10 Things to Know About Mental Illness

What you need to know about mental illness:

1

A mental illness is a condition where your ability to function properly is affected by negative changes in your mood, thoughts, emotions and/or behaviour.

2

Although some people with mental health problems are more likely to be unpredictable, and sometimes violent, this is not true for most people with mental health conditions.

3

While most people incorrectly assume that mental health problems are irreversible, the truth is that with proper treatment, and support, mental health patients can sometimes recover completely.

4

Prevention is better than cure.

Focus on a holistic state of wellbeing, pay attention to warning signs, consciously lower your stress levels and go for medical check-ups to make sure you identify the problem before it even starts.

Many people assume that mental health problems are a result of personality problems or character flaws, but this is not the case.
A family history of health problems, a history of abuse in any form and brain injury are usually contributing factors.

5

Coping with a mental illness can be hard but there are things that can help, including joining a support group, speaking to a close friend about your feelings, keeping a journal and trying to have an active social life.

6

Prolonged use of certain drugs and alcohol may increase the chances of a mental illness surfacing.
If you have a family history of mental illness, you should be especially aware of this and shouldn’t abuse substances like these.

7

Take comfort in this quote: Instead of saying, “I’m damaged, I’m broken,” say “I’m healing, I’m rediscovering myself, and I’m starting over.”

8

If you have a loved one with a mental illness, the best thing that you can do to show support is to educate yourself about the illness. This will ensure that you can be compassionate about what they are going through, and they will be more likely to accept your support when they see your efforts.

9

Mental illness often begins in childhood, so it is important to pay attention to your children for signs that they might have a mental disorder.
If treated early, children often make a faster recovery than adults.

10

Practise mindfulness.
Make yourself more aware of the here and now by practising acceptance of the present moment without judging it.
As obsessive, worrying thoughts come in, acknowledge them. Take note of where your mind drifted and how it made you feel. Then, release them. This will quiet your mind and help you stay grounded in the present moment.
You can think a thousand stressful thoughts a day, but you can also choose to let those thoughts come and go.
Think, don’t hoard!

Need more information?

You can read about the most common mental health conditions here and access more mental wellbeing resources at Let’s Talk.

If you or someone you know is struggling with a mental health illness and needs help, follow this link.

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