Mental Health is the foundation for emotions, thinking, communication, learning, resilience and hope. It influences how we manage relationships, work and contribute to our communities.
Untreated mental illness can significantly impact the quality of life and causes significant suffering. However, many people recover with adequate care – including psychotherapy and medicines.
Depression is an illness that affects how you feel, think, and behave. It is a mood disorder and can cause many problems, including low self-esteem, trouble thinking or concentrating, changes in appetite and sleeping too much or too little, feelings of sadness or hopelessness, and suicidal thoughts or actions. Depression can have a long-lasting effect on your health, and it is important to get treatment.
Depression can be very difficult to treat, but there are effective treatments and a wide range of health professionals who can help you recover. A good place to start is with your family doctor or psychiatrist.
You can help yourself by getting regular exercise, eating a healthy diet, and getting enough sleep on a regular basis. These steps can also help improve your mood and help you cope with the symptoms of depression. You can also try to reduce your stress by practicing relaxation techniques, and getting support from friends and family.
It is not uncommon to experience periods of low mood, but if you have a depressive episode that lasts for two weeks or more and it causes problems in your daily life, you may need treatment. A health care provider can determine if you have depression, and a combination of psychotherapy (talk therapy) and medication is usually the best treatment.
Depression can affect people of all ages and backgrounds. It can have a variety of causes, such as genetics, physical health problems, a difficult childhood, or stressful events like unemployment, a death in the family, or relationship difficulties. Depression can also be a side effect of some drugs and medical treatments.
Depression is a common illness, and the earlier you seek help, the more likely it is that you will recover. Many people with depression have a hard time asking for help because of the stigma associated with mental illness and the belief that they could have prevented their depression by simply trying harder. But depression is a treatable illness, and the vast majority of people who receive treatment will recover. The key is finding the right combination of medications, psychotherapy, and lifestyle changes to suit your needs.
If you suffer from anxiety, you may feel tense, stressed and worried. Often the feelings are so intense that you have difficulty functioning normally. You can also have physical symptoms such as heart palpitations or stomach aches. Anxiety can be triggered by certain things such as a traumatic event, serious illness or the death of someone close to you. It can also be caused by medications or chronic physical conditions such as asthma, diabetes, epilepsy and heart conditions. It is also common for anxiety and depression to occur together.
It is important to seek help for anxiety as it can affect your quality of life and lead to other mental health problems. Most people who have anxiety get better with treatment. You can find help from a range of sources including self-help materials, psychotherapy (talk therapy) and medication.
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a good choice for anxiety. It helps you recognise and challenge the actions and patterns of thinking that make you anxious. It can be done face-to-face or over the telephone. It usually involves 6 weekly sessions of 2 hours each. You can also learn breathing techniques and find a support group. You can find more information about these at NHS Inform and Rethink Mental Illness.
CBT teaches you strategies to change your negative and unhelpful thoughts, such as overgeneralizing or catastrophising. It also teaches you to cope with distressing feelings and behaviours. CBT has been proven to be effective in treating anxiety and is a well researched therapy.
Other types of psychotherapy are helpful for anxiety, such as psychodynamic therapy and cognitive therapy. These therapies help you understand the root causes of your anxiety and teach you to overcome irrational fears. They can be combined with CBT.
Having a good social network of friends can help reduce anxiety. You can find help and support through groups or charities, such as Every Mind Matters. You can also try relaxation or mindfulness techniques, such as yoga and deep breathing exercises, to help you calm down. You can also find help from a doctor or psychologist, who can prescribe medication for anxiety.
People with schizophrenia have a high risk of serious problems such as heart disease and can struggle to find and keep jobs. They are more than twice as likely to die early, often due to poor health and social problems like not having access to general healthcare or housing. They can also experience human rights violations in mental health institutions and when they move out into the community.
Schizophrenia is a brain illness that affects how you think and feel. It can cause hallucinations (hearing or seeing things that aren’t there), delusions (beliefs that are not true) and trouble concentrating. People with schizophrenia can also have negative symptoms, which are hard to show or make sense of and can include feelings of sadness and withdrawnness.
Getting treatment as soon as possible is important for recovery. It’s not just about taking medication; it’s about learning the skills to manage your symptoms and stay well. This is called psychosocial care.
Many people who have a diagnosis of schizophrenia can become symptom-free and lead a normal life with the right help, support and treatment.
People who have a diagnosis of schizophrenia can benefit from family therapy and group support. These can be a great way to get more information about schizophrenia, to share your experiences and find out what other people are doing to manage their condition.
A range of other treatments, such as occupational therapy and exercise, can help people with schizophrenia improve their mental health. Managing stress levels is also important. This can be done by trying to make time to relax, keeping socially connected, and by making healthy choices such as doing regular physical activity or eating a balanced diet.
For some people, a diagnosis of schizophrenia can be upsetting and they may believe that they won’t be able to get better. However, it’s important to remember that schizophrenia is a medical condition and that it’s just as real as any other illness. There is no such thing as a ‘cure’ for schizophrenia, but with early intervention, a good support network and self-management techniques, it’s possible to reduce your symptoms and live a fulfilling life.
A trauma is a life-changing event that can cause a person to feel threatened or helpless. It may be a single, one-time incident that leaves them feeling frightened or overwhelmed, or it can be an ongoing experience such as bullying or childhood abuse. Traumas can be psychological or physical and can affect people of all ages. Psychologists can help people who have experienced traumas find ways to cope and move on with their lives.
In the short term, most survivors of traumatic events exhibit some degree of stress, anxiety, or fear, and many have difficulty sleeping. This is normal and doesn’t necessarily indicate the presence of a mental disorder. However, in the long term, these reactions can have profound effects on their sense of safety and hope for the future, their relationships with others, and their physical health. They can also exacerbate symptoms of preexisting disorders such as depression or anxiety, and can precipitate the onset of new ones.
The hallmark of a traumatic stress response is the avoidance of situations that remind you of the event. Symptoms can include intense feelings of fear, panic, and anger. You may find that you can’t think about the event or that it keeps coming back to you, often in the form of nightmares. You may also avoid family, friends, or work because of these overwhelming feelings. Some people try to control these emotions by focusing on other activities or distracting themselves with drugs and alcohol.
It is important for psychologists to help clients identify potential trauma triggers and develop coping strategies for dealing with them. These can include any sensory reminder of the traumatic event, including sounds, smells, temperature, other bodily sensations, or visual scenes. They can also be related to a particular time of day, holiday, or anniversary of the event. In addition, it’s possible to get triggered by a memory of the event from talking about it with someone else or hearing stories about it.
Trauma can be caused by one-time events such as an accident or a natural disaster, or it can be the result of repeated, ongoing stressful situations, such as child abuse or domestic violence. There are even times when the impact of a traumatic event is so severe that it qualifies as vicarious trauma, wherein a person feels a similar reaction to another person’s distressing experiences.