What is meant by Mental Health?
The term mental health is used to describe the general state of our minds. We all have mental health, in the same way we all have physical health. Sometimes we are in good health other times maybe not so good. Our physical health can be affected by mild illnesses like cold or flu to severe disease such as cancer or diabetes. Likewise mental health can also be affected adversely ranging from mild to severe.
We don’t have good physical health all of the time, sometimes we become ill. We search for ways to treat the symptoms, sometimes we can do this ourselves, other times we seek the support of family or friends until the symptoms subside or abate. If none of these strategies work we seek the help from a medical expert.
One thing is certain we all have mental health, just like we all have physical health. Both change throughout our lives. And just like our bodies, at times, our minds can become unwell. When our bodies become unwell we seek out help from professionals to restore us to health. Likewise if our minds become unwell there are professionals who can help restore us to well-being.
When mental health becomes a problem
Our mental health becomes a problem when it begins to affect the way we think, feel and behave. Conditions such as depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, and problems relating to others are just some of the indicators associated with low or poor mental health.
“It is important to remember that poor or low mental health is not a permanent condition, although it may feel like it at the time. But just like physical health, when we become ill, in the vast majority cases we do become well again”.
Symptoms left untreated take longer to recover. Symptoms of poor mental health tend to become a problem when they adversely affect our daily function and well-being; we may withdraw from normal life, become intolerant of other people, lose motivation, or resent our very lives. It is not realised just how much time is taken up just in symptom management.
“Mental health problems often feel as bad, or worse, than any other types of illnesses, but because symptoms cannot readily be seen people tend to underestimate how serious they can be”.
Often people around the person suffering may not realise or even take the problem seriously.
Today we know that mental health problems are more common than we first thought –
- It affects around one in four people in Britain at any given moment.
- Is more prevalent than physical illness
- Costs individuals, employers, families in terms of loss of income