Mental health refers to a perfect state of mental, physical, and social well-being. Mental health goes beyond absence of mental illness. Our mental health is therefore referred to the state of our cognitive, behavioral, and emotional well-being. To have better clarity, World Health Organization (WHO) defines mental health as “a state of mental wellbeing, in which an individual is productive, can cope with daily life stress, realizes his potential, and contribute his quota to the development of his society.” This simply means that mere physical limitations or lack of obvious symptoms of mental illness does not account in its entirety mental wholeness.
Mental health then suggests person’s capacity to enjoy life and strike a balance between daily activities and activities to achieve psychological resilience. Mental health is at best viewed in a relative terms. This is going by the fact that we all have the potential to have mental health issues regardless of our peculiarities. These peculiarities may be in terms of age, gender, socioeconomic background, or ethnicity. Therefore, how we define “mental health” becomes relative when we take into account cultural variations. The existence of mental illness being the opposite to mental health underscores the importance of mental health. Going by the connotation of mental health, mental illness is diagnosed when there are symptoms that makes our day-to-day functioning becomes challenging. Although, What constitutes a mental illness has been the subject of numerous debates in the medical community. Regardless of the yard stick deployed by different society as determined by civilization and culture, people have a biological and psychological basis to mental illness. Mental illness are prevalent and to reach a global burden of 15% in 2020. It was predicted that by then, common mental illnesses including depression, anxiety, and diseases linked to substance addiction will cripple more people than the combined effects of AIDS, heart disease, accidents, and conflicts. This startling statistic raises important concerns as to why mental illnesses do not receive considerable attention than they do at the moment.
Despite extra efforts directed towards reduction of mental illness such as suicide prevention, the suicide rate in the United States is on the rise. In fact, by 2025, it is predicted that 15,400 more psychiatrists and 57,490 more psychologists will be required to meet the United States population mental health services requirement. This statistics is a far cry from what obtains from the developing nations such as Nigeria where approximately 3% of the government’s health budget, according to the WHO, is allocated to mental health. In addition, more than half of those who have a mental disorder also have another one. This underscored the fact that mental illnesses are one of the main causes of disability in Nigeria and most of the developed world. Every person has mental health, just like everyone has physical health, yet everyone will occasionally experience issue(s) with their mental health at some point in time. Regardless, everyone can live well, find meaning, give back to their communities, and strive toward their goals with the correct supports and resources. Having mental challenge is not expected to put on a person limitations of whatever form. In the event of struggling with your mental health or you any signs or symptoms of mental illness, the right thing to do is to consult a therapist as this step is proven to be very helpful and always be mindful of that.
In addition, therapy can help to work towards positive changes in our life. In this regard, treatments approach such as therapy (as earlier mentioned), counseling, or medication can be administered by therapists, psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, nurse practitioners, or family doctors can be administered. Different forms of mental illness exist. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) contains information on around 300 different mental illnesses. Anxiety disorders, mood disorders, personality disorders, psychotic disorders, eating disorders, trauma-related disorders, and drug addiction disorders are some of the major categories of mental diseases. There are common symptoms that can be used as a pointer or signal to the existence or incidence of mental illness, despite the fact that it may seem difficult to do so. Social withdrawal, changes in eating or sleeping patterns, persistent exhaustion, mood swings that last for days on end, persistent sadness or irritability, excessive fear, worry, or anxiety, the inability to carry out routine tasks (like cooking a meal), and suicidal thoughts are a few of these symptoms. When you experience two or more of these symptoms yourself or notice them in others, it is highly likely that mental illness is present and additional testing is necessary. People with mental health issues may receive treatment in a variety of methods since what works for one person might not work for another. Psychotherapy (psychological method to treating mental illness) treatments including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Exposure Therapy, and Dialectical Behavior Therapy, as well as Chemotherapy, are possible forms of treatment. However, studies have shown that combining Chemotherapy and Psychotherapy improves the efficacy of treatment.
If you don’t obtain the correct care, your mental illness might not go away on its own and might even get worse over time. Before your mental illness worsens, consult a therapist or mental health professional. If you get treatment quickly, it will be simpler. If you notice any signs of mental illness, it is strongly advised to seeek therapeutic intervention. Therapists are trained to keep and guide your confidentiality and with therapist, your mental health safe place is guaranteed. One of the obstacle that may hold you back from seeking therapeutic intervention may be your perception of the whole picture. It has been observed that people often deny the obvious fact that they have symptoms. One of the reason why this is so is the presence of stigma in the society. This observation is more peculiar to the developing world due to low mental health awareness. Most of the myths about mental illness are offshoot of societal stigma. That means your reaction towards your mental state today will either contribute or help to further stamp out mental illness stigmatization in the society. Please be aware that any medication-related material on this website is offered merely for educational purposes and may not be current. In conjunction with your mental health professional, choices about diagnosis and therapy should be made. Medication-related information on this platform are routinely updated.