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Defining Mental Health
Mental health is about your mind being healthy. This includes thoughts, feelings, and actions. Negative thoughts about yourself, lack of motivation to accomplish things, and decreased interaction with others are common symptoms of poor mental health. Your mental health also has a lot to do with how you interact with others. In short, the scope of mental health covers just about every aspect of your life. Friendships, relationships, work, and school can suffer if your mental health is suffering.
Causes of Poor Mental Health
Different factors contribute to mental health problems. Hormonal imbalances in the brain are a major cause because chemicals like serotonin and dopamine affect how you feel. Additionally, enduring trauma or abuse in your life, or having a history of mental health issues in your family are contributing factors.
Signs and Symptoms of Mental Illness
Signs and symptoms of mental illness include:
- Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
- Canceling plans with your friends
- Not caring about anything
- Feeling achy or having unexplained body pains
- Not having any hope
- Drinking alcohol or smoking more frequently
- Feeling emotions you don’t normally feel (anger, worry, concern, etc.)
- Being very happy and then very angry in a short time period
- Hearing voices that aren’t really there
- Having thoughts you can’t get out of your head
There are even more signs and symptoms of mental health than are included in this list. This shows the importance of mental health awareness on World Mental Health Day and in mental health news.
The Stigma Surrounding Mental Illness
Unfortunately, if you deal with poor mental health, you’ve probably dealt with the stigma that sadly comes with it. And you might’ve even been made fun of or called names because you’re having a bad week. Of course, that will only make you feel worse. But here’s some good news: Breaking down all the misconceptions and taboos about mental health is the whole purpose of World Mental Health Day. There are some people who just aren’t nice, but most good people don’t intend to hurt your feelings. They just don’t have the information they need to know how to help.
Addiction and Mental Health
If you’re not sure if you have an addiction, consider your symptoms. If your breath smells, you have yellow teeth, your eyes look glassy or red, or you’re slurring your speech, these are strong indicators that you could be dealing with addiction.
If you are fighting addiction right now, there’s a good chance it could be related to your mental health. If you have a mental health disorder, your doctor will probably prescribe medication(s) to help you feel better. Some medications like Xanax or Klonopin can help calm you down when you really don’t feel well. Unfortunately, these medications are also highly addictive, and they’re classified as controlled substances. You can fight against addiction by taking your medication(s) as prescribed. But if you are already addicted, help is available. Addiction doesn’t make you a bad person; it just means you’re struggling and need extra help.
But know that addiction isn’t necessarily associated with your mental health. You could break a bone and your doctor might give you strong pain killers to keep your pain under control. Sometimes Advil just isn’t strong enough to help you get through a bad injury. But in addition to feeling better, you might also feel really good from taking your pain killers. This is known as a “high,” and you can become addicted to that feeling. This is different from mental health drug addiction. The good news is that help is available for you regardless of why you’re addicted to pills.
Also keep in mind that it’s possible to be addicted to pain killers and have poor mental health at the same time, but for each condition to be unrelated to the other. If you have both conditions, this is known as a dual diagnosis.
Mental Health News in America
The poor quality of mental health news greatly contributes to the stigmas out there. The importance of mental health doesn’t make headlines for the right reasons. Most stories are about people with bad mental health issues who do bad things. However, this isn’t an accurate picture of the mental health community. Most people with mental illness are good people trying to get better. This is exactly why World Mental Health Day is very important.
The Importance of Mental Health Awareness
You might be surprised by some of the mental health statistics out there. In America, more than 13% of youth struggle with mental illness. That’s more than 2 million kids (ages 12 to 17) who have a severe mental health condition.
For adults, the stats regarding mental health remain about the same. However, more adults who suffer from severe depression or similar symptoms are considering committing suicide. There are more than 10.3 million adults in the U.S. who feel awful enough to want to take their own lives.
Mental health news shows that, within the U.S., each state has its own problems. California borders Mexico and has its own port, so a lot of illicit drugs make their way into the state. There are over 3 million people in California with a substance abuse disorder, but only ten percent of those three million are receiving treatment.
Ways to Observe World Mental Health Day
Show You Care
Caring is a great start and learning how to help is even better. Together, you, along with your friends and family, can make a difference. Small changes all over the place lead to big changes. And, ultimately, they make a difference for mental health news. As you think of ways to help, both for yourself and for others, World Mental Health Day and the importance of mental health awareness will bring more purpose to your life. Spreading that purpose will help create widespread change and tear down stigmas.
Rethink Your Communication
You can observe the importance of mental health awareness on World Mental Health Day by thinking about the language you use to communicate with others. By avoiding harmful words and not calling someone names because you don’t understand their behavior, you’ll make a positive impact in someone else’s life.
Spend Time With Friends Who Need Help
Additionally, you can spend time with someone without trying to fix them because mental health care isn’t like a bad hair day. Hairspray or a hairbrush won’t solve the problem. So, encourage your friends and family to seek help if they are undiagnosed. And tell everyone you know about World Mental Health Day and the importance of mental health awareness.
Mental health is a tricky matter. That’s why seeking professional help is important. A mental healthcare professional can help you get screened and diagnosed.
If you struggle with hardcore drug addiction with scary withdrawal symptoms, a detox center might be the best place for you to start. There are individual detox centers for alcohol, heroin, opioids, and cocaine. Doctors are on site 24/7 to help when withdrawal feels scary.
Typically lasting 30 to 90 days, residential treatment centers are ideal if you need extensive therapy to get better. This treatment can be the next step after you’ve been to a detox center. Trained physicians and other staff members can help you carry out your treatment plan and avoid going back to a detox center.
Outpatient treatment centers are for less severe issues that don’t require 24/7 monitoring. Here you can attend the program during the day and go home at night. Outside of not needing 24/7 care, work and familial responsibilities often make outpatient treatment the best for recovery.
IOP is neither inpatient or outpatient treatment. It’s a stepping stone between the two, giving you more freedom. As you recover, you can ease into less treatment and less supervision while staying strong on your own.
If none of the above treatment plans sound like the right fit for you, don’t worry. There are holistic forms of care that might be better. Listening to music, practicing yoga, riding horses, drawing or painting, meditation, and acupuncture can all help. Additionally, there’s neurofeedback therapy, which involves reading your brain waves via electrodes placed on your scalp to figure out where you’re struggling. Your medical provider can use this information to tailor your treatment plan to your specific needs.
Phoenix Rising Can Help
Phoenix Rising is a recovery center located in Palm Springs, California. Our center offers a wide range of services to help with mental health and substance abuse. They offer all the different treatment options listed above, and more. When in doubt, it’s best to ask for help. Phoenix Rising Recovery is here to help. Please contact us to start your journey. This first, brave step will have you on the road to recovery, and we’ll be with you every step of the way.