It’s Mental Health Month. When most people think about mental health, they are referring to depression, but mental health has many other forms.
Mental health is about our emotional, psychological, and social well being, but also determines how we handle stress, relate with others, and our decision making. If we experience issues with our mental health, it will affect our cognitive abilities, thinking, moods, and more so one’s behavior.
There are a few possibilities that can contribute to or cause mental health problems such as genes, family history of mental health problems, and life events like trauma or abuse, but there are also quite a bit of warning signs such as too much or not enough eating or sleeping, withdrawing from social life and people, feelings of hopelessness, frequent confusion or worry or fear, mood swings, hearing voices, thinking of or doing harm to oneself or others, lack of hygiene, and neglect of responsibilities like family and work.
Mental health problems are more common than one would think mostly because people do not like to talk about mental health.
- According to National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI):(1)
- 1 in 5 U.S. adults experience mental illness each year
- 1 in 20 U.S. adults experience serious mental illness each year
- 1 in 6 U.S. youth aged 6-17 experience a mental health disorder each year
- 50% of all lifetime mental illness begins by age 14, and 75% by age 24
During our life, our mental health can change depending on circumstances such as financial issues, relationship problems, taking care of sick relatives, and dealing with a chronic illness. The severity of these can wear down your ability to cope with them and life in general and, ultimately, your mental health.
Of course, there are people living with mental health issues related to a disorder such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), bipolar, depression, schizophrenia, and certain autoimmune illnesses. These illnesses have differing severity of mental health problems relative to cognitive abilities. Some are physical damage to the brain, some are stress induced, but they are all serious.
Daily life with a mental health issue is extremely difficult. It will make one have negative thoughts about life and make one feel like they can’t bear what is going on with them or their situation. If you know someone with any kind of mental health issue or anything stressful in their life, reach out. If it is only to say “Hi”. It can mean a huge difference in their day and life.
If you or someone you know needs help or to talk to someone, there are many organizations online now as well as hospitals making great strides in helping with mental health problems.
Monday through Friday, 10 a.m.–8 p.m., ET. 1-800-950-NAMI (6264)
Live Chat: https://www.nami.org/help
Support via text message: Text NAMI to 741-741