What is Mental Health?
I feel as if I can’t start this site without covering the basics. I want to make sure I am educating people as much as possible and that starts with a fundamental understanding of what mental health covers.
Definition: A person’s condition in regards to their psychological and emotional wellbeing.
This definition is incredibly important, any attention that mental health gets I find is always a focus on the psychological rather than the emotional. The psychological side I would say is becoming less of a taboo than the emotional. It is easier to see the science behind it and so comes across as more visible and less difficult to address.
Emotions, in my opinion, are so important to consider. They are the one aspect of mental health that is constant to all and yet something, at least by British culture, that we are not allowed to be seen to show. It is one of the few things that connects us all. Emotion doesn’t discriminate yet it makes so many of us uncomfortable to display and then by holding it back, it exacerbates the problem!
The most important part is the AND in that definition. Mental health issues usually are a mix of the two. The emotional response often being the bit you see or in some cases, the bit you are forcing people to suppress because it ‘isn’t socially acceptable’. That emotional display you are seeing may not be someone being ‘over dramatic’ or ‘too sensitive’ – both phrases I hate – but it is someone who needs you to listen and help.
You can have good and bad mental health much like you can have good or bad physical health and much like your physical health, there is a lot you can do to help yourself. Factors that can affect your mental health can be; biological, life experience – e.g. trauma or abuse – and even passed down through the family. You can also recover from a mental illness with the right help in place. Mine were a mix of being just a part of me – I have always been an anxious person – but also traumatic incidents that triggered initially my depression but also brought it back after recovery. A story for another time.
I am hoping over this next month I can share lots of tips on what you can do to improve your mental wellbeing and in turn work towards keeping good mental health. If you feel like you might have a problem, please speak to a GP. They are amazing and are there to help you much like counselors are. Some of the sites on my ‘Help’ page are a great place to learn more or find someone to talk to if you need it. I am not a medical professional, just a sufferer who knows what helped her and is looking to share in the hopes of helping someone else.
The basis of this site is that mental health can be so many different things and not all avenues will help everyone. There will be a system to help every person though so if you have any other tips, advice or definitions, please share them in the comments!