Mental health

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Mental health is the level of psychological well-being or an absence of mental illness. It is the state of someone who is "functioning at a satisfactory level of emotional and behavioural adjustment". From the perspectives of positive psychology or of holism, mental health may include an individual's ability to enjoy life, and to create a balance between life activities and efforts to achieve psychological resilience. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the well-being of an individual is encompassed in the realization of their abilities, coping with normal stresses of life, productive work and contribution to their community.

A neutral human profile silhouette composed of the words "mental disorder" and various mental disorders.
3D Illustration: Mental Health Conceptual Image
The prevalence of mental illness is higher in more unequal rich countries. ~The Spirit Level (book)
The social self.

Quotes[edit]

  • If you have a mental health condition, you're not alone. One in 5 American adults experiences some form of mental illness in any given year. And across the population, 1 in every 25 adults is living with a serious mental health condition such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or long-term recurring major depression....
  • As with other serious illnesses, mental illness is not your fault or that of the people around you, but widespread misunderstandings about mental illness remain. Many people don't seek treatment or remain unaware that their symptoms could be connected to a mental health condition. People may expect a person with serious mental illness to look visibly different from others, and they may tell someone who doesn't "look ill" to "get over it" through willpower. These misperceptions add to the challenges of living with a mental health condition.
  • Every year people overcome the challenges of mental illness to do the things they enjoy. Through developing and following a treatment plan, you can dramatically reduce many of your symptoms. People with mental health conditions can and do pursue higher education, succeed in their careers, make friends and have relationships. Mental illness can slow us down, but we don't need to let it stop us.
  • The scary truth is that ordinary human hatred and aggression are far more dangerous than any psychiatric illness.
    • Dr. Richard A. Friedman, "Why Mass Murderers May Not Be Very Different From You or Me," New York Times, 8 August 2019
  • Over 44 million American adults (18.07%), have a mental health condition.,, The rate of youth experiencing a mental health issue continued rising, and 62% of teens and children with a major depressive episode received no treatment.
  • Access to care is improving, but most Americans still have no access to care. The report states that 12.2% (5.3 million) adults with a mental illness remain uninsured, and 56.4% of adults with a mental illness received no treatment. “Over 24 million individuals experiencing a mental health illness are going untreated.” A severe shortage of mental health clinicians is adding to the problem.
  • Determining what’s causing these sharp increases is a complicated undertaking. Axelson says “there’s a lot of hypotheses, but there’s no definitive answer.” Still, the quick rise and pervasiveness of social media that’s been concurrent with these upticks in mental health disorders may play a role. At the same time, the amount of exercise most kids are getting daily has been steadily declining as physical education curriculums have been cut across the country. An increase in environmental toxins may also play a role. Axelson says the mental health trends reflected in the data have been showing up in the emergency room, putting strain on the system. “More and more kids are presenting to emergency rooms in crisis, and we’re noticing that trend at our hospital to the point we really needed to design a facility that was specialized.”
  • While the statistics note that some 20% of people are dealing with a mental health issue, “that impact is multiplied by three or four when you’re thinking about the impact on society. For example, if dad is depressed, he might not be going to work. His wife is feeling the effects of that. And so on. It spreads beyond” the person with the mental health problem, so it’s important to think about these figures in context of how they impact society at large.
  • What they’ve found is that when access to mental health services is increased, people do take advantage of that, but that shortages of mental health workers remain a big problem. “People can’t get care if they can’t find a child psychiatrist or a team, for example. If they’re struggling with a problem and you can’t find that care,” it almost doesn’t matter whether insurance will cover it. “I think that people think, ‘oh, it’s fine. People are getting care since we passed the Parity Act, but that’s not the case.
  • Even in the best states, you have a 50-50 chance of getting care if you need it. That’s horrible,” she says, and the numbers highlight a real problem. Maine ranked the best in this measure, but still, 41.5% of adults in the state are not being treated for mental illness. Hawaii ranked the worst with 67.5% of adults going untreated.
  • Austerity, inequality and job insecurity are bad for mental health and governments should counteract them if they want to face up to the rising prevalence of mental illness, the UN’s top health envoy has said. Dr Dainius Pūras said measures to address inequality and discrimination would be far more effective in combatting mental illness than the emphasis... on medication and therapy....
  • This would be the best ‘vaccine’ against mental illness and would be much better than the excessive use of psychotropic medication which is happening...The prescription of psychotropic drugs to deal with mental illness, particularly antidepressants, has soared across the developed world in the past 20 years... If instead governments took issues such as inequality, poverty and discrimination seriously “then you can expect improving mental health”...the prevalence of conditions such as depression and anxiety have risen more than 40% over the past 30 years.
  • As acceptance of mental illness has grown, the number of people seeking treatment has grown exponentially, overwhelming services in many countries. The phenomenon has divided experts into those who see mental illness as a predominantly biological, neurological malfunction, treatable by drugs and therapy, and those who believe it is much more psychosocial, the result of government policies, social atomisation, poverty, inequality and insecurity.... Governments could do much, he says, to prevent mental illness rather than emphasising biomedical cures...
  • Americans are routinely exposed to dangerous chemicals that have long been banned in countries such as the UK, Germany and France. Of the 40,000 chemicals used in consumer products in the US, according to the EPA, only one percent have been tested for human safety.
  • A 2015 study conducted by American University revealed that Millennials grew up hearing about mental illnesses—including eating disorders and suicidal tendencies—more than any other age group. This younger society is reportedly more accepting of mental health challenges and is also more likely to talk about mental health issues than their parents or grandparents. In the American University survey of 900 Millennials, more than 70 percent said they would be comfortable visiting a counselor or therapist...
  • Millennials were found to be the most anxious generation. Women reported higher anxiety than men, and people of color scored 11 points higher on the anxiety scale than Whites. Research suggests that African-Americans are 20 percent more likely to experience a mental health disorder as opposed to the general population, but many factors may inhibit proper treatment. Only 25 percent of Blacks seek professional help, compared to 40 percent of Whites with mental health disorders. Daily stress can be an enemy of your mental health. It causes a chemical reaction that occurs when the body goes into “fight-or-flight” mode. Your heart rate increases and blood pressure rises.
  • Mental health experts agree that when a person is experiencing excessive stress and it is interfering with daily activities, seeking help is key. In addition to discussing the situation with a professional, reach out to friends; look for local support; and find therapeutic resources. Some stress tools worth trying include, acupuncture; aromatherapy; art therapy; deep breathing; exercise; healthy eating; massage therapy; stretching; and yoga. Your mental health affects your physical health. Don’t ignore the signs.

See also[edit]

External Links[edit]

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