Introduction to Mental Health
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “Mental health is a state of mental well-being that enables people to cope with the stresses of life, realize their abilities, learn well and work well, and contribute to their community”. Simply, mental health can be defined as emotional, psychological and social well-being. But it is not simple as in the definition. It affects one’s daily life, thoughts, feelings and as well as physical health. The overall health of a person depends on both mental and physical health. Not only that, they correlate with each other. One of the best instances that can be used to describe this phenomenon is gastritis. Gastritis is a physical disorder and sometimes it may lead to depression. Depression also can cause gastritis in some patients. Furthermore, previous research found that a positive mentality can lead to reducing the risks of getting heart attacks. Moreover, the poor physical health conditions of a person may cause various mental disorders. Therefore it can be proved that physical and mental health are closely related to each other.
The biopsychosocial model is introduced by George Engel in 1977 to prove this fact. In Biopsychology, Bio means the physiological pathology while Psycho means the thoughts; emotions; behaviours and Social means socio-environmental; socio-economical; cultural factors. This model explains how a person’s biological, psychological and social factors affect the overall medical condition. Therefore the purpose of this model was to understand the health and illnesses of the patient or basically to understand the whole patient by his physician. For an instance, the biological and physiological sides deteriorate in a cancer patient. Due to this fact, his psychological aspect also affects. As a result of this, the patient may show depression, uncontrollable thoughts of anger, anxiety etc. Finally, all of these causes affect the social behaviour of that patient. This may manifest as social isolation, poor social skills, introversion and so on.
Factors affecting the Mental Health
Many factors are affecting the health of the mind. Some of them are modifiable and some are not. The modifiable factors include childhood experiences, various disease conditions, social and economic status, education level, biological factors etc. and non-modifiable factors include age, gender, ethnicity and nationality. These can be defined as risk factors for mental health and they are very personal. Some of them can trigger mental disorders in a person while some are not. For example, one adverse childhood experience can trigger a phobic condition for someone, but it may not be a triggering factor of mental disorder for someone. Therefore the factors that can trigger the mental health disorders of individuals are very intimate. They highly correlate with the personality and attitudes of the person.
Mental health can deteriorate due to many reasons as mentioned earlier. This deterioration of mental health can lead to various mental disorders. These mental disorders can be categorized into several groups due to their common features. Anxiety disorders, Mood disorders, and schizophrenia disorders are some of them. Among them, Anxiety is the most common disorder and it is characterized by behavioural disturbances such as excessive fear and worry. Mood disorder mainly affects the person’s emotional state and it may cause persistent sadness and anger. Schizophrenia manifested as significant impairments in perception and behavioural changes. Not only these categories are existed for mental disorders, but also Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Bipolar disorder, Neurodevelopmental disorders etc.
Treatments for Mental Disorders
Mental health disorders can be easily identified. Persons with mental health disorders manifest changes in eating and sleeping behaviours, feelings of hopelessness or helplessness, mood swings, feelings of confusion, anger, worried or scared, hallucinations etc. These patients should be recognized early and approaching them for treatments should be done carefully. There is no definite treatment that uses for every patient with mental disorders. As described earlier the course and effects of mental disorders may vary from patient to patient. There is a range of treatments available for these patients depending on the nature of the disease and the patient’s preference. Psychotherapy, drug therapy, case management, hospitalization, support group, complementary and alternative medicine, self-help plan, peer support, and electroconvulsive therapy are some of the treatments that can be used to treat these kinds of patients. World Health Organization Mental Health Gap Action Programme (mhGAP) is one of the programmes which uses evidence-based technique guidance tools and training packages that guide healthcare professionals to assess and manage the mental disorders of patients in clinical settings. But the medical treatments are inadequate for these patients. They need social support, support to develop and maintain the personal, family as well as social relationships to establish their confidentiality to stand in front of the world as healthy human beings.
To maintain a healthy Mental state ….
Routine self-care can be used to overcome the problems associated with mental state. This includes regular exercise, obtaining adequate sleep, eating a balanced diet with good hydration, engaging in positive social interactions and relaxing activities. These help the person deal with stress and increase the energy levels of a person while reducing the risk of acquiring a mental illness. Many things can be done to improve and maintain good mental health and well-being such as connecting with other people; friends; family to share thoughts and positive experiences, obtaining emotional support from others and building self-worth and a sense of belongingness, being physically active to raise self-esteem, learn new skills and mindfulness.
The concept of mindfulness is one of the most popular ways to maintain a healthy mental state. It mainly focuses on the present moment of thoughts and feelings. The basic foundation for this concept was discovered and introduced by Lord Buddha. Nowadays it is used to maintain the mental well-being of humans. This concept aid to improve the awareness of one’s thoughts and feelings to himself as they arise from moment to moment and it may lead to becoming more aware of the present moment, understanding themselves better and face to the real situation as it exists without being awkward. Thus, this is a valuable method that can be used to preserve and continue a healthy mind.