What exactly is happiness, and how can we define such an abstract concept? Researchers in the field of positive psychology found that happiness is generally a feeling of satisfaction with life, and it turns out mental stability plays a part in achieving long-term happiness. Mental pain can be as damaging and hurtful as physical pain. Although, it doesn’t necessarily manifest outwardly. Mental pain, more often than not, affects one's cognition, emotion, and other thinking processes. And those suffering from its long-term effects often are not aware of the signs, nor do they immediately seek help.
Those who are mentally stable are generally in control of their personal thoughts and actions, are able to care for themselves and others, and can stay consistent and present in their work, family, and social lives. On the other hand, those who struggle with their mental health can suffer from the following early warning signs: pulling away from people and their usual activities, eating or sleeping irregularly, struggling with alcohol or various kinds of addictions, or feeling hopeless about life. These feelings can hinder you from functioning properly and experiencing the good things in life. Such factors curb happiness.
When left unchecked, the warning signs can turn into more serious mental illnesses, such as anxiety disorder or depression. Moreover, a 2019 study on the correlations between mental health and happiness highlighted how individuals suffering from mental illness are more likely to have lower levels of self-satisfaction and job satisfaction. Constant mental instability leads to unhappiness, and it becomes a cycle that needs to be broken. This is why awareness and caring for one’s mental health has been such an important point in health discussions, especially in recent years.
Ways to cultivate mental stability
Don’t hesitate to seek professional help
Fortunately, it’s much easier to seek help nowadays. Professionals with a background in psychology or psychiatry are finding work in schools, community centers, and rehab clinics. You might even have a mental health professional working for your company. Their understanding of human behavior enables them to understand the mental struggles you're experiencing and actively find a solution. Thus, consulting with such experts could be beneficial to your wellness and can motivate you to take the steps towards recovery.
Manage your emotions well
Emotions can be tricky, as some are quite difficult to process or express. Anger, for instance, can hurt your relationships if not handled properly. Feelings of hurt, denial, and detachment can also further distance you from people who are on your side. So, when you're starting to feel overwhelmed, make it a habit to stop and take a few deep breaths. This will help you get your bearings again before doing anything else. However, for those whose emotions drastically affect their mental stability, it’s best to consult a professional for help.
Be mindful of your life choices
Your mental health might not always be in your control, but you do have substantial power over your life choices. That said, taking better care of your health and wellness can lead to holistic happiness. Develop a healthy diet, exercise regularly, and work towards developing these healthy habits. By making your routine and environment more conducive to your mental stability, you're investing in your happiness.
Your mental health is an important part of your well-being. This aspect of your welfare determines how you’re able to operate psychologically, emotionally, and socially among others. Considering how much of a role your mental health plays in each aspect of your life, it's important to guard and improve psychological wellness using appropriate measures. Because different circumstances can affect your mental health, we’ll be highlighting risk factors and signs that may indicate mental distress. But most importantly, we’ll dive into all of the benefits of having your mental health in its best shape.
Ways to maintain mental health and well-being
Because mental health is so important to general wellness, it’s important that you take care of your mental health. To keep mental health in shape, a few introductions to and changes to lifestyle practices may be required. These include:
- Taking up regular exercise
- Prioritizing rest and sleep on a daily basis
- Trying meditation
- Learning coping skills for life challenges
- Keeping in touch with loved ones
- Maintaining a positive outlook on life
Another proven way to improve and maintain mental well-being is through the guidance of a professional. Talk therapy can teach you healthier ways to interact with others and coping mechanisms to try during difficult times. Therapy can also help you address some of your own negative behaviors and provide you with the tools to make some changes in your own life.
Depression is a common illness worldwide, affecting an estimated 3.8% of the population, including 5.0% of adults and 5.7% of adults over the age of 60.Depression affects approximately 280 million people worldwide.
Depression is distinct from normal mood swings and short-term emotional responses to everyday challenges. It can be dangerous to one's health, especially if it occurs frequently and with moderate or severe intensity. It can cause a person to suffer greatly and perform poorly at work, school, and in the family. Depression, at its worst, can lead to suicide. Every year, over 700,000 people die by suicide. Suicide is the fourth leading cause of death in people aged 15 to 29.
Despite the fact that there are known, effective treatments for mental disorders, more than 75% of people in low- and middle-income countries do not receive any.
A lack of resources, a lack of trained health-care providers, and the social stigma associated with mental disorders are all barriers to effective care. People with depression are frequently misdiagnosed and prescribed antidepressants in countries of all income levels, and those who do not have the disorder are frequently misdiagnosed and prescribed antidepressants.
Patterns and symptoms
During a depressive episode, the person feels sad, irritable, or empty for most of the day, nearly every day, for at least two weeks. Other symptoms may include poor concentration, feelings of excessive guilt or low self-worth, hopelessness about the future, thoughts of dying or suicide, disrupted sleep, changes in appetite or weight, and feeling particularly tired or low in energy.
During a depressive episode, the person has significant difficulty functioning in personal, family, social, educational, occupational, and/or other important areas.
A depressive episode is classified as mild, moderate, or severe based on the number and severity of symptoms as well as the effect on the individual's functioning.
Mood disorders can manifest themselves in a variety of ways, including:
Single episode depressive disorder (the individual's first and only episode); recurrent depressive disorder, which means the person has had at least two episodes of depression; and depressive episodes alternate with manic symptoms such as euphoria or irritability, increased activity or energy, and other symptoms such as increased talkativeness, racing thoughts, increased self-esteem, decreased need for sleep, distractibility, and impulsive reckless behaviour.
Depression is caused by an intricate interaction of social, psychological, and biological factors. People who have experienced adversity in their lives (such as unemployment, bereavement, or traumatic events) are more likely to develop depression. Depression, in turn, can cause additional stress and dysfunction, worsening both the affected person's life situation and the depression itself.
There are links between depression and physical health. Cardiovascular disease, for example, can lead to depression and vice versa.
Depression has been shown to be reduced by prevention programmes. School-based programmes to improve a pattern of positive coping in children and adolescents are examples of effective community approaches to depression prevention. Interventions for parents of children with behavioural issues may reduce parental depressive symptoms and improve their children's outcomes. Exercise programmes for the elderly can also help with depression prevention
Treatment and diagnosis
Depression can be effectively treated. Depending on the severity and pattern of depressive episodes over time, health-care providers may recommend behavioural activation, cognitive behavioural therapy, and interpersonal psychotherapy, as well as antidepressant medication such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs).
Bipolar disorder is treated with a variety of medications. Health-care providers should consider the potential side effects of antidepressant medication, their ability to deliver either intervention (in terms of expertise and/or treatment availability), and their patients' preferences. Individual and/or group face-to-face psychological treatments delivered by professionals and supervised lay therapists are among the various psychological treatment formats to consider.
Antidepressants should not be used as the first-line treatment for mild depression. They should not be used to treat anything.