Your Mental Health
So who is mentally healthy and how do you know if you are mentally sound? A person who is healthy in their thinking can cope with the normal stresses of life. They can look after themselves and contribute to society in a meaningful way.
Mental health does go through the phases however and it is normal to feel upset or sad when there are unwelcome changes in life. Everyone feels emotions from time to time but mental illness tends to persist. When daily functioning becomes affected and someone starts to struggle to take care of themselves (hygiene, going to work, socialising etc) it may suggest a more serious problem.
Someone suffering with depression might feel intense sadness for weeks or months and withdraw from society. The difference between unhappiness and depression is that there often isn’t a direct indicator for depression. We may be unhappy because we didn’t get the job we wanted but depression is far more serious and tends to be pervasive, in that it ‘hangs about’ and is always there like a dark cloud looming. Depression is harder to shift that unhappiness and lasts much longer.
Mental health problems are broadly categorised into two groups:
neurotic and psychotic
Neurotic conditions are extreme forms of every day emotional experiences. Around one person in ten experiences mood disorders of this type at any one time.
Psychotic symptoms affect around one in one hundred and these interfere with a person’s perception of reality, impairing their thoughts and judgments. Conditions include schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
Mental illness is common but fortunately most people recover or learn to live with the problem, especially if diagnosed early.