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What is Mental Health?

Mental health is the psychological well-being or the absence of a mental disorder. It is the psychological state of someone who is functioning at a satisfactory level of emotional and behavioural adjustment.

Cultural differences, subjective assessments and competing professional theories all affect how "mental health" is defined.

 

Mental health may also mean

 

  • An individual's ability to enjoy life
  • Self-efficacy
  • Autonomy
  • Competence
  • Intergenerational independence
  • Self-actualization of one's intellectual and emotional potential among others

A person struggling with his/her mental/behavioural health may face:

  • Stress
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Relationship problems
  • Grief
  • Addiction
  • ADHD or learning disabilities
  • Mood disorders

 

There are many different types of mental health, some of the most common ones include:

  • Anxiety disorders: 

People with anxiety disorders respond to certain objects or situations with fear and dread, as well as with physical signs of anxiety or panic, such as a rapid heartbeat and sweating. An anxiety disorder is diagnosed if the person's response is not appropriate for the situation, if the person cannot control the response, or if the anxiety interferes with normal functioning. Anxiety disorders include generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, and specific phobias.

  • Mood disorders: 

These disorders, also called affective disorders, involve persistent feelings of sadness or periods of feeling overly happy, or fluctuations from extreme happiness to extreme sadness. The most common mood disorders are depression, bipolar disorder, and cyclothymic disorder.

  • Psychotic disorders: 

Psychotic disorders involve distorted awareness and thinking. Two of the most common symptoms of psychotic disorders are hallucinations -- the experience of images or sounds that are not real, such as hearing voices -- and delusions, which are false fixed beliefs that the ill person accepts as true, despite evidence to the contrary. Schizophrenia is an example of a psychotic disorder.

  • Eating disorders:

Eating disorders involve extreme emotions, attitudes, and behaviors involving weight and food. Anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder are the most common eating disorders.

  • Impulse control and addiction disorders: 

People with impulse control disorders are unable to resist urges, or impulses, to perform acts that could be harmful to themselves or others. Pyromania (starting fires), kleptomania (stealing), and compulsive gambling are examples of impulse control disorders. Alcohol and drug are common objects of addictions. Often, people with these disorders become so involved with the objects of their addiction that they begin to ignore responsibilities and relationships.

  • Personality disorders: 

People with personality disorders have extreme and inflexible personality traits that are distressing to the person and/or cause problems in work, school, or social relationships. In addition, the person's patterns of thinking and behavior significantly differ from the expectations of society and are so rigid that they interfere with the person's normal functioning. Examples include antisocial personality disorder, obsessive-compulsive personality disorder, and paranoid personality disorder.

  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD): 

People with OCD are plagued by constant thoughts or fears that cause them to perform certain rituals or routines. The disturbing thoughts are called obsessions, and the rituals are called compulsions. An example is a person with an unreasonable fear of germs who constantly washes his or her hands.

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD):

PTSD is a condition that can develop following a traumatic and/or terrifying event, such as a sexual or physical assault, the unexpected death of a loved one, or a natural disaster. People with PTSD often have lasting and frightening thoughts and memories of the event, and tend to be emotionally numb.

 

EMERGENCY NUMBERS

Dr Reddy's Help Line
0800 21 22 23

Pharmadynamics Police &Trauma Line
0800 20 50 26

Adcock Ingram Depression and Anxiety Helpline
0800 70 80 90

ADHD Helpline
0800 55 44 33

Department of Social Development Substance Abuse Line 24hr helpline
0800 12 13 14
SMS 32312

Suicide Crisis Line
0800 567 567
SMS 31393

SADAG Mental Health Line
011 234 4837

Akeso Psychiatric Response Unit 24 Hour
0861 435 787

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