What is Mental Health Awareness?
Mental health describes how we think and feel about ourselves and others and how we interpret events in everyday life. It also relates to our ability to cope with change, transition, significant life events, and the stress that often comes our way.
Mental Health Awareness refers to raising awareness and understanding of mental health issues and challenges. It involved highlighting and promoting the importance of empathy and support for individuals who may be struggling with mental health issues.
The main goal of mental health awareness is to encourage early treatment and intervention, reduce the stigma around mental health, and support the health and wellbeing of the individuals in our lives.
Why is Mental Health Awareness Important?
Raising awareness about mental health is extremely important as opening and discussing mental health can help reduce misconceptions and stigma and encourage individuals to seek support.
“Mental health at the workplace, especially stress, anxiety and depression are a major issue of concern to the workers. Globally, approximately 42% of the employed workers say that their stress levels are high or very high. Employees working in organisations in which stressful environments are frequently encountered are at a higher risk of having mental health problems.”
It’s an important tool for loved ones, caregivers, and friends to gain an understanding of the impact that mental health has on daily life.
What Are the Four Primary Types of Mental Health Disorders?
Mental Health disorders fall under a broad category of conditions. Individuals who suffer from mental health conditions can affect many aspects of the person’s lives, including their behavior, wellbeing, emotions, and daily thoughts. While there are many different mental health disorders, they can generally be categorized into the following four primary types:
Anxiety disorders are characterized by experiencing excessive fear, nervousness, or worry that interferes with your life. There are many types of anxiety disorders, including social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and specific phobias.
Mood disorders fall under the category of mental health disorders and disturb an individual’s mood or emotional state. Mood disorders can severely impede a person’s life and impact the relationships they have both inside and outside the workplace. There are several types of mood disorders, the following being some of the most common:
Major Depressive Disorder (MDD): This disorder can also be known as clinical depression and shows feelings of hopelessness, lack of interest in life activities, and persistent feelings of sadness.
Bipolar Disorder: This disorder results in individuals experiencing extreme mood swings, with episodes of depression and mania. During these episodes, individuals may experience a decreased need for sleep, an increase in energy, and become more impulsive.
Psychotic disorders are a group of mental illnesses characterized by psychosis, which involves a disconnection from reality. Psychotic disorders can significantly impact a person’s thinking, emotions, and behavior. Some common psychotic disorders include:
Schizophrenia: Schizophrenia is one of the most well-known psychotic disorders. This type of disorder usually begins in late adolescence or early adulthood. Symptoms of Schizophrenia include hallucinations, disorganized thinking, social withdrawal, and delusions.
Schizoaffective Disorder: This disorder is a combination of symptoms of schizophrenia and mood disorders. Individuals who suffer from this disorder may experience episodes of psychosis along with mood changes.
Delusional Disorder: This disorder results in individuals experiencing persistent, non-bizarre delusions that are not accompanied by other symptoms of schizophrenia. These delusions can include grandiosity, jealousy, or persecution.
Eating disorders are complex mental health conditions characterized by abnormal eating behaviors and an unhealthy preoccupation with food, body weight, and body image. Eating disorders can have serious physical, emotional, and psychological consequences and often require professional treatment. The most common types of eating disorders are:
Anorexia Nervosa: Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by an intense fear of gaining weight and a distorted body image. People with anorexia often severely restrict their food intake, leading to significant weight loss. Anorexia can result in dangerous physical health complications, such as malnutrition, electrolyte imbalances, and heart problems.
Bulimia Nervosa: Individuals with bulimia nervosa experience episodes of binge eating, during which they consume large amounts of food in a short period.
Binge-Eating Disorder: This disorder involves recurrent episodes of binge eating without any aspects of the behavior of bulimia. This disorder often results in individuals feeling that they have a lack of control and may eat large quantities of food even when not physically hungry. It can lead to obesity and related health problems.
How to Seek Help And Support?
Seeking help and support is an important step when individuals may be experiencing mental health issues. There are various steps that you can take to seek help and support such as talking to trusted friends or family members, seeking professional help, joining an online community support group, or attending some educational workshops.