Understanding Mental Health

Mental health is as important as physical health. Still, millions of Americans suffer with various types of mental illness and mental health problems, such as social anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, addiction to drugs and alcohol, and personality disorders. Mental illness and psychological disorders have good treatment options with medications, psychotherapy, or other treatments.

Mental health concerns everyone. It affects our ability to cope with and manage change, life events and transitions such as bereavement or retirement. All human beings have mental health needs, no matter what the state of their psyche. This book is written specifically for those who want to have an introduction to mental health, mental illness and mental health problems. It is written in simple language from a person that is curious about the subject and wants to share with you his research.

My curiosity about what makes certain people successful, drove me into the road of mental health. I am not an expert in the subject of mental illness ad treatments, thus before any actions to self-treat or self-diagnose your mental health status you should consult with a qualified physician who can properly diagnose and treat any potential mental illnesses. What became clear to me is that there is more to good health than just a physically healthy body: a healthy person should also have a healthy mind. A person with a healthy mind should be able to think clearly, should be able to solve the various problems faced in life, should enjoy good relations with friends, colleagues at work and family, and should feel spiritually at ease and bring happiness to others in the community.

Why should you be concerned about mental illness?

As mentioned earlier, our mental health affect how we perceive many aspects of our lives. It is an integral part of our whole health. There are many reasons why you need to be concerned about
mental illnesses.:

Because they affect us all. It is estimated that one in five of all adults will experience a mental health problem in their lifetime.
Because they are a major public health burden. Studies from nearly every corner of the world show that as much as 40% of all adults attending general health care services are suffering from some kind of mental illness.
Because they are very disabling. Even though the popular belief is that mental illnesses are less serious than physical illness, they do in fact produce severe disability. They can also cause death, as a result of suicide and accidents.

The World Health Report from the World Health Organization in 2001 found that four out of the ten
most disabling conditions in the world were mental illnesses. Depression was the most disabling disorder, ahead of anemia, malaria and all other health problems.

Because mental health services are very inadequate. Specialists spend most of their time caring for people who suffer from “severe mental disorders” (psychoses). These are quite rare, but are also the very diseases that the community associates with mental illness. Most people with the much commoner types of mental health problems, such as depression or alcohol problems, would not consult a mental health specialist.
Because mental illness leads to stigma. Most people with a mental health problem would never admit to it. Those with a mental illness are often discriminated against by the community and even their own family.
Because mental illness can be treated with simple, relatively inexpensive methods. This is the good news! It is true that many mental illnesses cannot be cured. However, many physical illnesses, such as cancers, diabetes, high blood pressure and rheumatoid arthritis, are also not curable. Yet, much can be done to improve the quality of life of those who suffer these conditions and the same applies to mental illness.

It is important to understand mental health so we can help ourselves and our loved ones. The stigma often associated with the many forms of mental illnesses is very real. For example, many people with bipolar disorder or other mental illnesses are afraid to share their condition with other people for fear of ridicule or judgment. The stigma is so real in fact many will avoid telling friends or family of their mental condition. Many people with bipolar disorder face stigma and discomfort from well-meaning friends and family members that don’t really understand bipolar disorder. It is common for patients with bipolar disorder to feel misunderstood. Unfortunately even many health care providers carry with them a biased attitude toward bipolar patients. Many have a difficult time focusing on the real reason a person is in their office. Instead they focus on the mental health issue.

Here are some small steps patients and family members can take to help overcome the stigma associated with mental illness:

* Always accept your condition for what it is.
* Never attempt to hide your condition for fear that others will be un-accepting or misunderstand you.
* Educate friends and family. Direct them to a number of sites that help explain bipolar disorder and other mental illnesses. Great reference sites include the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
* Confidently explain that one if five people suffers from some form of mental illness or another.
* Remember that you are more an insider than you realize.
* One out of every five of your friends, acquaintances or associates likely suffers from some form of mental illness. -Use support groups to help bolster your self-confidence and promote your inner peace and well-being.

If you are interested in learning more about mental health, I have compiled an easy to read and understand e-book “Understanding Mental Health” were I cover types, causes, and treatments available.