What is mental health?
Mental health is an integral part of our overall wellness. According to WHO (World Health Organization), 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 make a contribution to her or his community.” When you have stable mental health, you feel good about life. As human beings, to reach a state of stability and balance, it’s crucial that we have good mental health. Part of that is awareness, and knowing ourselves. When your mental health is stable, you feel like you can manage the day-to-day life challenges you encounter. One way to maintain your mental health is to have a stable support system, and see a therapist every week. You might have anxious moments, but you can work through them. When your mental health is out of balance, you can suffer from mental health issues or mental illness.
Mental health issues
According to NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness), one in five people in the United States lives with a mental illness. And millions of people have mental health issues and manage to live productive lives. Whether you manage anxiety, depression, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, PTSD, substance abuse, Bipolar Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder or any other mental health concern, you can get treatment and find a sense of balance regardless of what you’re managing. The key is to get treatment as soon as you recognize what your problems are. Some people refer to mental health issues as “mental disorders” or “mental illness.” The stigma surrounding mental illness is prevalent, and people are hesitant to call diagnoses illnesses because they don’t want to admit that it’s an ailment. They might feel like there’s something wrong with them.
According to The National Institute of Mental Health the United States in 2015, it’s estimated that 9.8 million adults over the age of 18 had a severe mental disorder. That breaks down to 4.8 percent of American adults. Mental illness doesn’t discriminate. A person of any age, race, gender or religion can have a mental illness in their lifetime. Many disorders are hereditary, and it’s essential to see a mental health professional if you’re having symptoms of a condition that runs in your family.
Half of the mental health conditions start by age 14. 75% of mental health conditions develop by the time a person is 24. It’s difficult to tell if an individual has a mental illness or mental health condition during adolescence because the person is going through a lot of changes, which include mood shifts. If you do develop a mental health condition during the teen years, you increase your chances of recovery when you get treatment during this time.
Mental Illness Isn’t “Bad."
Although “mental illness” might sound like a negative term, it’s a real condition that people manage, and that’s why in the advice section, we want to give you accurate information about what mental illnesses are, and the mental health conditions people manage. We also want to tell you about different behaviors that you might need support with and can work with an online therapist to manage. Many of the categories you see in the advice section will give you expert insight into the various conditions that affect mental health. If you’re coping with these issues, we’re bringing you support. We want to help you live a quality of life that you’re happy with so that you’ll start to feel better about who you are and what you’re doing in your life. Let’s talk about some common mental health issues and mental illnesses.
There’s no way to tell if a person is developing a mental illness for sure. However, here are some signs that might indicate that an individual is coping with a mental health condition:
- Isolating from people
- Not participating in activities they used to enjoy
- Sleeping too much or not enough
- Overeating or undereating
- Feeling hopeless
- Thoughts of suicide
- Substance abuse (drugs and alcohol)
- Trouble engaging in day-to-day activities such as going to school or work
- Difficulty showering
- Hearing voices
If you are thinking about harming yourself, call 911 or visit the nearest emergency room.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms above, and it’s disrupting your ability to function daily, consult a mental health professional. Mental illness is highly treatable with therapy and (if necessary) medication. If someone you love is experiencing these symptoms, you can reach out and get them help.
There various treatment options for mental health issues. It’s important to remember that everyone’s mental health journey is different. What works for you might not work for someone else. One of the most commons treatments for mental illness or when someone is struggling with their mental health is psychotherapy.
People who live with chronic mental health issues can benefit from therapy. Depending on the individual’s needs, there are many types of therapy to choose from, and it’s important to stay informed about what works best for your particular mental health issue. You can want to work with a therapist in your local area or see an online therapist.
Some people who have mental illness take psychiatric medication. If you live with a chronic condition such as bipolar disorder, psychotropic medication could drastically improve your quality of life. Consider consulting with a psychiatrist if you’re interested in learning about the benefits of medicine for your mental health. You can read more about psychiatry in the advice section. In medication section of advice, you’ll learn about how medication can support you in your mental health if you need it. There are some mental illnesses can do well when the individual takes medication and goes to therapy. Psychiatric medication can help people maintain stable mental health.
Self-care is a crucial element in maintaining excellent mental health. It’s important to eat regularly, get good sleep each night, and learn to set boundaries with people. You’re allowed to take time for yourself and say no when you can’t commit to a project. It’s essential to have a stable support system of friends and family who love you and care about your wellbeing.
Common mental health problems
Anxiety disorders are a common form of mental illness. Some include Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, Phobias, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Millions of people live with anxiety disorders and receive treatment for them in therapy. Sometimes people with anxiety disorders can benefit from psychiatric medication. You can read more about anxiety disorders in the Anxiety section of advice. Here you’ll learn with coping with being in a state of fight or flight and find ways to deal with being overwhelmed. You can support a loved one who lives with anxiety by reading these articles. Learn about panic attacks and how to calm your body down. You can learn about the fact that anxiety is genuine, and that those with anxiety aren’t exaggerating their symptoms.
In the Panic Attacks section, you’ll read about anxiety and how severe it can get. Panic attacks are severe episodes that seem to come out of nowhere. During a panic attack, the individual experiences a feeling of dread where they’re afraid that something terrible is going to happen. Read about the signs and symptoms of panic attacks and what you can do when you have them.
PTSD or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a condition where an individual has experienced one or more traumatic episodes. They have flashbacks to their trauma and may suffer from anxiety, panic attacks, and depression. In the PTSD section read about the symptoms of PTSD and what you can do to get help for this condition. Learn how to support someone who is suffering from it.
In the depression section, you’ll learn about how depression is a mental illness that is severe and can kill people if it’s untreated. It’s essential to understand that people with depression aren’t lazy. They have a real illness that needs treatment. If you’re struggling with depression, here’s a section where you can find resources to help yourself.
In the Bipolar Disorder section, you’ll find resources about bipolar disorder and information about the highs and lows of bipolar disorder (depression and mania). People who live with Bipolar Disorder experience manic episodes or hypomanic episodes followed by depressive ones. If you’re living with Bipolar Disorder, you can find information about your illness, and if you love someone with this condition, you can find resources to learn more about what your loved one is experiencing.
Persistent Depressive Disorder
Persistent Depressive Disorder is also known as dysthymia. It’s mild but chronic depression. Some people refer to it as “high functioning depression.” Someone with dysthymia has similar symptoms to an individual with depression, but it’s a less severe case.
SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder)
SAD is a type of major depression. A person with SAD gets depressed during the late fall, winter and into the early spring months. Someone with SAD is triggered when they don’t have a lot of daylight in their environment.
What Influences Your Mental Health?
When you’re working on your mental health, it’s important to consider what influences it from the outside and the inside. There are outside influences, such as your environment, and there are inside influences such as your genetics and your temperament. Here are some factors that contribute to mental health that you can read about in the advice section.
Behavior is an indicator of our mental health. In the behavior section, you’ll learn about behaviors that are productive and ones that are dysfunctional. You can learn how to change your behaviors so that you can get what you want out of life and stop engaging in risky behavior. You’ll learn about mental illnesses that include problematic behaviors as a symptom and how to change.
Anger can be a symptom of mental illness. Anger is a section where you can read about if you’re struggling with anger problems, some tips that’ll help you manage your anger. You can also look up warning signs that you may have a severe anger issue and how to develop coping strategies. You can look up mental illnesses that have anger as a symptom, and if a loved one is coping with anger issues, you can learn how to support them.
When a person is a survivor of abuse, it can severely impact their mental health. Abuse is a widespread issue that many different people experience, and there isn’t just one type. Different kinds of abuse include emotional, sexual, medical, neglect, child abuse, and more. In the abuse category, you’ll read about forms of abuse and what they may entail.
Healthy attachments can positively impact a person’s mental health. When we don’t form attachments at a young age, it can contribute to mental health issues or mental illness. Attachment starts at a young age. We learn to form bonds with other human beings as babies, and that skill develops over our lives. In the attachment section you can learn about the different attachment styles, and what problems arise when people develop unhealthy attachment issues.
Bullying can have a severe effect on a person’s mental health. It can cause depression and sometimes cause a person to end their life. Bullying is a serious offense where a person torments a person or group of people. In the bullying section, you’ll learn how to decipher if you’re being bullied yourself or if your child is being bullied. You’ll read about how adults can get bullied, and how people of any age can be victims of these crimes.
Part of maintaining excellent mental health is feeling loved. In the love section, you’ll learn about finding love and ways to explore that in your life. You might want to find love or maintain a relationship that you have at the moment. Love is one of the best feelings human beings can experience. Read about how it affects us and what we can do to preserve it.
How Can VividTherapy Support Your Mental Health?
If you’re looking to work on your mental health, you’ve come to the right place. Starting with the advice section, you can learn about your mental health condition and gain insight into what you’re struggling with, and begin to learn to cope. Maintaining excellent mental health is hard work, and it starts with learning about yourself in therapy.
The VividTherapy advice section is here to serve as a resource for you when you’re learning about different mental illnesses and common life challenges. The advice section is here for you to support you through these mental health concerns, and if you're living with a mental illness, we want you to know that you’re not alone and that you can find resources here to understand your disorder. There are coping techniques you can explore in these articles, as well as in online counseling. Online therapy is an excellent place to talk about issues with your behavior that you’re looking to change. You might want to discuss the loss of a loved one, and problems surrounding grief.
You may want to talk about a toxic relationship and heal from abuse. Maybe you want to work on your marriage. Online therapy can help with all of these concerns. You don’t have to suffer from mental health issues alone. Find the team of VividTherapy therapists and find someone that can help you with your mental health concerns. In the meantime, feel free to explore the advice section. We want it to be a place where you feel comfortable learning about these various conditions and how you can get the help you need.