What is Mental Health

Table of Contents

Michelle Barratt Psychology is a Toowong and Redland Bay / Wynnum – Manly Clinical Psychology Practice, and aims to provide treatment for Mental Illness in Brisbane at the highest standard. The practice values implementing support and treatment that not only endeavours to support their clients feel safe, heard and understood, but also strives to offer effective treatment that will empower clients to learn new skills to support them in the future. If you are unsure about what you are dealing with, please don’t hesitate to contact us to support you through the next step of either working out what to do or how to proceed with an appointment.

What is Mental Health?

Mental Health encompasses many areas of our overall, everyday functioning which covers our emotional, psychological and social well being. Healthy to unhealthy mental health levels will affect and or impact our ability to manage:

  • Ones mood
  • Regulate one’s mood
  • Our relationships
  • Stress
  • Time-manage and
  • Implement Organisational skills
  • Make good decisions/choices in our life
  • How we process or perceive certain information

The health level of our mental health plays an important part in our functioning throughout every stage of our life; from childhood, adolescence right through to adulthood, and old-age.  Psychological support can help you explore what is contributing to your mental health; whether this might be due to:

  • Biological factors, such as genes or brain chemistry
  • Life experiences, such as trauma or abuse
  • Family history of mental health problems

According to the Australian population, one in five Australians suffer a mental illness at some point in their lives. Therefore, the earlier you can seek professional support the easier it will be to manage your mental health.

Early Warning Signs

You might be asking yourself “What are the early signs of a mental illness” the list below will help you decide if you or someone else you know is struggling with mental health:

  • Feeling flat, or low much of the time
  • Feeling helpless and or hopeless
  • Eating or sleeping more too much, or a lot more than you usually would have a few weeks or months ago
  • Having little to no energy/fww
  • Not wanting to engage socially or away from your usual friends and activities
  • Having little feeling; feeling numb or like nothing matters
  • Experiencing aches and pains that your GP cannot explain
  • Feeling more irritated or irrational than usual
  • Fighting with friends, family or colleagues (unlike you)
  • Having thoughts that perpetually fill your head
  • Intense/severe mood swings
  • Feeling a myriad of emotions or states where you feel unusually confused, forgetful, angry, irritated, worried, scared or upset more than usual.
  • Persist negative thoughts (that you can’t get out of your head)
  • Your close relationships are becoming affected due to severe mood swings, sometimes for no reason, or sometimes for very big reasons, but they aren’t usually big issues.
  • Hearing voices in your head, or having recurring memories/flashbacks, or negative thoughts that are persistent and uncomfortable or mood-altering.
  • Smoking, drinking or taking drugs more than usual (due to feeling anxious and annoyed more than usual)
  • Any thoughts of self-harm, or harm of others
  • Inability to fulfill your normal daily routine or

What causes mental illness?

Mental illness often results from a multitude of factors that are most likely a negative interplay of complex interactions between the mind, body and environment. Some of the factors that can contribute to mental illnesses are:

  • Long-term and acute stress
  • Biological factors such as genetics, chemistry and hormones; all creating a higher predisposition to having depression
  • Use of alcohol, drugs and other substances
  • Cognitive patterns such as constant negative thoughts, low self esteem lowering self-worth and deep negative well established thinking patterns
  • Social factors such as isolation, financial problems, family breakdown, abuse (psychological, physical, sexual, emotional and sexual), trauma and violence

The factors mentioned above however, can often be minimized by a strong and supportive community, as well as with psychological and medical support.​

What is mental illness?

A mental illness becomes a mental health problem when your ‘mental health levels’ significantly negatively impacts a person’s every-day life in many domains of their functioning; whether that be how a person might be thinking, how they behave/interact with other people, whether they can maintain their usually healthy relationships or personal/work commitments.   If this is genuinely the case then more often than not, you are not wrong to investigate or believe that ‘something else is going on’ and ‘asking the question’ “Are you ok?” is Ok.

Fundamentally, a person’s mental illness will more in one way affect the way a person thinks, feels, and behaves and perhaps encouraging yourself or that someone else to seek professional support could be a very important moment in their lives.

Unfortunately, regarding mental illness in the Australian population; one in five Australians suffer a mental illness at some point in their lives.  Beyond Blue has released statistics stating that 1 in 5 Australian workers experience mental-health illnesses such as depression and anxiety, and the cost to businesses was at least $10.9 billion a year.   https://www.beyondblue.org.au/

However, no-one expects you to diagnose yourself or that ‘some-one else’, but mental illnesses are of many different types, degrees and severity. They have different causes, symptoms and onsets. Some of the major types are:

These illnesses may also be referred to as a mental disorder, mental impairment or psychiatric disability. At the end of the day, please don’t hesitate to seek professional support if you feel you or someone else requires psychological interventions – contact us through emailing us below; just press the ‘Contact Us’ button which will immediately take you through to an Email Form.

What causes mental illness?

Mental illness often results from a multitude of factors that are most likely a negative interplay of complex interactions between the mind, body and environment. Some of the factors that can contribute to mental illnesses are:

  • Long-term and acute stress
  • Biological factors such as genetics, chemistry and hormones; all creating a higher predisposition to having depression
  • Use of alcohol, drugs and other substances
  • Cognitive patterns such as constant negative thoughts, low self esteem lowering self-worth and deep negative well established thinking patterns
  • Social factors such as isolation, financial problems, family breakdown, abuse (psychological, physical, sexual, emotional and sexual), trauma and violence

The factors mentioned above however, can often be minimized by a strong and supportive community, as well as with psychological and medical support.​

The Mental Health Cost to the Australian People.

Beyond Blue has released statistics stating that 1 in 5 Australian workers experience mental-health illnesses such as depression and anxiety, and the cost to businesses was at least $10.9 billion a year.

Small business advisers

Support yourself and small businesses: A learning course for business advisers Business advisers can play a role in supporting small business owners' mental health and wellbeing. It can be hard for advisers to know how to help small business clients with their mental health and wellbeing, while also looking after their own.

Author: Michelle Barratt

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