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What Is Mental Health

    You might hear people describe psychiatric disorders as psychiatric disorders, neurological disorders, or psychiatric challenges. Mental health problems can occur as a result of stress, loneliness, depression, anxiety, relationship problems, the death of a loved one, suicidal thoughts, sadness, addiction, ADHD, self-harm, a variety of mood disorders, or other psychiatric disorders in various degrees, and learning disabilities. Mental illnesses, such as depression and anxiety, impact a persons capacity for engaging in health-promoting behaviors. Mental health conditions, such as stress, depression, and anxiety, can arise from underlying, life-altering, physical health problems, such as cancer, diabetes, and chronic pain.

    Conditions such as stress, depression, and anxiety all have the potential to impact a persons mental health and disrupt the persons daily functioning. Mental illness, also called psychiatric disorders, refers to a broad spectrum of conditions affecting your mind, thoughts, and behaviors. Mental disorders are health conditions characterized by changes in thought, mood, and/or behavior, which are associated with distress and/or impaired functioning. Mental disorders are an umbrella term for a range of conditions that can include symptoms that may impact on an individuals thoughts, perceptions, mood, or behaviors.

    Mental illness has a profound effect on daily life, and may even impact ones ability to relate to others. People who live with this mental illness experience moods affecting mental and psychological wellbeing almost daily, and often throughout most of the day. Between one and two people out of 100 have severe mental illnesses, such as bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, and they experience periods where they are disconnected from reality. An estimated 1 in 10 adults have some kind of mood disorder, with depression and bipolar disorder being the most common conditions.

    If left untreated, mood disorders can impact functioning, quality of life, and a host of long-lasting physical health problems, such as diabetes and heart disease. For example, mental disorders may increase the risk for physical health problems, such as stroke, type-2 diabetes, and heart disease. Although mental health is commonly used, many conditions doctors acknowledge to be mental disorders do have physical roots. Other diseases or conditions, including a variety of sleep-related problems and many forms of dementia, including Alzheimers, are sometimes classified as mental illnesses, as the brain is involved in the other diseases or conditions.

    These disorders are characterized by physical symptoms or deficiencies which are not deliberately produced or faked, and which, after clinical examination, cannot be completely explained by an overall medical condition, by another mental disorder, by direct effects of a substance, or by culturally sanctioned behaviors or experiences. We also describe the most common types of psychiatric disorders, including early signs of and treatments for them. We will review all pertinent health evidence regarding your mental disorders obtained from your doctor, psychologist, and other medical sources, including providers like physician assistants, psychiatric nurse practitioners, licensed clinical social workers, and clinical mental health counselors. If you have a serious mental disorder, you likely will have evidence about the impact it has had over time on your functioning, even if you do not have a continuing relationship with the health care community or are currently receiving treatment.

    In the context of a nations efforts to design and implement mental health policies, it is critical that it does not just protect and promote its citizens mental wellbeing, it must address the needs of those who experience defined mental disorders. The overarching objectives of the Action Plan are to advance mental wellbeing, prevent mental disorders, deliver treatment, promote recovery, advance human rights, and decrease the death, illness, and disability rates of persons with mental disorders. The 2011 national prevention strategy includes mental and emotional wellbeing, and recommendations include improved parenting and early intervention programs, increasing the likelihood that prevention programs will be included in future U.S. mental health policies.

    Some factors that may contribute to offering protection from poor mental health include having supportive social relationships, having strong coping skills, having opportunities to participate in the community, and having both physical and mental safety. It is important to note that good mental health depends on a careful balance of factors, and several elements of life and the wider world can work together to promote disorders.

    Mental health is a state of well-being where the individual is aware of their abilities, able to handle normal stresses in life, is capable of working productively, and is capable of contributing to their community. Mental health encompasses our emotional, psychological, and social well-being, meaning that it influences the way we think, feel, and behave.

    Social Work for Mental Health, also called Psychosocial Work, is the process by which a person is helped, within a framework, to achieve relief from the intersecting problems of internal and external aspects (social and economic situations, family and other relationships, the physical and organizational environment, mental symptoms, and so on). Psychiatric social workers are mental health professionals who are available to help patients and family members address both mental health issues and the variety of economic or social problems caused by a mental illness or mental health dysfunction, and achieve improved mental health and well-being.

    NAMI helps educate on mental illnesses and medical problems, as well as working towards the elimination of stigma attached to these disorders. Poor mental health is also associated with rapid societal changes, stressful working conditions, gender discrimination, social isolation, unhealthy lifestyles, physical health conditions, and human rights violations. Continuous social and economic stress, having limited economic means, or belonging to a marginalized or persecuted ethnic group may increase risk for mental health disorders.

    If you are suffering from mental health disorders, taking steps to manage stress, build resilience, and improve low self-esteem may help you to control symptoms. Many people experience distress without having a diagnosed, or diagnosable, mental health issue — though this does not mean that they are not struggling to cope in everyday life. Anxiety disorders are a group of mental health conditions which include generalized anxiety disorders, social phobias, specific phobias (such as agoraphobia and claustrophobia), panic disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and PTSD.

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