Mental Health – Definition (World Health Organisation; 2014)
“Mental health is defined as a state of wellbeing in which every individual realises his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.”
Health – Definition (World Health Organisation)
“Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”
Poor mental health
Consider poor mental health as a dynamic state of mind. You will not one day wake up with poor mental health, having gone to sleep in a state of good mental health. The brain processes the information and allows you to be in a specific state of mind, but this state is dynamic and changes with time. The state of mind may be in a dynamic state of flux. Your brain can become ill and when it does, it struggles to cope. The knock-on effect is that you struggle to cope with the routine tasks of living.
You get on with things without thinking. This sliding scale of poor mental health allows you to live your life. The extent to which you can do this depends on the scale you try to keep. Nothing is exclusive. Having a mental health diagnosis does not dictate you cannot manage, and not yet having any symptoms of a physical illness does not mean you will not become ill. In addition, within this context, you may find it difficult to manage a home and work life, yet not have a mental health diagnosis.
As your poor mental health takes shape, your developing behavioural traits may become noticeable. Small things, worsening. Doubting your ability to survive the recovery or achieve the state of wellbeing. Don’t let in the negativity. The courageous you must know: Mental Health Does Not Define You.
Wellbeing and Good Mental Health Gives You Hope.
Remember, there’s only One of You.
Good mental health
I will use the World Health Organisation definitions for mental health and health. Good mental health is the panacea state sought after by everyone. Achieving good mental health means you can carry on with daily tasks and lead your life, overcoming any hurdles whenever presented. You will have a positive outlook on life, with an active social lifestyle. Later, your elevated mood improves your general physical health that could mean you work and live longer too. Yay, everybody should want this.
Mental health has several dimensional concepts that affect us. We refer to them in both definitions. Each uses the word wellbeing as a state that a healthy person should be. We see wellbeing as generic, though it may be the following types:
Psychological wellbeing allows you to encompass positive aspects of life. Life may fulfil and content you. You achieve autonomy over your life, relishing the freedom to decide for yourself. No longer hard to manage your daily tasks, you like yourself and accept your personality, realising nobody can be perfect. With that, you achieve a sense of purpose and meaning in what you do. Later, you become better by learning new skills, facing whatever challenges come your way. Your newfound personal growth encourages positive relationships with family, friends, and other people.
Physical wellbeing is encompassing. Your overall priority is to make sure your health doesn’t succumb to the myriad preventable diseases and conditions we are susceptible. Activities will dictate your overall health. Let the senses, intellect, state of body, mind and spirit soar. You will become alert and ready to live.
Emotional wellbeing will leave you feeling contented and happy with your life. It is gratifying to accept how things are for you and enhance the good mood state. Feeling happy, experiencing compassion, joy, love and other positive emotions, leaves you elated.
Social wellbeing is pivotal because it gives you a sense of purpose by contributing to society. You recognise that you belong to a community and your presence matters.
Mental health guide
Sometimes Helpful Guides are long-winded and confusing for people. When you need guidance, you want the correct information and have it.
This guide gives you essential information, required when you or someone you know has a mental health illness.
Mental health issues are more common than you may think. One in four adults and one in ten children/adolescents has a mental health illness. This does not prevent them from playing an active role in society and trying to live life just the same as any other person. Living with a mental health condition is the same as any physical health condition. They can measure each along a variable scale and no defined prognosis states for how long the person shall stay within each position of that scale. No one responds the same to the various treatments and therapies undertaken.
Regardless of the mental health illness, if it affects you or someone you know, here are useful tips to be mindful:
There is a great stigma and discrimination associated with mental health. Often people get scared when they struggle to understand. The stigma surrounding mental health is negative attitudes (prejudice) and negative behaviour (discrimination). Consequences of this leads to embarrassment, fear and a reluctance for people to speak out about their own or other people’s mental health concerns. The effects of this can lead to people feeling excluded and delays or preventing them from seeking treatment for mental health. The negative reactions and stigma may be intentional, so that the person believes them to be the truth.
You can help by–educating yourselves and those around you to overcome this fear of mental health. Be empathic, listening and understanding of people with mental health issues. Ask questions and try to figure out the basis of the issues. We can see the reasons behind the illness by looking at the trigger points. Be humane and non-judgmental. If you hear people speaking negatively about mental health, speak out and proclaim the positive aspects. Let people know that–education is key.
Early intervention is crucial. People lack knowledge on mental health, though they are improving. Often its misinformation, because it comes from multiple sources, can be unreliable and adds to the hysteria and terror felt by people when they come near someone with a mental health illness. They think a psychopath who cannot control themselves will attack them, committing murder. Alas, the axe-wielding mad person visual is never far from people’s minds whenever you mention mental health. As I have stated, education is key.
This lack of knowledge and understanding causes a delay in people seeking treatment because they do not recognise their mental health symptoms. People around them do not recognise the symptoms either. Other misnomers include psychological therapies will worsen conditions, the illness will go away of its own accord, the person should be able to self-heal through will power. Don’t believe either and help yourself, the person with the mental health illness and your community build upon the knowledge and know what they can do and where to go for professional support. The sooner the person can receive treatment, the greater the chances of recovery or improvement. You may offer to go with them, if the person is reluctant and or frightened to seek professional support by themselves. You could stay in the waiting area, allowing them the privacy of their consultation, whilst still knowing a smiling, friendly person is nearby. Your reassuring behaviour could make the difference to whether a person allows themselves professional medical support for their mental health condition. Go ahead–Make a difference.
Create a wellbeing action plan. Mental health is a condition that people think they must endure without hope of living a wonderful future. But no, a wellbeing action plan can allow the affected to live as any other person. Following this plan is a welcome relief when everything is bleak, if you have a mental health illness or you know someone who has.
The contents of the wellbeing action plan are variable and tailored to the individual. In fact, draw them up together and decide what is best included to find the salient details to help toward healing. A useful viewpoint is to discuss what Actions it requires, to help ease symptoms of poor mental health, or help you get through each day feeling happier that you have achieved success.
Keep the wellbeing action plan succinct and nearby. Using it will soon become second nature and it shall help keep you motivated, focussed and left with no doubt what positive Actions you can take to keep your mental health recovery on an even plateau. If your health deteriorates, the plan will help you find how to regain recovery sooner. The plan will give you formality, avoiding getting lost in the confusion, chaos, and overwhelming unease of poor mental health.
Here are a few suggestions of what to include, to get you started, as you create your wellbeing action plan:
- Always ask for help if you need it. Do Not Suffer In Silence;
- Are there any early warning signs?
- Eat healthily;
- Feel confident about communicating positive information on mental health issues in response to hearing negative information;
- Get a confidant–someone you trust and know. To whom you can turn for support and a friendly conversation;
- Have a space/environment in which you feel safe to express yourself freely, to state how you feel, without being judged;
- Make sure you have a space/environment to which you can go when you need to be alone. Peace/Solitude can be calming;
- Have time for yourself to relax. Practicing relaxation techniques or reading a book;
- Keep your medical appointments and be mindful if you need to make any ad hoc appointments;
- Drink plenty of water. Keeping hydrated is crucial;
- Take pride in your home by keeping it in excellent condition. Do your housework, grocery shopping, and laundry tasks;
- Spend quality time with friends and family;
- Walking is a great way to keep healthy, and it elevates your mood;
- Have a regular sleep and wake up routine. You need plenty of rest and should not wake up late;
- Write any specific items that may trigger your poor mental health. This helps to find potential solutions;
- Is there anything you or anybody else can do to stop the symptoms from coming on or worsening?
- Keep a Journal. Writing things helps you to remember and organise your thoughts and express how you feel;
- Meeting other people is fun and talking to others helps you realise you’re not alone. Having friends helps you to feel wanted and accepted;
- Take up an activity that interests you. It will help keep you motivated and improve your mood;
- Take your medication on time. (Get it in blister packs to become more organised);
- Write any Aspirations of what you want to achieve. This motivates you toward improving your mental health.
Types of Mental Health Problems
There are many mental health problems. Focussed here are the categories of Neurotic and Psychotic conditions. Please note: Any mental health problem incurred can mean that the person could become a suicide risk.
Neurotic conditions involve mental disorders in which someone perceives distress because of danger and or possibility of death. The person is still cognisant of their environment and reality. They can still behave within socially acceptable limits without drawing undue attention.
Examples of Neurotic conditions include:
- Anxiety Disorder - Have Physical Psychological and Behavioural Effects;
- Bipolar Disorder (Formerly known as manic depression);
- Depression (Clinical Depression, various symptoms lasting for longer than two weeks);
- Eating Disorders:
- Anorexia nervosa–Loss of appetite of nervous reasons;
- Bulimia nervosa–Overeating for nervous reasons;
- Panic Disorder–Panic Attacks;
- Perinatal Depression;
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD);
- Social and Specific Phobias;
- Substance Abuse; Alcohol and Drugs–Prescription or Illegal.
Psychotic conditions in a person’s view allow them to extend their perception beyond the realms of normality and reality. Emotions and thoughts steered toward Hallucinogenic and Delusional states. Hallucinations may incorporate the imagined presence of something and or someone based on imagined heightened senses of hearing, smell, sight or emotions. Delusions may entail the person having persistent thoughts that people or everyone is their enemy. Even when presented with logical, irrefutable evidence to the contrary. The delusional thoughts may involve being covertly controlled, persecuted or being sent hidden messages.
Examples of Psychotic conditions include:
Personality Disorders - Types. Experts group personality disorders into three clusters A, B and C.
Cluster A: People whom don’t integrate well with others. We often consider them as eccentric;
- Paranoid personality disorder;
- Schizoid personality disorder;
- Schizotypal personality disorder;
Cluster B: Unpredictable people. In addition, they may have difficulty controlling their emotions;
- Antisocial personality disorder (ASPD);
- Borderline personality disorder (BPD);
- Histrionic personality disorder;
- Narcissistic personality disorder;
Cluster C: People whom may appear withdrawn or distant. They may heighten their feelings of fear or anxiety.
- Dependent personality disorder;
- Avoidant personality disorder;
- Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder;
- Psychotic Depression;
- Drug-Induced Psychosis.
Types of schizoaffective disorder
Schizoaffective disorder incorporates psychotic and mood disorder symptoms. Types of schizoaffective disorder are:
Types of Mental Health Symptoms
Poor mental health (symptoms)
Wellbeing is not achievable all the time. At various points in our lives, we will experience periods of poor mental health.
Daily living does not mean that our lives match simple categories into which we fall in and out of as the days pass. The human body is complex, and it confines us to its biosphere. You don’t wake up one day feeling well and wretched the next. You will have felt symptoms of not feeling well, ranging from mild, getting worse, leading you to the ill state. How you feel fluctuates as time passes, and you may even feel better and skip becoming ill. How you feel is not binary, well or ill.
Consider poor mental health the same as being well or ill. You will not one day awaken with poor mental health having gone to your slumber in a state of good mental health. The brain processes the information and lets you be in a specific state of mind, but this state changes with time. It is dynamic, with multitude variables. The brain can become ill and when it does, it struggles to cope. The knock-on effect is that you struggle to cope with the routine tasks of living. You get on with things without thinking. This sliding scale of poor mental health allows you the ability to live a life as per any other person. The extent to which you can achieve is a predilection to where on the scale you try to remain.
Nothing is exclusive. Having a mental health diagnosis does not dictate you cannot manage, and not yet having any symptoms of illness does not mean you will not become ill. Besides, within this context, you may find it very difficult to manage a home and work life, yet not have a mental health diagnosis.
So, we need to explore the characteristics and behaviours you may develop into when poor mental health takes shape. Only then can we outline methodologies that will help:
- Being aggressive;
- Increased drinking/Alcoholism;
- Loss of appetite/Overeating–Binging;
- Lack of concentration/easily distracted;
- Increased worrying;
- Difficulty deciding;
- Lacks energy/tiredness;
- Disinterested in daily activities;
- Low mood/depressed/tearful;
- Feeling overwhelmed by everything;
- Irritability/short temper;
- Difficulty controlling emotions;
- Manic speech/changing between conversation topics.
Myths & Facts
There is much information on mental health in the public domain, and that is positive. People admit to knowing this and share their knowledge. The media plays a role in disseminating knowledge on mental health. Coupled with the professional medical advice and guidance being provided, this may overwhelm to view the joint information and make sense of it. The misinformation ought to be sorted, myth from fact.
Here are common Myths & Facts:
Few people have a mental health problem.
Mental health does not discriminate. It does not care whom it affects. So, people from everywhere can become affected to varying degrees. Mental health affects one in four adults and one in ten children/adolescents. It can affect children going through hard times in their lives. Such things can include bullying at school, family breakups, behavioural problems or general school stress, peer pressure, studying and exams.
Mental health is imaginary.
Mental health is very much a genuine issue. Just the same as physical health, mental health is a sign that the brain is ill. Think of it as a brain disorder. If left untreated, the person’s condition may deteriorate. No one imagines upon themselves or any other, poor mental health. They are not being lazy or seeking attention. Treat them well, as you hope, if you were physically ill. When a person has complex mental health problems, it’s likely that several more people will be affected, people around them, families, friends, and colleagues. If mental health were imaginary, why affect so many?
People with mental health don’t experience discrimination.
With more positive and correct information being provided by a variety of methods, people are becoming more aware of mental health. This has allowed the true effects and consequences to become known. Society still subjects people with mental health problems to stigma and discrimination. People may still see them as being different and having violent tendencies and the inability to support a normal, productive life. These negative views hinder the progressive nature of healing that every mental health advocate strives. Education is key to eradicating misinformation and negative viewpoints.
Poor mental health = retarded.
Mentally ill and retarded are different. They are two different brain disorders. There may be similarities in characteristics, the same as any physical illness that may share characteristics. It concerns mental retardation with limitations in mental functioning that make activities of daily living difficult to do. Mental health fits more in the psychiatric sphere, in which the disabilities limit functions along a sliding scale across many people.
People with mental health are dangerous and violent
This is misinformation, another form of negative portrayal of people with mental health. The figures of mentally ill people who are dangerous and commit violent acts are tiny. The negative portrayal in media and how people speak of such incidents make it easy to believe in the stories and consider them commonplace. People with a mental health issue are more likely to be the victim of violence due to discrimination and prejudice.
People with mental health are different.
People with mental health problems integrate well into society. Unless informed, you wouldn't know if a person has a mental health illness.
We cannot use people with mental health problems, even those who are managing their illness.
Alas, here we are again, with stigma, prejudice, discrimination and misinformation. Forget the rumours you may have heard and remember, having a mental health illness prevents no one from functioning and contributing to society, the same as any other person. Everyone has the opportunity for gainful employment. Just in the same way as physical health may be restrictive, so too is poor mental health. People with mental health problems work every day, the same as poor physical health. Specific mental health conditions may cause employment to cease because they are more progressive. Particular physical health conditions may lead to a loss of employment. People can have a mix of mental and physical health conditions.
People with poor mental health, the same as poor physical health, continue employment, often whilst undergoing treatment and managing their condition.
Mental health doesn't affect the poor.
Mental health does not discriminate whom it beckons. For it, no rich, poor divide. People may believe mental health occurs in Westernised, richer countries and the less cultivated, poor countries don’t have people with mental health problems. Alas, if only this simplistic viewpoint were true, then a quick solution may be easier to find.
Information and education are key. Regardless of a country's wealth status, they find brain disorders in people. Alcohol abuse, depression, stress, schizophrenia exists in any society, and rich or poor make no distinction to these illnesses. One reason for people thinking wealthier countries have a mental health problem is because they promote and distribute information to more than poorer countries. Alongside the promotion, they publish more stating the outcomes, both positive and negative, such as the number of suicides and the number of attacks on people. In poorer countries, access to information may not be so good; so fewer people will become informed.
Personality flaws cause mental health problems. People should try harder to get over poor mental health.
Poor mental health has nothing to do with personality. You can be trustworthy, dishonest, hardworking, lazy, rich, or poor. It does not matter of your personality. Mental health problems can arise because of several reasons, biological genes, brain chemistry and their reaction to trauma, life experiences or the result of a physical illness.
In addition, people who have a poor mental health condition will have symptoms that vary on a sliding scale daily. Complete recovery is possible too, though expecting people to get over poor mental health, as if by clicking one's fingers, is the same expectation from people with physical ill health to get over it.
Mental health is incurable. There is no prevention.
Poor mental health is an illness of the brain and has many causes. Causes are biological involving a person’s genes, brain chemistry and others include social, behavioural and emotive reasons to do with experiences including trauma. Physical health may be a cause too. Mental health is complex and multifaceted. Someone may say the same of physical health. So, both have health aspects that may be curable and incurable.
Many people recover from a mental health condition, just as many people recover from a physical health condition. We can say the same for managing and easing symptoms for mental and physical conditions. We can prevent poor mental health by several methods including limiting exposure to trauma and or identifying how best to treat trauma, highlighting signs of the symptoms so that people recognise what is happening to them or others.
People with mental health issues cannot be independent.
Independent living with the right opportunities and support is what many people who have mental health conditions do daily. Treatments and the outcome will vary for individuals. Though with the support and advice from health professionals, trying different combinations of medication and therapy based treatments, people learn to manage and live with their mental health, finding the ideal solution for them.
Therapy and self-help are useless. Take medication.
Poor mental health is not an illness that falls into categories of using medication, therapy, or self-help techniques to heal. A combination may help for the long-term effect of managing the condition and even getting through it. Medications such as antidepressants are chemical suppressants, while other medications are chemical replacements. Yes, they play a significant and pivotal treatment role in people with mental health conditions, though each medication is rife with potential side effects that may conflict when joined with medication taken for other health conditions.
Therapy and self-help involves such things as counselling sessions, cognitive behavioural therapy treatment, and reading self-help books. Therapy is cognitive of examining your beliefs, how you do things, why and how you behave in particular situations or when events occur. You examine the life choices you have made and what you want to achieve. You think of coping with hard problems.
You become a “Zombie” with mental health medication.
Contrary to what you may have heard, they do not design medication to change your personality. The purpose of prescribed medication for mental health conditions is to alleviate your symptoms, so you can carry on as normal. It is true medication, may have a dulling effect, because side effects can include drowsiness. So be cautious when driving or using heavy machinery. They will create no Zombies.
I can’t help people with mental health problems.
You can help people with mental health problems. If you know someone who has a mental health problem be there for them. You may feel useless because you know nothing or little of mental health, that’s not important. Show the person you care by talking to them and listening. Show empathy and be encouraging. Be a friend. Letting the person know you are part of their support network can be great and motivating for them toward achieving good mental health. Treat them with respect and don’t let their illness define whom they are. Let them know you are on their side, contradicting people whenever they express negative views and information. Attend medical appointments with them, encourage them to seek treatment if they are reluctant, offer to go with them, because the experience may be frightening.
Leave people with a mental health problem alone.
Be a friend and look in on someone you know with a mental health problem. Make sure they are okay and ask if they need help. You will notice, people are appreciative and accept offers of help. Contrary to what people think, people want to keep social contact with family, friends, and neighbours and work colleagues. Social interaction helps to elevate their mood and makes them wanted, loved and respected. Ask if they mind you coming over for a while to avoid intrusion. This, at the least, gives them the opportunity to decline.
If you ask for help, it’s a sign of weakness.
Poor mental health does not discriminate and everyone is prone to it. So, it’s very important to seek help. Prepare yourself to talk and discuss how you feel and any symptoms you have. Talking through your concerns is the first and crucial step toward getting the help you need. It is not a sign of weakness. You will have shown great strength, courage, and determination. Well done.
The Mental Health Unlocked Charitable Foundation wants to help minority LGBTQ+ shunned by their community not to give up on Hope. Wellbeing and Good Mental Health gives You Hope. Though hope is frail, it’s hard to kill. Believe in Hope. Believe in You:–Please Don’t Die.
I am working toward registering the charity. Proceeds shall fund the running of the Charitable Foundation and its varied programs. Official regulators will make sure everything is legal according to regulatory functions and applicable governing laws and practices. The Mental Health Unlocked Charitable Foundation is accountable to everyone with whom we associate.
I am Francis Heran, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for Mental Health Unlocked Charity.
Picture it, Tuesday 1st November 2016–All Saints’ Day, I chose it as my Death day. The Grim Reaper and Death rejected me; wow, I failed my suicide practical exam. January 2017, out of my dark living hell, the pain and need to save lives from what I was still going through stirred me. It gave me the notion to create my own mental health charity.
Mental Health Unlocked Charity wants people to take charge of their ways of life with good mental health. This empowerment involves a change of mind-set that professional support alone will not help a person’s healing. The person has to try by doing the proactive work themselves toward achieving good mental health and wellbeing. Sounds great, although people’s mind-set and belief systems are hard to rehabilitate. Mental Health Unlocked has its core foundations of preventing suicides and breaking the stigma and taboo of not talking of mental health. The charity will serve the vulnerable LGBTQ+ and ethnic minority communities.
I have a mental health illness, and I manage my suicidal tendencies. I tattooed the first-hand knowledge gained from my work and personal experience of what mental health does on my eyes and brain. Can the greatest horror writers create more terrifying?
Mental health advocates are much needed. Many of us, with a mental health disorder, may not have long to live, illness’ including alzheimer’s, dementia will take us before we are ready. Other mental health illnesses may cause harming or murdering strangers. How can we not cry when hearing the news stories?
Stop, Pause. Take a deep breath, hold for a moment and exhale. NHS England leads the National Health Service (NHS) in England, their research has identified, one in four adults and one in 10 children experience mental illness. Consider this, multiply these numbers by the population of people living in your country. You will agree the numbers are terrifying, and further fodder for our nightmares is if we add the numbers for each country in the world. Imagine these millions/billions of adults and children packed into 747 airplanes, cruise ships, trains and the carnage from the equivalent number of crashes every day. The number of people with a mental health illness is increasing, diagnosis and treatment are under-funded and under-researched, still, as we look forward to the next Olympic Games, Commonwealth Games and World Cup of our marvellous 21stcentury.
The blight mental health brings to the world is why it's important to get influencers on our side. Promote use of resources to raise awareness of this and keep people breathing to live…
I have many marvellous LinkedIn connections. Successful, well-connected, powerful and intelligent minds on Earth. I can speak with anyone on the impact of mental health on society and how people can help to curb its consequences–Death.
My voice among billions is minuscule. In unison, we can roar and make the Lion King proud. We have the talent, influence, and following that could help create a movement. This will bring mental health in its guises, alzheimer’s, dementia, depression, anxiety, bi-polar, ptsd, ocd, stress… to the forefront of medical research and finance. With unified voices, people will listen. We give our moral and social responsibility to do everything to help those who are dying from mental health illnesses. This is a horrific and painful disease. We have a duty of Remembrance, for everyone that has passed in isolation and desperation, with voices shouting in their head, now forever silent. Compel to take care of this planet. Thwart mental health from devouring future generations of humanity from the inside out. Unlike leaches, mental health wants brains.
So I am asking everyone to take part in Mental Health Unlocked.
We seek endorsement to help raise awareness and crucial funds for preventing suicides and breaking the stigma and taboo of not talking of mental health. Mental Health Unlocked Charity will serve the vulnerable LGBTQ+ and ethnic minority communities.
I invite you to take part in the Breathe to live… Charity Challenge. Through endorsement of the charity, our goal is to reach LGBTQ+ and ethnic minorities, and raise awareness of Mental Health Unlocked. I welcome any support with our Charity Fund Raiser.
Taking part in our campaign is easy. You and your friends can help support our efforts:
Email us and or use social media.
Our goal at Mental Health Unlocked is to inspire positivity and give back through our Breath to live… Mental Health Campaign. We’re now taking this idea further with our Campaign. We love to have you involved. It will be marvellous for everyone, see You be different to how the world thinks of Mental Health. You, through contribution and or endorsement, help how the LGBTQ+ community and ethnic minorities understand breathing to live is better than seeking solace with the Grim Reaper and Death. The afterlife need no longer be the misguided panacea they crave.
Thank you in advance for taking the time to read this, we love You to get involved. I know you get approached often with similar requests, but please, if you can consider this one, it will help change and save lives.
Breathing to live... is a mantra worth promulgating.
Here are links to my Mental Health Unlocked LinkedIn Profile and Website.
CEO CHARITY: MENTAL HEALTH UNLOCKED