Mental Health Awareness

Mental Health Awareness: Signs and Causes

The term ‘mental health’ is definitely one you will be familiar with. The world is becoming much more aware that taking care of your mental health is just as important as taking care of your physical health, and so there are many examples of good practice and ways that this is being done.

Despite the fact that mental health wellness is something people are more aware of today, that doesn’t mean everyone entirely understands it. It is a complicated area to understand, as no two mental health problems are exactly the same; they can have different symptoms, different triggers, and various treatments.

What Is Mental Health?

Mental health is a combination of our social, psychological, and emotional wellbeing. This means that our mental health, good or bad, will affect how we act, think, and feel. The state of our mental health determines how we are able to handle stress and what happens to us physically when we have to deal with something difficult in our lives.

Everything in your life can affect your mental health including:

  • Brain chemistry – sometimes your mental health will be affected simply by the way your brain is made up. It isn’t necessarily down to any particular event or situation.
  • Life experience – abuse and trauma will certainly have an effect on your mental health. How much of an effect it will have will depend on different factors.
  • Family history – studies show that a family history of mental health problems can affect your own mental health.

Early Warning Signs

It is common for people to suffer from mental health problems. It might be PTSD, depression, anxiety, an eating disorder, among many more. The good news is that there are treatments to help people with mental health issues, but even so, that doesn’t mean that sufferers will be able to recover completely.

One of the keys to recovery is spotting the early warning signs so that help can be sought as early as possible. Here are some of the early warning signs to look out for in yourself or in a loved one:

  • Changes in eating habits – are you suddenly eating a lot more or a lot less than you usually do? This might be your brain telling your body information that isn’t quite correct because it is out of balance.
  • Changes in sleeping habits – if you are spending a lot more time sleeping than usual, or you can’t sleep at all, or if you feel as though you could go to bed and sleep at any time during the day, this could point to a mental illness.
  • Pulling away – if you are spending less time with your friends and family, pulling away from them and the things you like to do, your mental health might be suffering.
  • No or low energy
  • Feeling like nothing matters – you might even feel completely numb.
  • Unexplained aches and pains
  • Feeling absolutely hopeless and helpless
  • Taking more drugs, smoking more, drinking more – doing anything to block out the pain and numbness.
  • Feeling anxious or on edge as well as having a short temper and being permanently scared.
  • Severe mood swing
  • Hearing voices
  • Being paranoid
  • Inability to perform the tasks that you used to do without even thinking
  • Wanting to harm yourself (or others)

If you or someone you know is suffering from these symptoms, contact a mental health professional immediately for a consultation. The earlier you are seen and get help, the better. 

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