As we move through life, we encounter challenges, lucky breaks, and changes for better or worse. Most people have a basic sense of whether they are happy in their daily lives but may be unsure of what mental health means in a broader sense.When we think about mental health in our own words, we may characterize good mental health as optimism for the future, positivity about our personal relationships, and a healthy sense of self.
There are also those who struggle with mental health issues.
Having trouble mentally or emotionally often means having negative thoughts about the world, others and ourselves. Far from being negative at heart, those struggling with mental illness usually desire to have a positive outlook but struggle to find inner peace.
What Does Mental Health Actually Mean?
The world health organization defines mental health as “a state of well-being in which an individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.”
Mental Health is Just as Important as Physical Health
There are a lot of myths that surround mental health struggles and treatment. One misconception is that unlike physical health issues, mental illness is a health condition that cannot be solved.
Others underplay the significance of mental health by assuming that those suffering from it are faking or exaggerating. Such beliefs are handed down and perpetuated within society, but conditions like anxiety and depression should always be taken seriously.Here are some reasons why:
- Mental and psychical wellbeing are interconnected.
- Those who struggle with mental health issues are not their illness.
- People with a healthy mental state are more likely to live longer.
- People with untreated mental health disorder earn significantly less.
What are the Signs of Mental Health Issues?
When we think about the variety mental health issues and challenges, they are often complex and varied.While self-diagnosis is not recommended,recognizing the signs of poor mental health in you or a loved one can indicate when it is time to seek the help of mental health professional.
- Spending Excessive Amounts of Time Alone
- Significant Disruption to Eating and Sleep Patterns
- Experiencing Abrupt or Significant Changes in Mood
- Trouble with Communication
- Being Apathetic or Disinterested in Most Activities
- Having Delusional Thoughts
- Having Re-Occurring Thoughts and Memories That are Negative
- Considering or Engaging in Self-Harm
- Inability to Concentrate or Think Effectively
- Lack of Productivity in School or Work
- Feeling Dethatched from Your Body or Reality Itself
- Feeling Anxious or Paranoid
Diagnosing a mental health issueoften requires a thorough investigation. This often means a mental case analysis, physical exams, and lab work. This is done to determine the cause of mental illness and isolate other factors at play.
A mental health diagnosis can only be performed by a licensed mental healthcare professional. These individuals include:
- Psychologists and Psychotherapists
- Mental Health Counselors
- Clinical Social Workers
Someone who has a P.H.D. or Psy.D. in the field of Psychology and are licensed by their respective state board.
Individuals who have achieved a M.S. or M.A. in an associated mental health field and have been licensed by LPC, LMFT, or LCADAC thus allowing them to diagnose mental health conditions.
Social workers who have completed a master’s program for social work and have beenlicensed through: LICSW, LCSW, ACSW.
Medical doctors who have received a psychiatric degree can diagnose a mental disorder as well as prescribe medications and administer therapy to their patients.
Important Statistics about mental health issues in the USA
- In 2020, 1 in 5 adults reported having a mental health disorder.
- 6.7% of individuals (17 million people) were comorbid: having both a mental illness and substance use disorder (SUD).
- Among adults in the United States, anxiety disorders were the most prevalent mental health condition (19.1%) followed by major Depressive Episode (8.4%) and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder PTSD (3.6%).
- 46.2% of US adults received mental health treatment: a majority of which were women (51.2% Male; 37.4% male).
What to Do When You Find Someone Suffering Mental Health Issues
- Listen While Withholding Judgment– It’s okay if you’re no mental health expert. Providing support to someone struggling with a mental health is as easy as listening with acceptance and empathy.
- Be Willing to Learn About Mental Health–Researching the symptoms, treatments and facts about a person’s illness can improve your ability to provide aid to them. This includes connecting them to any resources they may need.
- Participating in Treatment–Mental health treatment can be a vulnerable time for many.That is why certain programs allow for the collaboration of close friends and family. Here they can work closely with the person in question under the guidance of mental healthcare professionals.
You are Not Your Illness
Are you struggling to get by with a dual diagnosis? At Forward recovery, we treat substance abuse by getting to the root of the problem. To learn more about our comprehensive treatments call us at (844) 387-6889.