Mental Health Defined
What is “mental health?” some people describe this as the literal health of your brain, while others use the term to describe a psychological state; but the very best way to describe mental health is to combine these two definitions together and include the social, emotional, and psychological state of a person.
Taking this definition in hand, to say someone has “good” mental health then, requires a balance of these three things. The hard part is that every person’s version of balance is different; some people need more social interaction in their lives than others do, while some people are naturally more emotional and that’s not abnormal for them. Those in good mental health are said to have a balance they prefer when it comes to social interaction, can cope with and appreciate both the happiness and sadness in their lives, and experience authentic emotions.
Mental Illness Symptoms and Warning Signs
The signs are different in children and adults, but this is a general list for each:
● Prolonged sadness or irritability
● Frequent moments of high anxiety
● Suicidal thoughts
● Denial of problems that everyone else can see
● A lack of social interaction or drive to be social
● Dramatic changes in eating and/or sleeping patterns
● Substance abuse
● Poor grades or other typically negative changes in school performance
● Excessive worries; including things like not wanting to go to school or bed for unusual reasons
● Temper tantrums/excessive anger
● Continual nightmares
Signs and Symptoms of Depression?
Everyone has their ups and their downs; it is normal to feel sad or upset sometimes, but it is when this sadness begins to take over your life that depression can become an honest concern. People with depression tend to have many of the following symptoms:
● Day to day activities become overwhelming
● When a person no longer enjoys life the way they used to, no matter how hard they try to
● Difficulty sleeping, or an excessive drive to sleep more
● A sense of hopelessness and helplessness
● A large consumption of alcohol, or reckless behavior in general
● A loss of appetite, or an extreme increase in eating
● Self-loathing, and even a feeling that life is no longer worth living
Promote Good Mental Health
There are many strategies to use that can help people improve their mental health or promote the good mental health they currently have. The strategies differ according to each person, but a psychiatrist can be a good resource for helping you find a strategy that works for you.
There are a few basic behaviors that can be promoted within the home that tend to help those you live with grow up to have good mental health:
● Unconditional Love – Let your children know you love them no matter what, even when they are having bad days.
● Confidence and Self-Esteem – Talk positively about yourself and about your children always; this gives them a positive example for good self-esteem and allows them to have confidence in themselves and their abilities.
● Guidance and Discipline – When necessary help your children understand that not everything is socially acceptable. Just like others have to follow rules, they do too.
● Play Dates – Help your children make friends with other children and allow them to play often. They can learn how to cope with others, be social, and interact appropriately.