It is estimated that worldwide annually, one billion people are affected by a mental health condition; that a mental health illness is responsible for 15% of global deaths; that 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a problem associated with their psychological well-being; and that 40% of these individuals will also be abusing substances, (alcohol, prescription medicine, or illicit drugs), often as a way to try and manage symptoms of an untreated or undiagnosed condition.
Thursday the 1st of February 2024 is Time to Talk Day, in the UK. A campaign run by the non-profit organisations – Mind and Rethink Mental Illness in England, in partnership with Co-op, and delivered by See Me in Scotland, Inspire in Northern Ireland and Time to Change Wales.
Started in 2014, it is a chance for individuals and communities to come together and talk about mental health. A topic which is often tough to address, shrouded in secrecy and stigma, making it difficult, and sometimes impossible, for people who need help to get the care or assistance they require, which could change, and does save lives.
Mental health refers to our intellectual, developmental, and emotional well-being. A psychological illness or disorder can disrupt our thoughts, feelings, and behaviours. It can impact every part of how we live.
It colours our emotional outlook, affects how we look after our physical health or needs, and has an influence on all our relationships – with loved ones, friends, and the people that we mix with at work or school.
Some of the most common mental health illnesses include –
There are many variants within each category. All of them can range from being sporadically or mildly disruptive to a person’s life, through to having a fundamental, continuous, daily impact. Mental health conditions can lead to individuals self-harming, abusing substances, and suicide.
One of the biggest issues with mental health disorders, is that they frequently leave the person suffering in isolation. It can be incredibly difficult to admit that there is something wrong in the first place, and then it takes huge courage to speak up.
This could be because of fear or embarrassment. Whilst there has been some improvement in recent years, the stigma associated with psychological conditions still exists, and in certain industries and societies it is still a highly taboo topic.
In addition, because of the years of secrecy and silence on the subject some individuals are just not aware that support is available. For others, it is a symptom of the untreated disease itself that pushes the sufferer to cut themselves off from the world and the people they love.
This means too many people are not getting the care they need, help which could dramatically improve their daily lives.
This is why campaigns such as the “Time to Talk Day” are so important. Time to Talk day is the perfect day to start a conversation about mental health, in the workplace, in the community, in your home, with colleagues, with neighbours, with friends, with loved ones.
Talk therapy and having a safe space in which to be able to share feelings, supports people so they can unburden themselves of long held fears, emotions, and resentments and works to eliminate them, whilst teaching coping skills to manage ongoing or reoccurring problems.
There are over 50 types of therapeutic approaches available, some will work better for specific conditions, whilst others can help with a broad range of issues. Any good mental health treatment clinic or addiction rehab centre will use a range of treatments and offer a secure and serene place to engage with other like-minded individuals, and fully qualified therapists, counsellors, and medical staff.
There is no single cause for mental illness. It can affect anyone, irrespective of age, race, or social class. Personality, life experiences, and physical health can all play a part in someone developing a mental health problem. Some people are genetically more predisposed to these types of illnesses; whilst others can develop because of a single violent or shocking incident.
Stress and trauma can be triggers. Whether it happens to the individual themselves, or someone close to them, distressing experiences can have a major effect on physical and mental well-being.
Events such as:
Other factors that can contribute to the risk of developing a mental illness include:
It is also important to remember that a person’s mental health can change over time. Along with experiencing a significant event, individuals can also be affected when the demands placed upon them go beyond their coping abilities. If they must endure long periods of intense pressure, vast responsibility, or excessive stress. For instance, if they are working long hours, caring for a sick relative, or struggling with financial difficulties – all these situations can leave individuals depleted and overwhelmed physically and mentally.
Mental health problems are more common than people think, but help is available. People can and do get better, and many recover completely. Treatment often involves therapy and medication, or a combination of the two.
Talk therapies such as cognitive behavioural, which is popular as it teaches an individual to think and behave differently so they are more able to manage, or stop, triggering episodes.
Medications such as antidepressants which are favoured for depression, these will help balance the chemicals in the brain, impacting on mood. They can also be used as a chemical treatment for anxiety, along with anti-anxiety drugs and beta-blockers. Other prescription drugs are available to treat specific conditions; and it is important to get checked out thoroughly by a health care professional and to follow their advice.
A more recent breakthrough in treatment for mental health conditions (such as addiction) is TMS or transcranial magnetic stimulation. TMS is a non-invasive form of brain stimulation therapy that has proved highly effective in the treatment of neurological conditions.
Here are just a few of the things to look out for if you think someone you love is struggling with a mental health problem.
If you recognise one or more of these symptoms either in yourself or in someone you are close to, or if someone you love is acting erratically and out of character, then talk to them, ask them how they are feeling, try and start a conversation and if in doubt seek professional advice.
Are you worried about your mental health? Or maybe it is someone you love?
Here at the luxury residential rehab centre in Ibiza, we offer a range of therapies suitable for the treatment of depression, anxiety, substance abuse, eating disorders, compulsive and addictive behaviours, and other co-occurring mental health conditions.
Our highly qualified team of doctors, therapists and counsellors use a carefully designed program, which includes individual and group therapy, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), EMDR and equine-assisted therapy.
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