Mental health problems include conditions that can affect your behavior, way of thinking, and mood. They make it difficult to get on with life and include unhealthy thoughts and feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, and sadness. Mental health conditions should not be considered a weakness, they are just a reaction to what has happened or what is presently happening. With the right help, an individual can get past mental health issues and prevent them from becoming more serious. Mental illness can affect anyone regardless of their age, gender, status, or any other criteria. Some of the most common mental health conditions are depression, anxiety, bipolar affective disorders, dissociative disorders, PTSD, eating disorders, and more.
Depression, also known as clinical depression or major depressive disorder, is a type of mood disorder that can result in persistent feelings of sadness and loss of interest. Depression can result in a variety of emotional and physical health problems. An individual might have difficulty in carrying out normal day-to-day tasks. Sometimes people also end up feeling that life is not even worth living. This condition is treatable and requires long-term treatment: a person going through depression cannot simply snap out of it. It requires proper treatment and medication. Some of the many symptoms of depression are –
- Angry outbursts and frustration on even minor problems.
- Insomnia or feeling excessively sleepy all the time.
- Feeling helpless and hopeless.
- Reduced appetite, excessive weight gain or loss.
- Slowed thinking and body movements.
Anxiety refers to persistent fear or worries about everyday situations. It is a feeling of apprehension about what is about to come. It can affect everyone in different ways, an individual might feel anxious while going for a job interview but those feelings do not last for long. If the feelings of fear and worry are extreme and start affecting your daily life, it might mean that you have an anxiety disorder that needs professional help. Anxiety might stop you from doing things that you normally would not even give much thought to. For instance, it might prevent you from crossing the street, entering an elevator, or simply leaving your home at times. Anxiety is a form of the emotional disorder that can be treated. Some symptoms of anxiety include –
- Anxious thoughts
- Feelings of restlessness and irritation
- Unexplained pains
- Difficulty in falling asleep
Bipolar Affective Disorders
Bipolar disorder is a complex mood disorder that causes extreme mood swings including emotional lows (depression) and highs (mania or hypomania). It was formerly known as manic depression, when the mood shifts to mania, a person might feel unusually irritated and full of energy. And when a person feels emotionally very low, he/she might feel extremely sad, hopeless, and lose interest even in normal activities. Bipolar disorder can affect an individual’s judgment, energy, sleep, ability to think straight, and behavior. Different episodes of mood swings can occur at different times. It can be treated with professional counseling and medications. People can find online counselling in India and consult a professional if they feel the need. Symptoms of bipolar disorder include –
- Poor decision making
- Decreased need for sleep, usual talkativeness, and euphoria in case of mania or hypomania.
- Depressed mood
- Failure to concentrate
- Fatigue, insomnia, or excessive sleepiness
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
PTSD develops when an individual is unable to recover from a terrifying event. This condition can last for a long time and can bring back memories of the trauma, affecting emotional and physical health. People can have difficulty coping with traumatic events but they usually get better with time and care. But in cases when the symptoms start getting worse even after months or years, it might be a sign of post-traumatic stress disorder. It is important to take proper treatment to reduce the effects of the event. Symptoms of PTSD include –
- Distressing and unwanted memories of the traumatic incident.
- Flashbacks of the event.
- Avoid the people and places that remind you of the event.
- Negative thinking and mood.
- Feeling detached from people.
- Emotional numbness.
- Trouble sleeping and concentrating.
Eating disorders like binge eating, bulimia nervosa, and anorexia nervosa, are related to eating habits that can negatively affect your health and emotions. They result in dangerous eating behaviors and constantly focusing on your body shape, food, and weight. Eating disorders can impact the body’s ability to get proper nutrition. It can harm the digestive system and result in many diseases. Symptoms of eating disorders include –
- Reducing weight even when underweight, forcefully vomiting after eating, and using diet aids.
- Feeling a lack of control over excessive eating habits.
- Skipping meals or adopting overly restrictive diets.
- Frequent checking for flaws in the body.
- Feeling guilty about eating habits.
Mental health conditions are nothing to be ashamed of and can be treated just like any other disease.