Mental health, defined by the World Health Organization, is “an overall state of good health in which the patient realizes his/her capabilities, is able to cope well with the day-to-day stresses of life, is able to work productively, and can contribute meaningfully to his or her neighborhood”. The mental health of an individual includes emotional well being, but also includes the ability to learn and execute certain tasks, such as identifying various problems and coming up with appropriate solutions; listening to and understanding signals from the environment; and identifying relevant opportunities and resources. Mental health is necessary for one’s survival, but it can be easily harmed if one is not aware of its various aspects and how to identify it.
The mental health of an individual greatly depends on the care that he gets from his primary care provider (PCP). If the care given by your PCP is ineffective then it can lead to various complications and thus shorten the lifespan of your loved one. If you suspect that your loved one is suffering from any of the mental illnesses mentioned here then it is highly recommended that you get help immediately. There are various mental illnesses and some of them are listed below.
Depression is one of the commonest mental health problems. It can be caused by any major or minor event or change in a person’s life. Depression happens when a person looses his or her appetite for food, finds it difficult to perform even simple task, sleeps excessively, becomes fidgety, has negative thoughts, and has poor concentration. Usually people begin to show some warning signs of depression when they undergo certain events, such as losing a loved one, getting fired from a job, or losing a spouse. However, sometimes such signs are overlooked and they develop over a period of time, causing severe changes in a person’s behavior. Some of the warning signs of depression include constant tiredness and overeating, lack of concentration, anxiety, headache, and sleepiness, feeling unworthy and unattractive, increased intake of food or drink, restlessness, frequent urination, extreme guilt, and suicidal thoughts.
Another type of mental health disorder is an anxiety disorder. Anxiety can be diagnosed based on the patient’s pattern of behavior (for example, repeated worrying about daily activities like housekeeping and household chores, having unrealistic expectations about how others perceive them, and avoiding social situations that they believe bring embarrassment or shame). In general, anxiety is caused by unpleasant experiences in the past (for example, having a pet who chewed up everything in sight). This is where the PCP comes in. If your primary care provider or doctor does not mention any of these behavioral symptoms in your mental health record or notes, then you may need to get help yourself.
Lastly, another group of mental health problems includes personality disorders. Two of the biggest among them are depressed mood and schizophrenia. However, people with personality disorders might sometimes experience mental health problems that are unrelated to any of these biological factors. These include post-traumatic stress disorder, schizophrenia, generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, specific phobias (like agoraphobia or fear of tight spaces), or alcoholism.
People with mental illnesses can go through short periods of normalcy and the severity and frequency of their episodes can fluctuate. However, for some people, the disorder gets so severe that it disrupts their everyday lives and relationships. People with anxiety disorders may find it hard to perform everyday tasks such as driving or operating machinery. Those with depression may lose their job if they become too distant from people they typically socialize with. In the case of biopsychological disorders, patients may also experience cognitive and behavioral changes that manifest in non-specific ways (for example, the patient being unable to remember things from the past).