Mental illness is any health condition that can cause a change in thinking, behaviour, emotions, or all of the above. Examples of mental illnesses are depression, anxiety, bipolar, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), eating disorders, and even some phobias.
The vast majority of mental illnesses are treatable, allowing you to go on with your everyday life. Usually, mental illness is triggered by something distressing or by a problem at work, with family, or in a social situation.
When left untreated, mental illnesses like depression can develop into serious health conditions. As it affects your behaviour and ability to think, it can affect how you perform at work or school, and how you interact with people around you. In the more extreme cases, mental illness can lead to suicide- the second leading cause of death in 15-29-year olds according to the World Health Organisation.
What is mental illness?
Still to this day there is a stigma attached to mental illness, but the truth is that it is a valid illness the same as breaking your leg or catching the flu. It is more common than you might think. In the world, there is more than 264 million people from every age group, every demographic, and every walk of life who suffer from depression.
As there are many forms of mental illness, and different levels of severity for that matter, this means that there are many different ways to diagnose and treat mental illness. Health care providers themselves may have a preference in treatment options, meaning everyone’s solutions will be completely different. In other words, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Here are a few examples of potential ways mental illness can be tackled.
One way of tacking mental illness is using psychiatric medication, which is the umbrella term to describe antidepressants, antipsychotics, mood stabilisers, and anti-anxiety medication. Some people will function much better with medication, however some will experience side effects or suffer from withdrawal once their treatment is done. Medication is not for everybody, and to make it more confusing, there are many different drugs that are all very different.
For some people, guided physical wellbeing challenges can be super helpful. Health and wellness options like a wellbeing program can help you to track nutrition, weight management, mental wellbeing, activity, finances, and fitness, allowing you to implement healthy habits in your life.
Unfortunately, depression and anxiety isn’t always something that can be ‘solved’, just something that we can learn how to live with. Therapy can be a great way to express our emotions to someone impartial to our plight.
Therapists can then help you to retrain certain behaviours using cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). If CBT isn’t for you then there are many other options, including interpersonal therapy (IPT), eve movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR), mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) and much more.
As you can see, there are many different treatments for mental illness, and many variations on mental illnesses themselves. This means that there is no one-size-fits-all way to tackle mental illness as every case is different. As long as we talk, seek advice from a healthcare professional and look out for each other, we can get tackle mental illness together.