Mental health refers to the maintenance of successful mental activity. This includes maintaining productive daily activities and maintaining fulfilling relationships with others. It also includes maintaining the abilities to adapt to change and to cope with stresses.
Unlike most disorders, mental health disorders are rarely recognized by the patient but mostly through a third party, especially in advanced cases. However, even at the formative stage, early signs of poor mental health can be devastating.
The following indicators are evidence of a developing mental condition:
Loss of memory whereby an individual forgets their regular chores and loses track of a familiar route
Unconscious repetitive conversations
Reduced ability to concentrate
Withdrawal from friends and activities
Overreacting on minor issues
Insomnia among others
Types of mental disorders
There are varied categories of mental illness and severity. This list is not exhaustive but includes a few common ones :
People with anxiety disorders respond to certain situations /stimuli with fear and dread, as well as with physical signs of anxiety or panic, such as a rapid heartbeat and sweating.
Also referred to as affective disorders, involve persistent feelings of sadness or periods of feeling overly happy, or fluctuations from extreme happiness to extreme sadness. The most common mood disorders are depression, bipolar disorder, and cyclothymic disorder
Post-traumatic stress disorder PTSD
PTSD is a condition that can develop following a traumatic or terrifying event, such as a sexual or physical assault, the unexpected death of a loved one, or a natural disaster
People with personality disorders have extreme and inflexible personality traits that are distressing to the person and/or cause problems in work, school, or social relationships.
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive neurologic disorder that causes the brain to shrink (atrophy) and brain cells to die. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia — a continuous decline in thinking, behavioural and social skills that affect a person’s ability to function independently
This disorder is a progressive nervous system disorder that affects movement. Symptoms start gradually, sometimes starting with a barely noticeable tremor in just one hand. Tremors are common, but the disorder also commonly causes stiffness or slowing of movement
The good news is that most mental health conditions can be treated! There’s hope if one can place a finger on any unfamiliar routine and take remedial measures by first talking to someone /counsellor early enough
With remedies in place, it is of relevance to ascertain the causes of poor mental health.
Causes of poor mental health
physical causes e.g. head injury and neurological condition e.g. epilepsy
Significant trauma as an adult eg an incident that threatened your life
Domestic violence and severe or long term stress
Debt and unemployment
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder ADHD
Autism spectrum disorder ASD and
Generalized anxiety disorder GA among other issues