Blog By: Aishwarya Ghumekar
“Why do we fall? So that we can learn to pick ourselves up.” -Alfred to Bruce Wayne, Batman Begins
Feeling down, angry, stressed or anxious are all normal human emotions. We all feel sad when a loved one unexpectedly dies, when we miss out on that promotion, or after watching that episode of Game of Thrones.
Being sad (or anxious, nervous, panicked, angry, confused, distressed, etc.) happens to all of us from time to time (who doesn’t love a good rage-quit?). But it’s when these feelings persist for long periods of time (more than a few weeks) they may be part of a mental health problem.
Mental health problems can influence how you think and your ability to function in your everyday activities. Here are some general signs you can look for:
- Not enjoying, or not wanting to be involved in things that you would normally enjoy
- Becoming easily irritated or having problems with friends and family for no reason
- Feeling sad, ‘down’, or crying for no apparent reason
- Consistently having trouble concentrating or remembering things
- Feeling too nervous and stressed, a lot of the time, or for no good reason
- Having intrusive negative, distressing or unusual thoughts
Two of the most common mental health issues are:
- Anxiety disorders – Super common (affects around 18% of the U.S. population) and also super treatable (usually without any medication), but only a third of those suffering seek help.
- Depression – Not as common as anxiety (affecting around 5%), but also treatable, and comes in many forms. For example, many women experience post-natal depression, experiencing full-blown feelings of extreme sadness after giving birth, making it difficult for these new mothers to complete daily care activities for themselves and/or for their babies. Depression is very serious and left ignored or untreated it can have a severe impact on someone’s health, and even put their life at risk. But, those who do seek treatment often see improvements in symptoms in just a few weeks.
The exact cause of mental health problems is not known, but it is becoming clear through research that many of these conditions are caused by a combination of factors, not one single issue.
A number of factors may increase someone’s risk of developing a mental health problem:
- early life experiences (trauma, loss of a loved one)
- biological makeup (a family history of mental health problems)
- individual factors (self-esteem levels, coping skills)
- current life circumstances (work stress, relationship issues, poor nutrition, money problems)
- If treated properly considering the above factors these problems could be eradicated.
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