Mental health is the ability to think, feel and behave in ways that are positive and contribute to your wellbeing. It also includes how well you handle stress, anxiety and depression.
There are many different types of mental illness and symptoms, so it is important to get a diagnosis. This will help you to access treatment that can improve your condition and reduce the symptoms of mental illness.
Common mental illnesses include anxiety disorders, mood disorders and eating disorders. Mood disorders, such as depression and bipolar disorder, affect over 10% of adults each year.
Anxiety disorders, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive-compulsive disorder and panic attacks, affect over 18% of adults each year.
Eating disorders, such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge-eating disorder, affect over 8% of adults each year.
Mental illnesses are a complex medical condition that can be treated with medication or psychosocial therapies, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), interpersonal therapy and group support sessions. People who have mental health conditions often find that these types of treatments improve their wellbeing, including relationships and emotional coping skills.
If you have a mental illness, it is important to seek treatment as soon as possible to avoid more severe conditions. Seeking early support can help you to recover and lead a happier, healthier life.
Symptoms of mental illness can be difficult to recognise, especially because they may not appear as physical problems. Some people may be able to manage their symptoms by reducing stress, getting more sleep, eating better and exercising.
You can check your own mental health by asking yourself a few simple questions to help you identify if you have a problem and if you need to seek help. Ask yourself if you have ever felt down, depressed or hopeless, and how often you have felt nervous, anxious or on edge in the past 2 weeks.
A person’s mental abilities are just as important as their physical ones. Unlike physical gifts, which are easy to measure by standardized tests, mental abilities can be hard to judge.
Some mental illnesses can be caused by a medical condition, such as heart disease or a brain tumour. These illnesses can also be triggered by stressful events or situations in life, such as the death of a loved one, a relationship breakup or financial loss.
There is a growing awareness that mental health is an important part of our overall wellbeing, and this has led to an increasing number of organisations and services dedicated to providing help and support for people with mental health issues.
In addition, there are a range of social movements that are trying to increase understanding and challenge discrimination, with some campaigns working to change how we talk about mental health and others campaigning for greater access to care for those who need it.
The health and wellbeing of our communities depends on us all doing what we can to look after ourselves, and a big part of that is making sure we are mentally healthy. That includes talking with friends and family, doing the things we enjoy, and seeking help when we need it.