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Understanding Mental Health
Mental illnesses can take many forms, just as physical illnesses do. Mental illnesses are still feared and misunderstood by many people, but the fear will disappear as people learn more about them. If you, or someone you know, has a mental illness, there is good news: all mental illnesses can be treated.
In this section, you will learn about mental illnesses – which can also be called psychiatric disorders – and their treatment.
Children, Youth, and Depression
While we may think of low mood or other challenges as adult problems, they can affect people at any age. Children and teens can experience mental illnesses like depression. Sometimes it can be difficult for adults to understand how difficult childrens problems can be because we look at their problems through adult eyes. But the pressures of growing up can be very hard for some children. Its important that we remind ourselves that while their problems may seem unimportant to us, they can feel overwhelming to young people. Its important to take depression in young people seriously.
Depression and Bipolar Disorder
We all experience changes in our mood. Sometimes we feel energetic, full of ideas, or irritable, and other times we feel sad or down. But these moods usually dont last long, and we can go about our daily lives. Depression and bipolar disorder are two mental illnesses that change the way people feel and make it hard for them to go about their daily routine.
Every day, we are surrounded by different messages from different sources that impact the way we feel about the way we look. For some, poor body image is a sign of a serious problem: an eating disorder. Eating disorders are not just about food. They are often a way to cope with difficult problems or regain a sense of control. They are complicated illnesses that affect a persons sense of identity, worth, and self-esteem.
We all feel angry sometimes. Most of the time, we can deal with feelings of anger or irritability quickly. We may resolve the situation or look at the problem from a different perspective. However, anger can cause problems in our lives and the lives of those around us. Learn more about recognizing problem anger and taking action.
Some people worry about asking for help because there can be stigma around mental health problems. They may believe that asking for help means admitting that something is wrong. Some people worry about how others might see them. Asking for help means that you want to make changes or take steps towards your new health goals. We should celebrate the courage it takes to speak up and make changes. Getting help is part of recovery.
Mental Health for Life
Mental health is key to our well-being. We cant be truly healthy without it. It involves how we feel, think, act, and interact with the world around us. Mental health is about realizing our potential, coping with the normal stresses of life, and making a contribution to our community.
Myths About Mental Illness
Mental illnesses affect everyone in some way. We all likely know someone who has experienced a mental illness at some point. Yet there are still many hurtful attitudes around mental illnesses that fuel stigma and discrimination and make it harder to reach out for help. Its time to look at the facts.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Many of us have small habits that make us feel better, but we can also live without them. For example, we might think of something as lucky or have a routine that feels comforting. But for people who experience obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), these behaviours are much more intense and disruptive and are fuelled by unwanted thoughts that dont go away. Obsessive-compulsive disorder is not always easy to understand, but its a real illness that causes difficulties in a persons life.
Phobias and Panic Disorders
Everyone feels scared at times. But sometimes, fear can come up in a situation that isnt expected. This fear stops us from going about our usual routines or working towards our goals. Phobias and panic disorder are two examples of mental illnesses that can lead to these problems.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Frightening situations happen to everyone at some point. People can react in many different ways: they might feel nervous, have a hard time sleeping well, or go over the details of the situation in their mind. These thoughts or experiences are a normal reaction. They usually decrease over time and the people involved can go back to their daily lives. Post-traumatic stress disorder, on the other hand, lasts much longer and can seriously disrupt a persons life.
Bringing a new baby into the family can be challenging at the best of times, both physically and emotionally. It is natural for new parents to experience mood swings, feeling joyful one minute and depressed the next. These feelings are sometimes known as the baby blues, and often go away soon after birth. However, some parents may experience a deep and ongoing depression that lasts much longer. This is called postpartum depression.
Youth and Self-Injury
People cope with difficult thoughts, feelings, or situations in different ways. Some people cope by injuring themselves on purposeand it may be the only way for them to feel better. Self-injury may seem frightening, but its important to look beyond the injuries and see whats really going on.