Every month on the blog we have community sessions for members of our tribe and for April 2022, Protecting Your Mental Health in Today’s World was our topic. This session was taken by Adewuyi Samson, Founder of Mental Space. Catch up on everything we discussed by reading this article.
What Do We Understand by Mental Health?
Mental health has a variety of meanings but the general one is that mental health is the cognitive, behavioural and emotional well-being of individuals. Everyone tends to develop mental health disorders regardless of age, sex, income or ethnicity.
Factors that Contribute to Mental Health Illness
Several factors contribute to mental health illness. The most common is social and economic pressure. When there is limited financial capabilities ethnic persecution, can increase the tendency of developing a mental health disorder.
Genetics also play a vital role in determining the possibility of developing a mental health disorder. However, a family member having depression or PTSD isn’t a guarantee that others will inherit it as others with no genetics of mental health disorder can also develop it
Mental health disorders such as stress, anxiety and depression may develop due to underlying life-changing health problems such as cancer, diabetes and chronic pain.
Types of Mental Health Disorders
We’ll be looking at two types of disorders which are anxiety and mood disorders. People with anxiety disorders experience severe fear or anxiety which relates to certain situations or objects
Anxiety disorders are divided into subgroups as well:
- The First is Generalised Anxiety Disorder which is a disproportionate worry that disrupts everyday living. They sometimes experience restlessness, fatigue, tense muscles and interrupted sleep. Their anxiety is sometimes triggered with no trigger and other times might be triggered by everyday situations such as chores or keeping appointments.
- The next is Panic Disorders. They experience regular Panic attacks which involve sudden, overwhelming terror or a sense of imminent disaster and death
- Phobias is another aspect of anxiety disorders. Simple phobias are a disproportionate fear of specific objects, scenarios or animals.
- Social Phobias a.k.a Social Anxiety is a fear of being subject to the judgement of others. People with social phobia often restrict their exposure to social environments.
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder deals with obsessions and compulsions. They experience constant stressful thoughts and a powerful urge to perform repetitive acts.
- Lastly is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder which occurs after a person experiences or witnesses a deeply stressful or traumatic event. They live in fear and lack control over their life. They believe their lives or other people are in constant danger.
Mood disorders are also known as affective disorders or depressive disorders. People with these conditions have significant mood changes generally involving either mania; a period of high energy and elation or depression. Types of mood disorders include major depression which is a constant low mood and lack of interest in activities and events that are previously enjoyed. They experience prolonged periods of sadness or extreme sadness. Bipolar disorder is an unusual change in mood, energy levels, levels of activity and ability to continue with daily life.
Signs of Mental Illness
There are several signs of mental illness which should be taken note of
- Withdrawal from friends, family and colleagues.
- Avoiding activities they normally enjoy
- Sleeping too much or too little
- Feelings of hopelessness
- Having constant low energy
- Using mood energy altering substances frequently
- Feelings of confusion
- Hearing voices
- Inability to complete daily tasks
- Thinking of causing physical harm to themselves and others
- Experiencing delusions and so on
If you find yourself experiencing any of the symptoms above then you’re likely having one or more mental illnesses. Treatment of mental illness is either through medications prescribed by a psychiatrist, through therapy or group discussions. Sometimes, it’s the combination of all.
How Do We Protect Our Mental Health?
Validate Your Feelings
The First is that we should learn to validate our feelings. Always speak out either to parents, close friends or your therapist.
Another way is by regular exercise. Exercise helps in bringing clarity to the mind and reduces stress.
Reduce Intake of Hard Substance
Reduction of alcohol intake and smoking.
Staying positive is another way of protecting your mental health. Negativity is the gateway to mental health.
Cultivate the attitude of gratitude. You can get a journal and put down periodically things you’re grateful for. Engage in activities that relax and make you happy.
Watch Your Physical Health
Protect your physical health as well as the physical health also affects the mental health.
Questions On Protecting Your Mental Health?
Is Social Anxiety Common Mostly Among Introverts? Also, How Can One Manage Social Anxiety?
I would say 90% of introverts have social anxiety. Social anxiety can be managed through gradual exposure of people that experience it to social events. It cannot be gotten rid of only managed. One has to be careful on exposed to a social event in order, not to overload which can lead to panic attacks. The exposure needs to be agreed to by the person and in a gradual process.
Is Negativity The Gateway To Bad Mental Health Or Just Mental Health?
Bad mental health. Depression generally comes in as a result of negative thoughts and feelings of hopelessness.
Thank you for reading through. Please leave your thoughts, opinions and questions in the comment section. Don’t forget that you can join the tribe here. Want to get a gist of what is coming up next on the blog, then please sign up for my newsletter, a new note comes out every Saturday.