What is Mental Health?
To know whether you have a mental health problem, you must first know and understand what mental health is. Mental health can be referred to as emotional health or well-being and is all about how we are feeling emotionally or mentally.
If you’re mental health is good, you’re more likely to be motivated and able to work towards goals; cope with daily life; and be present within your family, workplace, community and friends.
Everybody has mental health but not everybody has mental health problems. We are all entitled to “bad days” or days when we don’t feel as active or happy or positive as usual. Everybody gets stressed, nervous, anxious and frightened. But sometimes, not everybody can handle and come back from those feelings.
Mental health can fluctuate throughout life in response to experiences, circumstances, and life changes.
When does it become a Mental Health Problem?
When a persons daily life and activities become limited or a struggle due to their mental health, it becomes a mental health problem. This can be from daily stress to more serious long-term conditions but help is available in numerous ways.
Mental health problems are usually defined and classified to enable professionals to refer people for appropriate care and treatment. But some diagnoses are controversial and there is much concern in the mental health field that people are too often treated according to or described by their label. This can have a profound effect on their quality of life. Nevertheless, diagnoses remain the most usual way of dividing and classifying symptoms into groups.
What are the symptoms of Mental Health Problems?
Most mental health symptoms have been split into 2 categories: neurotic and psychotic.
Neurotic symptoms include, but are not limited to:
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
- Anxiety or Generalised Anxiety Disorder or Social Anxiety
- Intrusive Thoughts
Psychotic symptoms interfere with a persons perception of reality, are less common and include, but are not limited to:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Suspiciousness or paranoia
- Withdrawal or becoming distant
- Hearing voices
- Suicidal thoughts or actions
What can you do if you think you might have a Mental Health Problem?
The best, and first thing you should do, is speak to a professional such as a GP. If your concern is urgent and you feel you might hurt yourself or somebody else, you should go to your local A&E.
Both can help and support you through this difficult time and will be qualified to provide a diagnosis if you do have a mental health problem or disorder.
Your GP may refer you to specialist services if they feel it would be beneficial for you.
If you don’t feel able to do this yourself, you could ask somebody you trust to do it on your behalf.
You may find it useful to talk to your spouse, a family member or a friend about your concerns. If that’s not something you would feel comfortable with, you might find it easier to talk to someone else you can trust, like a faith leader or teacher.
Below are the details of organisations who offer support for people with mental health problems. Remember – you’re never alone!
The Samaritans offer emotional support 24 hours a day – in full confidence.
- Call 116 123 – it’s FREE
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org
You can call the Rethink advice and information line Monday to Friday, 10am-2pm for practical advice on different types of therapy and medication; benefits, debt, money issues; police, courts, prison; and your rights under the Mental Health Act.
- Call 0300 5000 927 (calls are charged at your local rate).
Mind offer an information line to answer questions about types of mental health problem; where to get help; drug and alternative treatments; and advocacy.
- Call 0300 123 3393 (UK landline calls are charged at local rates, and charges from mobile phones will vary considerably).
- Email email@example.com.
There is a lot of stigma around mental health but there is also a tonne of support available as well as people like me who are ready and willing to break that stigma to bring light to life with mental health problems.
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