In the UK, 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem yearly. 1 in 6 people will experience common mental health problems like depression and anxiety in a few weeks in England.
Mental health problems have a wide range of causes. Mind is a mental health charity that works closely with individuals who need support. They have explained that the reason for many people is a combination of factors. Lifestyle factors, including work and lack of sleep, can affect and worsen your mental health. Following on from this, stress can be a huge underlying factor for mental; health as it can affect you both physically and physiologically.
How mental health affects an individual?
Living with mental health problems can be mentally and physically draining for an individual. It can affect many areas of your life. For some, you can feel like you no longer have control of yourself. It can feel like you are not in control of your motions. Others can’t move, making it feel like it's hard to breathe sometimes, and you feel constantly trapped. If you want to learn more about living with mental health problems, read ‘What It's Like To Live With Mental Disorder’ by Brian Zeng.
Living with anxiety
Anxiety is a constant worry, tension or fear of things that are about to happen or that we think will happen. anxiety is a natural human response when we feel like we are under some threat. We can experience through our thoughts, feelings and physical sensations as individuals.
A charity called ‘Mind’ supports those with mental health problems, and an individual has said, “ anxiety feels as if everyone in the world is waiting for me to trip up so that they can laugh at me. It makes me feel nervous and unsure whether the next step I take is the best way forward”.
In our lives, most people will experience anxiety because of coping with stressful events or changes. It can have a significant impact on lives, so it's essential to manage stress. Anxiety can become a mental health problem when it impacts your ability to live your life to the full. For example, you regularly experience anxiety symptoms, including panic attacks and difficulty living your everyday life or doing things you would have once enjoyed.
Living with depression
Depression is a low mood that can last longer and affect your everyday life. There is a different form of depression. The mild form means you have a low spirit. It doesn’t stop you from leading your daily life but makes everything much harder. The more server form of depression can be life-threatening because it can make you feel suicidal.
The charity mind says’ it starts as sadness the. I feel myself shutting down, becoming less capable of coping, and eventually, I feel numb and empty.’
There are, in fact, different types of depression;
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is depression at a particular time of year or during a specific season.
Dysthymia – continuous mild depression that lasts for two years or more.
Prenatal depression – the depression that occurs during pregnancy.
Postnatal depression (PND) – the depression that occurs in the first year after giving birth.
Many people will experience one type of depression within their lifetime. Still, it's important to remember that depression could affect your loved one, so check in with the people around you as you never know that could be precisely what they need, just someone to talk too.
How can we improve our mental health?
You can try many different activities to take care of your well-being. From personal experience, I know that it's not always easy to start looking after your mental health, but it’s important always to try what makes you feel comfortable, give yourself time and take small steps to achieve your end goal.
Here are some tips to help you improve your mental health:
1. Find ways to Relax and reduce stress.
2. Spend time doing activities you enjoy.
3. Socialise with others.
4. Look after your physical health.
5. Try to get enough sleep.
If you want to read more about improving your mental health, visit MIND.
My personal experience
It can be mentally and physically draining for someone who has experienced anxiety. I would feel exhausted all the time, constantly on edge, and I would never feel relaxed. Stress was a huge underlying factor in many situations around me. I lost my childhood dog, had coursework to complete for university, and was working too many hours alongside my degree. It got to the point where I had burnt myself out!
Mental Health is something we should all take care of, I let my poor mental health control me for far too long, and I knew I needed to make a change somewhere! That first step for me was going to my GP. Don’t be embarrassed to talk about how you feel; I felt that way until I just let it all out, and I felt so much better.
If you're struggling with your mental health, what should you do?
Please go to GP, don’t leave it like I did, hoping I’d wake up one day and feel better. Mental Health isn’t like having a cold you can be living with day in and day out for a long period. Get the help and support you need to live your life to the fullest!
If you want more information or support with your mental health, please visit the NHS website or.if you need some URGENT support click here to find a local helpline available 24 hours an if you need someone to talk to day or night.