Mental health

Mental health (MH) is emotional, psychological, and social well-being, that influences cognition, perception, and behavior. 

WHO-it is a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her abilities, copes with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and can contribute to one’s community.

MH determines how an individual handles stress, interpersonal relationships, and decision-making.

Mental health includes one’s subjective well-being, perceived self-efficacy, autonomy, competence, intergenerational dependence, and self-actualization of one’s intellectual and emotional potential.

Mental health may include an individual’s ability to enjoy life and to create a balance between life activities and efforts to achieve psychological resilience.

Early signs related to mental health difficulties are sleep irritation, lack of energy, lack of appetite, thinking of harming oneself or others, self-isolating and frequently zoning out.

Feeling capable and competent, able to handle normal levels of stress, maintaining satisfying relationships, and leading an independent life, the ability to recover from difficult situations, are all signs of mental health.

Mental health, is an individual’s capacity to feel, think, and act in ways to achieve a better quality of life while respecting personal, social, and cultural boundaries.

Impairment of any of these capacities are risk factor for mental disorders, or mental illnesses.

In 2019, about 970 million people worldwide suffered from a mental disorder, with anxiety and depression being the most common. 

The number of people suffering from mental disorders has risen significantly throughout the years.

Mental disorders-defined as health conditions that affect and alter cognitive functioning, emotional responses, and behavior associated with distress and/or impaired functioning.

DSM is used as the classification system of mental disorders.

Mental health is associated with a number of lifestyle factors such as diet, exercise, stress, drug abuse, social connections and interactions.

Psychiatrists, psychologists, licensed professional clinical counselors, social workers, nurse practitioners, and family physicians can help manage mental illness with treatments such as therapy, counseling, and medication.

Mental health and mental disorder are not opposites-the absence of a recognized mental disorder is not necessarily an indicator of mental health.

There is social stigmatization of those with mental illnesses, they have been widely marginalized and discriminated against in society.

Mental illnesses are is more common than cancer, diabetes, or heart disease. 

As of 2021, over 22 percent of all Americans over the age of 18 meet the criteria for having a mental illness.

Evidence suggests that 1 billion people worldwide have a mental disorder.

Major depression ranks third among the top 10 leading causes of disease worldwide. 

By 2030, major depressive disorder is predicted to become the leading cause of disease worldwide.

Over 700 000 thousand people commit suicide every year and around 14 million attempt it.

A WHO report estimates the global cost of mental illness at nearly $2.5 trillion in 2010, with a projected increase to over $6 trillion by 2030.

The  WHO suggests that nearly half of the world’s population is affected by mental illness with an impact on their self-esteem, relationships and ability to function in everyday life.

An individual’s emotional health can impact their physical health, as it can lead to problems such as the inability to make adequate decisions and substance use disorders.

Good mental health improves life quality whereas poor mental health can worsen it. 

Emotional abilities are associated with pro-social behaviors such as stress management and physical health.

People who lack emotional expression are inclined to anti-social behaviors: substance use disorder and alcohol use disorder, physical fights, vandalism. 

The lack of emotional expression reflects one’s mental health and suppressed emotions.

Individuals who face mental illness may experience social stigma, which can exacerbate the issues.

Mental health can be seen as a continuum.

Mental wellness (health) is viewed as a positive attribute; this demotional well-being, the capacity to live a full and creative life, and the flexibility to deal with life’s inevitable challenges. 

Mental well-being aencompassing three components of emotional well-being, social well-being, and psychological well-being. 

Emotional well-being defined as having high levels of positive emotions.

Social and psychological well-being are defined as the presence of psychological and social skills and abilities that contribute to optimal functioning in daily life. 

Mental health conditions are 16% of the global burden of disease and injury in people aged 10–19 years.

In the United States alone in 2021, at least roughly 17.5% of the population (ages 18 and older) were recorded as having a mental illness. 

Newer generations (18–25 years old to 26–49 years old) and the older generation (50 years or older) have increased mental health issues as only 15% of the older generation reported a mental health issue whereas the newer generations reported 33.7% (18-25) and 28.1% (26-49).

Half of all mental health conditions start by 14 years of age but most cases go undetected and untreated.

Depression is one of the leading causes of illness and disability among adolescents.

Suicide is the fourth leading cause of death in 15-19-year-olds.

Exposure to childhood trauma can cause mental health disorders and poor academic achievement.

A result of depression during adolescence and adulthood may be substance abuse.

The average age of onset of depressive disorders is between 11 and 14 years.

Only approximately 25% of children with behavioral problems refer to medical services.

Mental illness is thought to be highly prevalent among homeless populations.

Homelessness as a risk factor for mental illness.

Symptoms of psychological trauma, social disaffiliation and learned helplessness are highly prevalent among homeless individuals and families.

States that produce refugees are sites of social upheaval, civil war, even genocide.

Most refugees experience trauma: torture, sexual assault, family fragmentation, and death of loved ones.

Refugees and immigrants experience psychosocial stressors after resettlement.:

discrimination, lack of economic stability, and social isolation causing emotional distress. 

Post-migration trauma is a cause of depressive disorders and psychological distress for immigrants.

Mental health is a socially constructed concept, therefore different  societies, cultures and professions have different ways of conceptualizing it, and determining what is mentally healthy, and deciding what interventions, if any, are appropriate.

Because stigma attached to mental illness, such individuals may resist labeling and may be driven to respond to mental health diagnoses with denialism.

Family caregivers of people with mental disorders may also suffer discrimination or face stigma.

Occupational therapy offers a vast range of services for all stages of life in a myriad of practice settings for mental health.

Occupational therapy interventions focus on positive functioning, sensory strategies, managing emotions, interpersonal relationships, sleep, community engagement, and cognitive skills of visual-perceptual skills, attention, memory, and arousal/energy management.

Social work in mental health helps  individuals attain freedom from overlapping internal and external problems, such as social and economic situations, family and other relationships, the physical and organizational environment, and psychiatric symptoms.

Psychiatric social work aims for harmony, quality of life, self-actualization, personal adaptation, coping with both mental health issues and various economic or social problems caused by mental illness or psychiatric dysfunctions and to attain improved mental health and well-being.

In the United States, social workers provide most of the mental health services: 60 percent of mental health professionals are clinically trained social workers, 10 percent are psychiatrists, 23 percent are psychologists, and 5 percent are psychiatric nurses.

Factors that contribute to mental health problems, including biological factors, genetic factors, life experiences, such as psychological trauma or abuse, and a family history of mental health problems.

Changes in neurotransmitters can cause mental illnesses. 

There may be disruptions in the neurotransmitters dopamine, glutamate, and norepinephrine in individuals who have schizophrenia.

Demographic characteristics of gender, age, ethnicity, life expectancy, longevity, population density, and community diversity can increase the risk and severity of mental disorders.

Female gender is connected with an elevated risk of depression at differerent phases of life, commencing in adolescence.

Females, for example, have a higher risk of anxiety, and eating disorders, whereas males have a higher chance of substance abuse and behavioral and developmental issues.

Ethnicity and ethnic heterogeneity have also been identified as risk factors for the prevalence of mental disorders, with minority groups being at a higher risk due to discrimination and exclusion.

Unemployment has been shown to hurt an individual’s emotional well-being, self-esteem, and  overall mental health. 

Employment improves mental health, predominantly depressive disorders.

Countries with high income inequality and poor unemployment protections experience worse mental health outcomes among the unemployed.

The prevalence of mental illness is higher in more economically unequal countries.

Emotional mental disorders are a leading cause of disabilities worldwide. 

Neuropsychiatric disorders are the leading causes of disability worldwide, accounting for 37% of all healthy life years lost through disease. 

These disorders are most destructive to low and middle-income countries.

Unhappily married couples suffer 3–25 times the risk of developing clinical depression.

A certain amount of stress is a normal part of daily life. 

Small doses of stress help people meet deadlines, be prepared for presentations, be productive and arrive on time for important events. 

Long-term stress can become harmful. 

When stress becomes overwhelming and prolonged, the risks for mental health problems and medical problems increase.

Stressors of low income, inadequate health care, discrimination, and exposure to criminal activities all contribute to mental disorders. 

Children exposed to poverty-stricken environments have slower cognitive thinking.

Children in poor households tend to fall behind in certain cognitive abilities compared to other families.

For childhood emotional health, children need a strong, reliable primary caregiver providing consistent and unconditional love, guidance, and support. 

Safe, predictable, stable environments. 

Attunement, is harmonious reciprocal interactions that are crucial during the first 6–24 months of infants’ lives and helps them develop a wider range of healthy emotions, including gratitude, forgiveness, and empathy. 

Poverty changes the personalities of children who live in it. 

The Great Smoky Mountains Study a ten-year study that was able to demonstrate about one-quarter of the families saw a dramatic and unexpected increase in income: among these children, instances of behavioral and emotional disorders decreased, and conscientiousness and agreeableness increased.

Studies have linked mental health to several climate-related exposures: heat, humidity, rainfall, drought, wildfires and floods.

Climate change can affect green or blue natural spaces, which have beneficial impact on mental health: freshwater pollution or deforestation, degrade these landscapes and public access.

Even when the green and blue spaces are intact, access to them is not equal across society.

People with pre-existing mental illness, Indigenous peoples, migrants and refugees, and children and adolescents are all vulnerable. 

The emotional responses to the threat of climate change can include anxiety, grief  and  anger.

Mental health promotion and prevention are often confused. 

Promotion is defined as intervening to optimize positive mental health by addressing determinants of positive mental health.

Mental health promotion  occurs before a specific mental health problem has been identified, with the ultimate goal of improving the positive mental health of the population. 

Mental health prevention is defined as intervention to minimize mental health problems before a specific mental health problem has been identified in the individual, group, or population, with the ultimate goal of reducing the number of future mental health problems in the population.

Mental health, to be reserved emphasizes the avoidance of risk factors; its promotion aims to enhance an individual’s ability to achieve a positive sense of self-esteem, mastery, well-being, and social inclusion.

Mental health promotion increases protective factors and healthy behaviors to prevent the onset of a mental disorder and reduce risk factors that can lead to their development.

Mental health is conventionally defined as a hybrid of the absence of a mental disorder and the presence of well-being. 

Pharmacotherapy is used in the treatment of mental illness through the use of antidepressants, benzodiazepines, and the use of as lithium. 

Physical exercise can improve mental and physical health. 

Any form of physical activity trigger the production of various hormones, sometimes including endorphins, which can elevate a person’s mood.

In some cases, physical activity can have the same impact as antidepressants when treating depression and anxiety.

Cessation of physical exercise may have adverse effects on some mental health conditions, such as depression and anxiety, and could 

lead to different negative outcomes such as obesity, skewed body image and many health risks associated with mental illnesses.

Activity therapies also called recreation therapy and occupational therapy, promote healing through active engagement. 

Expressive therapies or creative arts therapies are a form of psychotherapy that involves the arts or art-making, music therapy, drama therapy, dance therapy, and poetry therapy. 

Music therapy is an effective way of helping people with a mental health disorder.

Psychotherapy is the term for the scientific based treatment of mental health issues.

 Psychotherapy includes a number of schools, such as gestalt therapy, psychoanalysis, cognitive behavioral therapy, psychedelic therapy, transpersonal psychology/psychotherapy, and dialectical behavioral therapy. 

Group therapy involves any type of therapy that takes place in a setting involving multiple people: psychodynamic groups, expressive therapy groups, support groups and psychoeducation groups.

The practice of mindfulness meditation has several potential mental health benefits, such as bringing about reductions in depression, anxiety and stress.

Mindfulness meditation may also be effective in treating substance use disorders.

Mental fitness is encourages people to intentionally regulate and maintain their emotional wellbeing through friendship, regular human contact, meditation, calming exercises, aerobic exercise, mindfulness, maintaining routine activities and adequate sleep. 

Mental fitness builds resilience against every-day mental and potentially physical health challenges to prevent an escalation of anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideation.

Spiritual counselors deliver care based on spiritual, psychological and theological principles.

Emotional mental illnesses should be a particular concern in the United States-the U.S. has the highest annual prevalence rates of 26 percent for mental illnesses among a comparison of 14 developing and developed countries.

Approximately 80 percent of all people in the United States with a mental disorder eventually receive some form of treatment.

People do not access care until nearly a decade following the development of their illness, and less than one-third of people who seek help receive minimally adequate care.

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