As part of Mental Health Awareness Week, today’s content covers types of mental health problems, how to spot them and what impact they can have on someone’s life.
Just like physical injuries that impact your body, mental health problems can be wide ranging. They can be caused by different factors, have different symptoms, and need different types of treatment. It is useful to know more about mental health in order to relate to others and help them if needed.
Just as you wouldn’t treat a broken bone the same as you would a concussion, it is important that we know more about mental health to deal with it effectively. Here is a checklist of common mental health issues from the charity Mind to help you identify what you, a team mate or someone you know might be going through:
What is it? Anger is a natural response to feeling attacked, deceived, frustrated or treated unfairly. Everyone gets angry sometimes – it's part of being human. It isn't always a 'bad' emotion, but it can be if not handled correctly.
What are the symptoms? We all see people getting angry, but anger can be an issue if someone harms themselves or the people around them because of it. It might be that people display unhelpful or destructive behaviour, or anger has a negative impact on overall mental health. Anger can be outward, such as shouting, swearing, hitting or throwing things. It can be inward, such as negative self-talk or self-harm. Or it can be non-violent, such as ignoring someone, or deliberately doing something badly.
How can it affect mental health? Anger can contribute to mental health problems, or make them worse. It can lead to increased levels of stress, or could negatively affect your self-esteem. This could lead to depression, anxiety, or sleep related problems.
What is it? We all feel down sometimes, but depression is a low mood that last for a long time and effects everyday life. Depression can vary in severity, from just feeling down all the way to suicidal thoughts.
What are the symptoms? We all have times when our mood is low, and we’re feeling sad or miserable about life. Usually these feelings pass but if the feelings are interfering with life and don't go away after a couple of weeks, or if they come back over and over again for a few days at a time, that is something more likely to be depression.
How can it affect mental health? Depression can affect people in big way. The feeling of “being under a black cloud” can make someone feel isolated, and can consume them mentally. Sometimes people feel less capable of coping or they might be withdrawn. Low self-esteem and anxiety can also be factors.
What is it? Our self-esteem is how we value and see ourselves. It is the confidence we have in ourselves, the realisation that we are good at certain things, and knowing that other people enjoy being around us.
What are the symptoms? Low self-esteem can make someone feel like others dislike them, that they’re worthless or not good enough, or they might blame themselves for things that aren’t their fault. It might be someone can’t recognise their own strengths, or they feel they don’t deserve to be happy.
How can it affect mental health? Low self-esteem can stop someone from living a life they want to live. Feeling hopeless or hating yourself can lead to depression and anxiety, and make it hard to socialise with other people.
What is it? Self-harm is when someone hurts themselves as a way of dealing with very difficult feelings, painful memories or overwhelming situations and experiences. People might do this to express something that is hard to put into words, to turn emotional pain into physical pain, or turn invisible thoughts or feelings into something they can see.
What are the symptoms? There are lots of different forms of self-harming. Some people use the same one all the time, but other people hurt themselves in different ways at different times. Self-harm can be a very distressing subject, and involves causing physical pain or injury.
How can it affect my mental health? Although self-harm shows up in physical ways, there are always reasons someone is hurting themselves. Anger, low self-esteem, stress and depression can all be linked to self-harm.
What is it? Sleep problems share common themes with poor mental health. A lack of sleep can make someone tired, which makes coping with daily life more difficult. That can lead to a further decrease in mental health, which impacts sleep even more. It can be a vicious cycle.
What are the symptoms? Whilst the lack of actual sleep is the main factor, there are other symptoms that come with sleep problems. Irritability, anger, a short attention span, an inability to handle stress and low self-esteem can all occur in people with sleep problems.
How can it affect my mental health? Feeling depressed or anxious is often a result of being tired and unable to think properly. Feeling lonely or isolated can also occur, especially if someone is too tired to see friends or leave the house. People can also suffer from anger issues and struggle to control their emotions when tired.
Knowing more about mental health is key to talking about it, helping people and improving mental health for everyone. For more on the topics above and a list of other mental health problems, please click on the button below.