How Is Your Mental Health?

arttherapyblog mental health

Image from Art Therapy Blog

According to the World Health Organisation more than 450 million people in the world suffer from mental disorders and 80% of this number remain untreated.  The numbers are quite astonishing, however, how would we recognise our own behavioural signs that all is not well and how would we determine if a loved one had a mental health problem or simply a strong/eccentric personality?

The World Health Organization defines mental health as “a state of well-being in which the individual realises his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community”.  A friend recently told me that she thinks her partner is bipolar, however, she has no clue what to do apart from contemplate a divorce. Telling even someone close that you think they might have a mental health problem is taboo and for some it can even be terrifying.

My mother often tells me to go see a doctor to check my head as I’m always freeeeeeezing cold when she is perfectly comfortable but I will never do it.  Fathers can at times be tyrannical members of a household going crazy over missing car keys that were in yesterday’s pocket all along. Is this a sign of a mental health problem?  Who would have the guts to say anything?  I can imagine the blank reaction followed by simmering rage whilst a sibling stands in the background doing throat cutting actions and mouthing YOU’RE DEAD!

I’m making light of this but mental health warning signs are often shrugged off as ‘men will be men’ chat and ‘women are hysterical’.  Plus, what are the warning signs?  I think we need to be educated somewhat in this subject possibly at school.  One of the reasons cited for mental health being undiagnosed in such large number of the population is the negative reaction towards it and the fear of being labelled.  In our culture of extreme community competitiveness and marital introductions, mental health issues are sure to be brushed under the carpet.  How is this to be turned around?

The UK mental health awareness week is from 13- 19 May 2013 and this year it will focus on physical activity and exercise as these can have a good impact on health and wellbeing.


3 Comments to “How Is Your Mental Health?”

  1. I remember my father acting like a maniac about his keys. My boyfriend used to ask me all the time where his socks/keys/pants are. Out of principal I shut off and ignored him (even if I knew where his keys were) but he doesn’t ask me anymore. Does that mean I have slight mental problems?

  2. @Anon – that is hilarious! If you have mental health problems because of that then so do I and a lot of other women I know…

  3. mental health is a huge problem at my workplace and extremely difficult to support and understand. there needs to be more awareness and information available. the scary bit for me is that number of people that suffer in silence until it gets too much.

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