Our emotional, psychological, and social well-being are all part of our mental health, and this greatly affects our thinking, feelings, behavior, and how we cope with challenges in life. Our mental health is what determines how well we handle stress, how we make choices, and how we relate to others, and it affects us at every stage of our lives, irrespective of age.
Mental health is an important aspect of our lives because it helps us:
- Cope with stressful situations.
- Be physically healthy.
- Have good relationships with others.
- Work productively.
- Make meaningful contributions to our communities.
- Realise and reach our potential.
A mental disorder can affect you in such a way as to increase the risks to your physical health, and can even result in diseases such as stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure, or heart problems.
What kind of things can affect our mental health?
- Situations – Workplace, social relationships, business stresses
- Physiological factors such as genes, brain chemistry, etc.
- Traumatic experiences such as abuse or fear.
- Family history of mental health problems.
- Lifestyle – diet, substance use (such as drugs, alcohol, etc), physical activity.
It is very difficult to figure out what is normal and what is not when it comes to mental health, and at times you may not even realize that you have a problem. There are however certain subtle signs that could indicate that you have a mental health problem, such as:
- A change in sleeping habits.
- Refraining from activities that you like.
- Withdrawal from people and society.
- Low energy levels.
- Feeling like nothing matters.
- Unexplained aches and pains.
- A feeling of hopelessness and helplessness.
- Substance misuse (such as drinking for stress relief)
- Constant feelings of anger, confusion, worry, fear or forgetfulness.
- Severe mood swings.
- Thoughts of self-harm.
- Inability to carry out your day-to-day tasks.
- Hearing voices, or believing things that are not true.
- Constantly thinking of old memories and dwelling on them.
If you have any of these symptoms or feel that you or someone you love may be having a mental health problem, speak to someone immediately and seek help. There are several professional clinics providing services in mental health in Mt Gravatt and many other areas in the country.