Not To Be Ignored
Mental Health - The Facts
Mental Health Issues effect 1 in 4 people. 1 in 4. That's a number that cannot be ignored. Let's say you have 3 best friends, at least one of your friend group is going to be effected by mental health issues. Scary isn't it.
Breaking these numbers down into gender, 1 in 5 woman have a common mental disorder (CMD) whilst 1 in 8 men openly suffer from a CMD. This is because of multiple things. But, even in this 21st century, these statistics are in-balanced due to men having an inability to speak about their feelings.
We all know why, there has always been a taboo round speaking our feelings to one another. In fact many of us see speaking our feelings as a weakness, and scientifically we don't respond well to weakness. I'm not by any means saying every man struggles with speaking his feelings, some speak it, some form into passion, art, music or have many different mediums to release what ever it is infecting their mind. I am also not saying that women's mental issues are not as important, in fact there's are equally as important, but for this article I'll be focusing on male mental health.
More Than Just Depression
When the majority of us hear the words 'mental health' we instantly assume that the reference is depression or an eating disorder. But there is a lot more to mental health then the normal assumptions that we make.
There are 4 main groups of mental issues. These are outlined perfectly by Rethink Mental Health
Rethink Mental Health.
Schizophrenia is a mental illness which affects the way you think. The symptoms may effect how you cope with day to day life.
Schizophrenia is a common illness. About one in a hundred people will develop schizophrenia. It can develop during young adulthood. The early stage is called ‘the prodromal phase’. During this phase your sleep, emotions, motivation, communication and ability to think clearly may change.
If you become unwell this is called an ‘acute episode’. You may feel panic, anger or depression during an acute episode. Your first acute episode can be a shocking experience because you are not expecting it or prepared for it.
Rethink Mental Health also breaks some myths about schizophrenia
‘‘Schizophrenia means someone has a split personality"
One error is that schizophrenia means that people have multiple or split personalities. This is not the case. The mistake may come from the fact that the name 'schizophrenia' comes from two Greek words meaning 'split' and 'mind'.
‘Schizophrenia causes people to be Violent"
People with a diagnosis of schizophrenia are more likely to be a danger to themselves than other people. Unfortunately some people with the illness may become violent because of delusional beliefs or the use of drugs or alcohol. Because these incidents can be shocking, the media often report them in a way which emphasises the mental health aspects. This can create fear and stigma in the general public. Only a small minority of people with the illness may become violent, much in the same way as a small minority of the general public may become violent.
Schizophrenia - Rethink Mental Health
- About schizophrenia - Rethink Mental Illness, the mental health charity
Schizophrenia is a mental illness that affects 1 in 100 people in their lifetime. The symptoms of the condition including hearing voices and seeing visual hallucinations.
Psychosis is a medical term. It describes symptoms people have when they experience, believe or view things around them differently to other people. Some people don’t find it helpful to think about psychosis a mental illness.
If you have psychosis, you might see or hear things that others may not, or believe things other people do not. Some people describe it as a "break from reality". You may also hear terms such as “psychotic symptoms”, “psychotic episode” or “psychotic experience” describing the same thing.
In mental health care, these experiences are viewed as symptoms of mental illness. A report from the British Psychological Society has said that the use of experiences is more neutral than the term symptoms. We will use experience in order to ensure this section relates to everyone who reads it. As this report points out it can be difficult to discuss medical terms in a psychological way. Because of this there may be some overlap between medical and neutral terminology throughout this section.
If someone has psychosis they may not be aware of this and believe their experiences are real. About 1 in every 100 people will experience a psychotic episode in their lifetime.
Rethink Mental Health also states some examples of psychosis:
Psychosis - Rethink Mental Health
- About psychosis - Rethink Mental Illness, the mental health charity
You can experience psychosis for a wide variety of reasons. For example it can be due to having a mental illness such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. It can also be caused by drug use, brain injury or extreme stress.
Bipolar disorder used to be called manic depression. It affects how you feel and can make your mood change dramatically. Your mood can change between an extreme high (mania) and an extreme low (depression).You may feel well between these times.
When your mood changes, you might see changes in your energy levels or how you act. Symptoms of bipolar disorder can be severe. They can affect areas of your life, such as work, school and relationships.
You usually develop bipolar disorder before you are thirty years old, but it can also happen later in life. You can have symptoms of bipolar disorder for a while before a doctor diagnoses you. A doctor might say you have something else such as depression before you get a bipolar disorder diagnosis.
Bipolar Disorder - Rethink Mental Health
- What is Bipolar disorder? - Rethink Mental Illness, the mental health charity
Bipolar disorder, also known as bipolar affective disorder, is a mood disorder. It can cause your mood to swing from highs (mania) to lows (depression).
We all experience occasional feelings of anxiety, worry and fear. These can be normal responses to certain situations. For example, you might worry about an upcoming interview for a job, or that you are able to pay a bill on time. If you are in a difficult or dangerous situation, these feelings can give you an awareness of the risks and what you need to do.
If you have an anxiety disorder, these feelings are more noticeable and difficult to live with. They can make you feel as though things are worse than they actually are. This can lead to you worrying all or most of the time and can affect your day to day life.
Rethink Mental Health outlines some of the symptoms of Anxiety Disorder
- feelings of dread, panic or ‘impending doom’,
- feeling on edge or irritable,
- heightened alertness,
- difficulties sleeping,
- changes in appetite,
- difficulties concentrating,
- depersonalisation, and
- wanting to escape from the situation you are in.
You might also experience physical symptoms, which can include:
- heavy and fast breathing,
- hot flushes or blushing,
- dry mouth,
- hair loss,
- fast heartbeat,
- dizziness and fainting, and
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), stomach aches and sickness.
Anxiety Disorder - Rethink Mental Health
- Anxiety disorders : About - Rethink Mental Illness, the mental health charity
National mental health charity: information, services & a strong voice for everyone affected by mental illness - challenging attitudes and changing lives.
Where To Turn
Rethink Mental Heaths list is entirely not the only groups. These are just the most common mental disorders found amongst the studies produced by thousands of charities and health organisations alike.
Within each grouping there are obviously hundreds of variants and individual disorders that may effect someone sat right next to you. Whether it be bipolar, anorexia or any other type of disorder. By no means are disorders gender limited either. Anorexia, though famed mainly as a disorder for women, effects 10 million men in the US alone.
Its key that we, as individuals, understand ourselves and our feelings first off. once we begin to understand ourselves, we can begin to help ourselves. Mental disorders can be a selfish things, isolation often runs rife amongst those that openly suffer from one, but it is key that we fight those urges to pull ourselves away from the rowd and talk to people about our minds.
It may only be something small, a little nagging in your head that keeps you up at night, but that alone can evolve into any one of the disorders mentioned and more. Often people turn to their loved ones - whether it be family or friends - for help and/or advice, but often people do not feel comfortable with this. More than enough times people have found comfort in strangers, whether it be a doctor or not, This can be a great way to get the help needed if you feel uncomfortable revealing your mind to your lose ones. But ultimately, your love ones are your ones for a reason.
After you understand your feelings and have made a conscious decision that you do not like how your mind is talking, and once help and advice has been found from your loved ones or someone of your choosing, you will instantly feel like a load is off of your shoulders. But it is key to not let this become an excuse for everything you do. You still need to find the motivation to do your day to day duties, using a disorder as an excuse has become a reoccur-ant theme in recent years and this will fully hinder your progress. I'm not saying by any means that it is easy to do this, but you must want to have help before anyone can give you it.
Once you have began to start the ball rolling, charities are a massive platform for you to understand more about your disorder, and more importantly get directed to the places where you can get the right help. Charities like the aforementioned Rethink Mental Health, Mind or Smile Train are but a few charities that will provide these kinds of service. A simple google will reveal the true lengths at which people have and will go to to help people suffering from disorders, and it only goes to prove furthermore that you are not alone.
Also, the main advice is to seek medical help, it doesn't work for everyone, and i would personally advise avoiding medicinal help, as you can often become dependant on the drugs that are meant to help you, which will again hinder your progress. However for some this is the best option, even if it is just sleeping pills to help you get a few good nights sleep it can be a stepping stone to helping you.
The Harsh Truth
The harsh but unfortunate truth of the situation is that most mental disorders can not be fully 'healed' as to say that nine times out of ten they will never be fully diminished. What it is that happens however is that you are trained - so to speak - to live with a disorder and even control it. Some of the 'harsher' disorders like schizophrenia can sometimes involve outburst and you can be helped in controlling them and even minimising them.
This is not necessarily a bad thing, it is understandable that you would prefer to have the disorder entirely removed so you can live life as a 'normal' person - when in reality in a day and age whereby we know a lot more about mental health and are constantly finding new forms of them and equally discovering ways to 'treat' them - it is surprisingly 'normal' so to speak to have a disorder. This is both a good and a bad thing. for one its good because it means you are never alone with your disorder, and as previously mentioned, a simple google search can find you in a place where everyone either has the disorder you do or is there to help you. It's not great however as the more and more people being diagnosed with disorders the less concentrated the help becomes, and sometimes disorders can be wrongly diagnosed.
You must be careful, however. It is all too easy nowadays to read an article like this, travel through the inter web and find yourself almost self diagnosing yourself with a disorder. Rather unfortunately what with these being mental disorders, once the penny begins to drop it quickly turns into a roll and before long a foolish, wrongful self diagnosis becomes true due to the minds power. The mind is not something to be messed with, it is a powerful being that no one can really control. So be sure to always seek professional advice before fooling yourself into a hole that's hard to climb out of .
Finally, if anything in this article does effect you, please be sure to follow the routes mentioned, too many lives are ruined by the ignorance of mental health.
Equally, visit The Calm Zone via the link below and find yourself a pick-up or that step towards the help you may need.
And please, be sure to talk to someone. Everyone has someone that will listen to them.
Equally, if you wish to help someone, or know someone who suffers from a disorder, these charities will be equally as helpful.
The Calm Zone
- Campaign Against Living Miserably | CALM, the campaign against living miserably, is a charity dedica
CALM, the campaign against living miserably, is a charity dedicated to preventing male suicide, the biggest single killer of men aged 20 - 45 in the UK.