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Last Updated on November 7, 2018
Thankfully, the recognition of mental health is finally on the rise. Unfortunately, it took for some major celebrities to take their own lives before the world began to see that poor mental health is indeed, an issue. It is understandable though, that if you’ve never been unlucky enough to suffer with any kind of mental health issue, that you’re unaware of what it means and how to deal with someone that is suffering. Luckily, we’ve come up with this handy guide on how you can begin to understand mental health more clearly so that you can help those close to you, and also know how to act if you’re ever in such a position.
It’s more than just feeling unhappy
Mental health issues are mainly labelled as feeling unhappy and crying a lot. While this is certainly one way of telling that you’re not completely right, there are many other symptoms that you may not have noticed:
- Being unable to move and feel paralysed with fear.
- Not being able to sleep, or when you can sleep, being unable to stay asleep for long.
- Skin breakouts that cannot be explained. Some skin conditions like psoriasis are worsened by mental health problems such as anxiety and depression.
- Not wanting to be alone, yet not wanting to be near anyone either.
- Feelings of hopelessness and failure.
- Fleeting thoughts that you’d be better off dead.
There are many other symptoms of poor mental health, but these are common ones to look out for either in yourself, or those close to you.
Learn about suicide
Suicide is an epidemic, and it’s heartbreaking to think that anyone on this earth feels the need to end their own life. It’s hard to imagine taking your own life if you’ve never felt that way before, so clueing yourself up about suicide (no matter how morbid it may seem) can and will help you understand it better. Relias academy have written this excellent article, packed with plenty of information, help, and statistics to help you see more clearly why it’s such an epidemic, and what actions can be taken. You can read it here: https://reliasacademy.com/rls/store/suicide-epidemic-and-how-to-prevent-suicide.
How can you help someone suffering with mental health?
Helping someone who’s suffering from mental health problems can be a tricky situation to deal with. Getting someone to admit that they’re having trouble can be a task in itself. The first port of call for anyone should always be speaking to their general practitioner about the way that they are feeling. They can either prescribe medication to help reset the chemical imbalance in the brain, or refer to psychiatrists for further help. In the meantime, you can help by doing these things:
- Being there for them, even if it’s just for a chat. It’s incredible what having a friend around can do for mental health.
- Encourage better eating habits. Food can greatly affect the way you’re feeling mentally, especially junk food.
- Discourage the use of alcohol or drugs as they can make mental health problems worse.
- Let them speak about their issues, and be empathetic even if you don’t understand what they are going through.
How do you know when you’ve got a problem?
Finally, one of the most important things to know is when you’ve got a problem with your mental health. Referring to our first point should be one of the first things you do, but it’s important to know the difference between feeling a little fed up and feeling depressed or anxious. It’s also important to look at factors in your life that could be affecting your mental health, and if you’re able to eliminate anything negative, then you should do so as soon as possible to help restore your state of mind. Remember that your first port of call should always be your GP.
Speak out not down about mental illness.