Written by Krishna Saproo, a grade 12 student
Just like physical health we have a another health called Mental Health. Mental health sometimes makes us feel good, and other times we don’t. It’s complicated because it involves how we think, feel, and act, all of which are constantly changing.
When we have a good mental health, we enjoy being around other people and are willing to try new things. However, when our mental health isn’t in good, it can be much more difficult to cope.
Remember, if you’re struggling with how you think, feel or act, don’t feel that you are alone. Things can get better. You deserve all the help and support you need to feel confident and comfortable being yourself so that you can enjoy life.
Mental health is essential at all stages of life, from childhood to adolescence to adulthood. If you have mental health problems, your thinking, mood, and behaviour may be affected throughout your life. Many factors play a role in mental illness, including:
a)Biological factors, such as genes or brain chemistry
b)Life experiences such as trauma or abuse
c) Family history of mental health issues.
Every year, mental illnesses affect 17.5%(approx.) of the adult population, 42%(approx.)of teenagers, and 15.75%(approx.) of children. People who are suffering from mental illness may be in your family, live next door, teach your children, or work in the next cubicle.
However, only half of those affected receive treatment, owing to the stigma associated with mental illness. Untreated, mental illness can lead to increased medical costs, poor academic and occupational performance, fewer job opportunities, and an increased risk of suicide.
A mental illness is a physical illness of the brain that causes disturbances in thinking, behaviour, energy, or emotion, making it difficult to cope with everyday life demands. The complicated causes of these diseases, which can include genetics, brain chemistry, brain structure, trauma, and/or having another medical condition, such as heart disease, are being studied.
The following are the two most common mental health conditions:
Anxiety Disorders – Each year, more than 18% of adults suffer from an anxiety disorder, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder (panic attacks), generalised anxiety disorder, and specific phobias.
Mood Disorders – Mood disorders, such as depression and bipolar depression, affect nearly 10% of adults each year and are defined by difficulties in mood regulation.
Although public perception of mental illness has improved in recent decades, studies show that stigma against mental illness remains strong, owing largely to media stereotypes and a lack of education, and that people attach negative stigmas to mental health conditions at a much higher rate than to other diseases and disabilities such as cancer, diabetes, or heart disease.
Stigma has an impact not only on the number of people seeking treatment, but also on the number of resources available for effective treatment. For someone dealing with a mental health condition, stigma and misinformation can feel like insurmountable obstacles.
Here are a few effective things you can do to help:
a) Showing individuals respect and acceptance removes a significant barrier to successful illness management. For someone who is struggling with their mental health, having people see you as an individual rather than your illness can make all the difference.
b) Advocating within our circles of influence helps ensure that these individuals have the same rights and opportunities as other students, employees, and members of the community.
Learning more about mental health allows us to help those in our families and communities who are suffering.
Mental health awareness increases the likelihood of early intervention, which can lead to a quick recovery. Awareness reduces the negative adjectives that have been assigned to our people who have a metal illness. Mental health is now being recognised as an illness as a result of increased awareness.
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