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What are mental health problems?

by Press Officer on 9 August, 2013

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What are mental health problems?

 

Our mental health affects the way we think and feel about ourselves and others, and how we deal with life.

We all have mental health, like we all have physical health. Both change throughout our lives. And, like our bodies, our minds can become unwell.

Mental health problems might actually be more common than you think. One in four of us will be affected by mental illness in any year. The effects are as real as a broken arm, even though there isn’t a sling or plaster cast to show for it.

The stigma around mental health

Talking openly with friends can be an important part of life, yet having a conversation about mental health seems to be a step too far for some of us.

The shame and secrecy around mental health not only makes the issue harder to speak about, but it can lead us to exclude others, make assumptions and treat people in negative ways. Being able to talk about it openly, on the other hand, can take the taboo out of something that affects us all.

What are mental health problems?

Some mental health problems are described using words that are in everyday use – for example, ‘depression’ or ‘anxiety’. The most commonly diagnosed forms are depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), phobias, bipolar disorder (formerly known as manic depression), schizophrenia, personality disorders and eating disorders. Common behaviours and symptoms associated with mental health problems include self-harm, suicidal thoughts and panic attacks.

How to help someone with mental health problems?

Find out more about how to talking about mental health can help people with a mental illness seek help and aid recovery. Read more from people who have experienced mental health problems in our blog section. Find contact details for help and support services.

Find out more about particular mental health diagnoses from Mind or Rethink Mental Illness.

Mental health myths, facts and stats

Find out more mental health facts and stats.

Myth

Mental health problems are very rare.

Fact

Mental health problems affect one in four people.

Myth

People with mental illness aren’t able to work.

Fact

We probably all work with someone experiencing a mental health problem.

Myth

People with mental health illnesses are usually violent and unpredictable.

Fact

People with a mental illness are more likely to be a victim of violence.

Myth

People with mental health problems don’t experience discrimination

Fact

Nine out of ten people with mental health problems experience stigma and discrimination.

 

 

 

 

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