The Importance Of Our Mental Health
Now more than ever our mental health is extremely important. It’s a huge issue that is affecting so many people, so it’s important we talk about it and create awareness on how to look after our mental well-being. Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel and act. Mental health is important in every stage of life from childhood through to adulthood. In this blog we will discuss what mental health is, the signs to look out for that your mental health is struggling, and what you can do to help your mental well-being.
What are the most common mental health conditions?
There are many times of mental health conditions, these can range from psychological conditions where you struggle to control your emotions or thoughts (for example bipolar) to substance abuse such as drugs or alcohol. However the two most common conditions people are struggling with are depression and anxiety. These two conditions often come hand in hand as one can lead to the other.
What is Anxiety?
Anxiety is a feeling of unease, worry or fear. We all feel anxious at times, but anxiety may be a mental health problem if your feelings are very strong or last a long time. More than one in 20 of us have an anxiety disorder. Stress can be a huge contributing factor to anxiety so making sure you manage stress is extremely important to your mental health.
What are the symptoms of anxiety?
There are so many symptoms of anxiety that sometimes people may not even realise they are suffering. Some of the most common symptoms include:
- Feeling nervous, restless, or tense.
- Having a sense of impending danger, panic or doom.
- Having an increased heart rate.
- Breathing rapidly (potentially hyperventilating.)
- Feeling weak or tired.
- Trouble concentrating or worrying about the past or future.
- Panic attacks.
What is depression?
Depression is the extreme feeling of low mood and sadness that lasts for long periods of time, it is a real illness with symptoms. Depression can be triggered by major life events such as loosing someone, losing a job, giving birth or a breakdown of a relationship. It is also known that people with a family history of depression are more likely to experience it too. However you can also become depressed for absolutely no reason.
What are the symptoms of depression?
Just like anxiety, there are several symptoms of depression, some more obvious than others Some can just suggest you are feeling down or sad but if they persist for too long it could be a sign of depression, some common symptoms include:
- Feelings of sadness, tearfulness, emptiness or hopelessness.
- Angry outbursts, irritability, or frustration – even over small matters.
- Loss of interest or pleasure in normal activities such as sex, hobbies or sports.
- Sleep changes – such as insomnia or sleeping too much.
- Lack of motivation or energy.
- Feelings of worthlessness, guilt or self- blame.
- Trouble concentrating.
- Reduced appetite or weight changes.
- Thoughts of death, self-harm or suicide.
At any given time, 1 in 6 working age adults have symptoms associated with mental ill health (e.g. sleep problems, fatigue etc.)
What is the treatment for anxiety and depression?
There is no set cure for anxiety or depression however, there are several options that help reduce the symptoms or help you manage them at least. Treatment can range from medication to therapies, however even just openly talking to the people around you can help ease the symptoms. It is important to not bottle up how you're feeling and try and cope with it alone. Lifestyle changes can also be a help, this can be your diet, routine or daily activities such as increased exercise.
What do I do if I think myself or someone else is struggling with a mental health issue?
There are lots of things you can do if you think either yourself or someone else is struggling with mental health, the first is talking. Whether it’s you struggling or you suspect someone else is, have the conversation about how you or they may be feeling or coping. Secondly take time for yourself or them. It is important to hit pause every now and then and spend time with those around you when life gets hectic. If you are worried about yourself or someone else there is several charities that can help with mental health matters here are a couple:
Samaritans - Donate to Samaritans this Christmas
You can also contact your GP if you’re worried about your mental well–being.
Here at Secret Whispers we are offering mental health courses to become a fully qualified mental health first aider with Mental Health First Aid England and will provide you with all the tools you need to help someone struggling with their mental health and potentially save a life. This course is for anyone aged 16 and over and from any background who wants a deeper understanding of mental health, get the practical skills to spot the triggers and signs of mental health issues and the confidence to step in, reassure and support a person in distress. Employers can also involve employees in these courses too.
Here is the link to our mental health courses website: https://bit.ly/YourHealthcareAcademy