What is mental health?
Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act as we cope with life. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood and aging.
What are mental disorders?
Mental disorders are serious conditions that can affect your thinking, mood, and behavior. They may be occasional or long-lasting. They can affect your ability to relate to others and function each day. Mental disorders are common, but there are treatments. People with mental disorders can get better, and many of them recover completely.
There are many different mental disorders, with different presentations. They are generally characterized by a combination of abnormal thoughts, perceptions, emotions, behavior, and relationships with others.
Mental illness is a condition that affects a person’s thinking, feeling, behavior, or mood. These conditions deeply impact day-to-day living and may also affect the ability to relate to others. Mental health includes emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.
Everyone has some risk of developing a mental health disorder, no matter their age, sex, income, or ethnicity.
Throughout life, if you experience mental health problems, thinking, mood, and behavior could be affected.
Many factors contribute to mental health problems, including:
● Biological factors, such as genes or brain chemistry
● Life experiences, such as trauma or abuse
● Family history of mental health problems
Mental health problems are common but help is available. People with mental health problems can get better and many recover completely.
How are mental disorders diagnosed?
The steps to getting a diagnosis include:
● A medical history
● A physical exam and possibly lab tests, if the provider thinks that other medical conditions could be causing the symptoms
● A psychological evaluation. You will answer questions about the thinking, feelings, and behaviors.
What can affect my mental health?
There are many different factors that can affect your mental health, including:
• Biological factors, such as genes or brain chemistry
• Life experiences, such as trauma or abuse
• Family history of mental health problems
• Your lifestyle, such as diet, physical activity, and substance use
You can also affect your mental health by taking steps to improve it, such as doing meditation, using relaxation techniques, and practicing gratitude.
When it comes to your emotions, it can be hard to know what is normal and what is not.
There are warning signs that you may have a mental health problem, including:
• A change in your eating or sleeping habits
• Withdrawing from the people and activities you enjoy
• Having low or no energy
• Feeling numb or like nothing matters
• Having unexplained aches and pains
• Feeling helpless or hopeless
• Smoking, drinking or using drugs more than usual
• Feeling unusually confused, forgetful, angry, upset, worried, or scared
• Having severe mood swings that cause problems in your relationships
• Having thoughts and memories that you can’t get out of your head
• Hearing voices or believing things that are not true
• Thinking of harming yourself or others
• Not being able to perform daily tasks like taking care of your kids or getting to work or school
What should I do if I think I have a mental health problem?
If you think that you may have a mental health problem, get help. Talk therapy and/or medicines can treat mental disorders. If you don’t know where to start, contact your primary care provider.
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