disorders. In some cases, a single factor may be sufficient to trigger the disorder but the majority of disorders require an accumulation of experience that constantly challenge the well-being of a person. So Your Mental Health Story Matters.

What preserves mental health ?

 

Mind over matter

The preservation of mental health is highly dependent on the capacity of the person to a) blend in his environment and handle its stresses, b) achieve a good internal balance in his personality that is sufficient to give a stable character and c) create a good perspective that would limit the damages of negative experiences. For some people a good support system such as a sympathetic family or a strong social group may work well to safeguard mental health. 

 

Tips on Taking Care of Mental Health 

 

Tips on Taking Care of Mental HealthMental health issues affect nearly 15% of the population. This data can be alarming, considering that 2/3 of those diagnosed with mental disorder remains untreated. While mental disorders are sometimes caused by chemical imbalance in the brain, some of these are caused by the experiences that we need to deal with, such as death of a loved one or some other tragic or traumatic experience. Hence, the goal is to maintain a good or positive mental health, where one is able to take control of his life and able to cope with any and all situations that come his way. Here are some tips on taking care of mental health.

Always stay happy. This may sound vague, but there are many ways to stay happy. Remain positive and optimistic. Look at the bright side of life always.

So how do we stay happy? First, we must learn to balance our time. After a busy day or week, take time to relax. Do something pleasurable with your friends or family. It can be a hobby, sport or a simple activity. Aside from balancing our time, we must also manage time well. To minimize stress, make a schedule of the things you will do, and stick to it. Your Mental Health Story Matters!

Be tolerant of others. All of us are different in many ways, so we must learn to accept each other’s ideas and opinion, even if it differs from our own. Learn to accept the weaknesses and shortcomings of others. Once we learn to accept, there is a lesser chance of conflict, which can be stressful and frustrating.

Spend time with your family and friends. Find time to talk to someone, even if you don’t make sense at all! What is important is the act of sharing your experiences, worries or problems with somebody. You must also learn to listen to their worries for them to feel better. In effect, not only have you helped yourself but you’ve helped your friend too.

Maintain a healthy lifestyle. You know the basics. Eat healthy food always. Exercise regularly. Sleep well. Avoid drugs and alcohol. Quit smoking. Avoid doing strenuous activities. Take time to rest.

Sadly, though, depression and other mental disorders affect children and the young. Parents have an important role in the child’s mental health. Parents must learn to communicate with their kids and at the same time listen to them. In their dealings, let the kid feel appreciated always. Acknowledge their strengths instead of focusing on their weaknesses.

Their coping abilities must also be developed. If they commit mistakes, explain so they will learn from them. Allow them to develop a sense of responsibility by letting them solve problems as well as make decisions. Teach them the importance of discipline and self-worth. Discipline them without making them feel unloved or unworthy.

Lastly, accept them for who they are. With acceptance comes love, respect, and everything else.

The key to taking care of mental health is being happy and in control of our lives. Once we know how to take control, we are able to cope with any and all situations that come our way. Being happy is not just a one-time event – it is a lifestyle. Stay positive always. Learn to find joy in the simple miracles of life. And be grateful for each wonderful day.

Taking Control of Mental Health

Taking Control of Mental Health
Taking Control of Mental Health

We are told that mental illnesses occur because of our genes, our upbringing, our personality, our temperament, our lifestyle and we can do nothing about them. Stress or no stress, we are told, if we have all these factors loaded in our personal history, we are prone to have a mental illness. Some psychiatrists adhere to this belief strongly. This belief is then put across as the “gospel truth” of science. Naturally, this brings up a sense of low self-esteem and helplessness in the person who is suffering with the illness. We are then made to believe that medications are man-made answers to mental illness, which is a curse of nature. Your Mental Health Story Matters!

The whole area of mental illness is about losing a sense of freedom. When we find ourselves bound to emotional issues of our life, that we cannot rid ourselves of, we lose our freedom of thinking. This creates stress in our mind and our body bears the brunt of it. This loss of freedom brings up a sense of fear or a sense of helplessness. Both such feelings bring up a sense of insecurity. People lose confidence in their own worth. Self-esteem becomes low. With lack of confidence and low self-esteem, comes poor decision-making. A person suffers with all these conditions when suffering with a mental illness. When a mentally ill person goes to seek help – confidence, self-esteem and sense of freedom are already lost. Instead of helping the person become independent, there is a tendency to make the person dependent on medication. 

Medication plays its role in controlling the condition or state of illness. It does nothing to improve the quality of life permanently. To improve their quality of life, the person needs to take responsibility for their own well being. We live in a free society. The freedom to suffer is also one kind of freedom. We also have the freedom to look for answers to minimize our suffering

3 Major Focuses of Recovery for Optimized Mental Health 

Focus on the Individual

The focus of recovery should be on the person or the individual and not the process of treatment. There is a constant shift in the manners by which people suffering from psychological disorders are being treated. During the past centuries, due partly to the drive to establish more reliable and effective treatment methods, most mental health professionals fail to focus on the process occurring in a patient, the changes he is undergoing throughout the treatment and the improvements that are associated with the treatment. Instead, the common point for most practitioners is the process of treatment itself- whether or not one treatment is more effective than the other or whether or not a specific therapy could actually work for all patients. 

It is a good thing that mental illnesses are viewed now from the sufferer’s perspectives rather than the technicalities of the treatment or therapy. Individuals have various presentations of a mental disorder. Thus needing individualized forms of recovery treatments that are curtailed to the person’s preferences, unique characteristics such as resiliency, strengths and weaknesses, cultural background and experiences. 

Focus on the Community

It should be grounded on peer support – External support is invaluable in the process of recovery. Knowing that there are other people who, like the patient, also struggle to achieve the state of well being they want to achieve. It helps  for them to know that there are people who cares for them, who wants to see them gain back their life and who shares the same sufferings as they do.

There should exist a mental health support group that would guide and enlighten the patients with the reality of the psychological disorder. This also provides the mutual support that is needed in gaining skills and knowledge on the disorder which is a contributory factor towards improvement. 

Focus on Issues Surrounding Mental Wellness

It should be well-directed – A direction set by both the mental health providers and the patient should be prepared during the initial stage of recovery. The patient determines the pace of healing while the mental health professional facilitate the direction. 

It should be non-linear – This perspective adheres to the belief that a recovery process is both an end and a process. It is not the usual step-by-step process that has varying levels. In mental health recovery, it is possible that a person who has already overcome the symptoms of a mental disorder could still be troubled by the relapse of the same symptoms. It is, in fact, a trial-and-error process with the promise of development and usual setbacks. 

It should be holistic – The concept of holism should be fully integrated into the process of recovery. Recovery from a mental disorder does not only cover specific and separate issues like biological or psychosocial aspects of the disorder. Instead, it affects a person in an extensive manner. Thus recovery should also focus on the micro as well as macro issues surrounding the disorder. 

Lastly, the process of recovery should be empowered by hope matched by the motivation and willingness to break free from the mental illness. This could only be achieved when all individual factors – the perspective of the individual and the direction he is taking, the support of external groups such as the family and peers and the right frame of mind. 

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