What is mental health?

By: Grabe Blumer-Lamotte

According to MentalHealth.gov their definition of mental health is, “Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act.”

If you experience certain mental health problems over the course of your life, your thinking, feelings, behavior, and mood could be changed. There are many factors that can lead to mental health problems, including: biological factors such as genes, and the way your chemicals in your brain work; life experiences, like trauma and/or abuse, and finally, any past mental health problems in your family. 

Some early symptoms, according to MentalHealth.gov, can consist of, “Eating or sleeping too much or too little, pulling away from people and usual activities, having low or no energy, feeling numb or like nothing matters, feeling helpless or hopeless, smoking, drinking, or using drugs more than usual, feeling angry, upset, worried, or scared, yelling or fighting with family and friends often, experiencing severe mood swings that cause problems in relationships, having persistent thoughts and memories you can’t get out of your head, thinking of harming yourself or others, inability to perform daily tasks.” If you have any of these early symptoms I strongly suggest talking to a trusted adult about making an appointment with your doctor to talk about them. 

Everyday people that struggle with mental health problems are often told: that they are “faking it,” “it’s just a mental thing,” “that is something you decide to have,” and many more little comments that are very degrading to the mental health community. Making those comments not only hurts the person you said it to, but it also makes the mental health community less important. You are stating that everyone that has a mental health problem is just faking it and they can just fix it right away.

If you are in need of help the numbers given below could help save a life.

  • National helpline, 800-662-HELP (4357)
  • Child abuse, (800) 422-4453
  • Suicide Prevention hotline, (800) 273-TALK (8255)
  • Rape, Sexual Assualt, Domestic Violence, and Incest helpline, (800) 656-HOPE
  • Eating Disorder helpline, (800) 931-2237
  • Planned Parenthood hotline, (800) 230-PLAN (7526)

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