Your mental health says a lot about the way you think, talk, feel and behave with others. One out of eight people is estimated to suffer from mental health disorders. It is quite a common condition but not everyone is ready to talk about it. It can affect your day-to-day life, your relationships and your career. Your stress level, anxiety disorders and tragic events in life have a negative impact on your mental health. Moreover, it has been reported that more than 80% of mentally ill people live in low and middle-income countries. Hence, it can be said that there is a link between your mental health and your financial status. Along with poverty, low and middle-income countries have low levels of awareness about mental health, lack of welfare programs, etc.
Who is at risk of developing mental disorders?
Anyone can develop mental issues irrespective of their age, sex, income or place of residence. However, social and financial circumstances, childhood experiences and other factors cannot be ignored.
Types of mental issues
- Anxiety disorders: It is the most common mental illness and those with this condition experience extreme anxiety and fear when they are exposed to certain situations and circumstances. Examples of anxiety disorders include generalized anxiety disorder where the person worries excessively and gets restless, tired, etc. Another example of anxiety disorder is panic disorder where the person gets frequent panic attacks. Different types of phobias and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) are also part of anxiety disorders.
- Mood disorders: A person who suffers from mood disorders may face frequent mood swings such as feeling happy at one point and then suddenly getting angry. Major depressions, bipolar disorders, and seasonal disorders are some examples of mood disorders.
- Schizophrenia disorders: It is a very complex situation where the person experiences delusions, hallucinations, lack of motivation, etc. A schizophrenic person may find it difficult to process his thoughts and information.
Signs and Symptoms of Mental Illness
To find out if you are suffering from mental disorders, you need to look at the following signs:
- Isolating yourself from friends and family members
- Not participating in social activities
- Improper sleep schedule
- Eating disorders
- Low energy throughout the day
- Mood swings
- Using external substances like alcohol and nicotine to control one’s mood
- Unable to process information
- Hearing voices and imagining weird things
You need to understand that there are no physical tests or scans available to detect mental disorders.
Diagnosis of mental disorders
Your doctor will ask several questions with respect to your medical history, recent events, past events, childhood experiences, etc. As there is no medical test available to diagnose mental disorders, your doctor can only confirm whether you have mental disorders with the help of certain signs and symptoms.
Treatment of mental illness
Treatment of mental illness depends on the person being treated and his specific condition. Sometimes, your healthcare professional may even combine two or more treatment options if your situation is more complex. Generally, below mentioned options are used to treat people with mental illness:
- Psychotherapies: These refer to those treatment options that help to identify and understand the emotions, thoughts and behavior of a person. The patient will have a one-on-one session with their healthcare professional and share his thoughts, events that are bothering him, etc. These sessions help the doctor understand the root cause of mental illness and according to the cause, treatment is started.
- Medications: Some of the patients suffering from mental disorders may be prescribed a few medications such as antidepressants. These medications are not used to treat your condition as such, but they help ease the symptoms.
- At home-treatments: Most of the time, various mental issues can be cured by changing one’s lifestyle and focusing on improving health. Measures such as sleeping properly, reducing the intake of alcohol, eating a balanced diet, and working out regularly may help stay the mentally ill person engaged and feel good about himself and his body. Many relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, pranayama, meditation, etc. can help immensely.
Facts about mental disorders
- Mental health disorders are more common in women than in men.
- Those with mental disorders will likely die 10 to 20 years earlier than the rest.
- On average, most countries allocate less than 2% of their healthcare budgets to mental health.
- Most people who are diagnosed with mental health issues do not seek treatment.
- Mental disorders are the major cause of disability in people.
Tips to maintain your mental health
If you sincerely practice the below-mentioned self-care tips, your risk of developing mental illness can be drastically reduced:
- Stay active: You should exercise regularly for 30 minutes. It will improve your mental wellbeing.
- Sleep properly: You must not compromise on your sleep and try to get a good night’s sleep of 7-8 hours every day.
- Eat healthy: eating a nutritious diet will keep your body energized and refreshed.
- Practice relaxing techniques: Certain breathing exercises, meditation and journaling have been shown to reduce stress and improve a person’s mood.
- Stay engaged in a positive social circle: Communicating and interacting with people will help get rid of negative thoughts.
People must understand that mental issues can happen to anyone, regardless of age, income, or social status. Moreover, half of mental illnesses can begin by the age of 14. And therefore, if you develop any of the above symptoms, seek help from a professional immediately.
This blog has been written after performing in-depth secondary research related to the topic from various articles, blogs, and journals with expertise in writing for healthcare. The content on this page should not be considered a substitute for medical expertise.