What is good mental health?
Having good mental health means that you realise your own potential, you can cope with normal stresses of life, you can work well and productively and you can contribute to and help your community. A mental disorder is when you have something that does not let you live with good mental health.
Mental disorders are like any other illness and must be treated in the same way. There are a lot of different types of mental disorders. Mental illness can cause a lot of distress and can affect one’s quality of life significantly. If you have a mental illness, it is important to know that many people suffer from it and that there are many ways of treating and managing it. Examples of mental disorders are bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, dementia and autism.
What causes mental illness?
There are many causes of mental illness and it is not all entirely understood. People have different predispositions to having a mental illness. Some people are born with mental illnesses while some may acquire a mental illness from certain circumstances. Things like stress, experiencing a traumatic event or using drugs can cause mental illness. It is also understood that there may be some genetic factors at play, that is to say that mental illness can run in families.
How to improve your mental health?
Here is a list of things you can do which can improve your mental health:
- Eat a healthy diet
- Adequate sleep
- Physical activity
- Support your children and family
- Spend time with good friends and support each other
- Ask for help if you are feeling sad, stressed or worried
- If you feel you have a drug abuse problem, ask your doctor for help
If you feel you aren’t coping, there are professionals who can help you. Some mental disorders can be improved by a change in lifestyle, along with therapy and/or medical treatment.
Who should you go to?
Having a mental illness is like having any other type of illness. You deserve treatment. There are doctors, nurses and psychologists that can help people with mental illness.
If you have a mental illness, or you feel like you need support for your mental health, you must see these people that can help. For some mental illnesses, there may be medicines available which could help. It is a good idea to see your doctor and discuss treatment options.