Mental health and development is encompassing and this post cannot do it enough justice that it deserves.
I started writing this post couple of weeks ago. It seems such a daunting topic to write that I have made endless edits every time I reviewed it. Since it’s been that long since the last post on the PEMFESS+P series, I finally accepted the fact that Mental Health and Development is an exhaustive topic that I cannot fully cover with one post. I’ll, however, do my best to include basic information for the purposes of the Series and, if need be, add more later. Thanks for reading.
Mental illness awareness has recently gained national and global attention . Hitherto, it was a taboo to talk about it, admit that one was suffering from it, or accept its diagnosis. But, Mental health is as real as all other health or development issues. It’s therefore important to cultivate a sound mental health routine and make it a priority for yourself.
What is Mental Health?
Mental health is how your mind processes (“reasons, thinks, feels, wills, perceives, judges, etc.”) everything that pertains to you and life. It involves your “intellect or understanding, as distinguished from the faculties of feeling and willing.”
The National Institute of Health (NIH) describes mental health as including “… our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices.” The Institute went on to state that “Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.”
Mental diagnosis ranges from depression, anxiety, panic and maniac disorders to suicides. Alcohol and drug use or dependences also falls under the mental disorders list, as well as, excessive or insufficient and unreasonable (anorexic) eating, schizophrenia, bipolar, post-traumatic stress disorder (ptsd), etc.
One out of every five young adult is affected by mental illness.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about “1 billion people are living with a mental disorder, 3 million people die every year from the harmful use of alcohol and one person dies every 40 seconds by suicide.”
Mental development affects one’s total being; emotional, physical, social and financial developments, such that if not properly managed or treated, the total being (health and wellness) can disintegrate.
It is pertinent to note that though you might be as physically developed as you will get, your brain is still undergoing its development. As such, mentally, as well as emotionally, you are not fully grown (or developed) at eighteen or twenty-one. “The changes that take place in the brain during the early twenties affect how new experiences and new pieces of information are synthesized.”
Being aware that you are not fully and mentally developed should necessitate seeking guidance before making or taking major decisions. Be accountable to someone – your parent/s or close friend.
Regarding this Series, being fully cognizant of your abilities and capacities is a necessary trait.
- How you handle stress, conflicts, change, or challenging times;
- What your resilience quotient (which is how fast you bounce back when life throws you a curve) is;
- Your general outlook on life – hopefully you have more positive than negative outlook;
- Knowing your triggers and communicating them to those closest to you is key. This helps them be cognizant and supportive when the triggers arise.
- Your “Me time” is essential to refresh and rejuvenate. Ensuring that you have one at least monthly; best will be weekly, will help your mental outlook.
- Surround yourself with positive family and friends.
Other ways to improve your mental health can be found here.
Also, click here to learn ten things you can do for your mental health.