Mental Health Disorders for Skeptics

The topic of mental health has been tabooed for years, so it is no surprise to know that there are plenty of mental health skeptics. However, despite the doubt surrounding mental health, research has shown us just how big of a role our mental health play in our quality of life.

Do you struggle to understand the significance of mental health and empathize with loved ones experiencing mental health struggles? The more you learn about mental health disorders- and just how common and devastating they can be- the better you will be able to empathize and understand your loved one’s (and possibly even your own!) mental health struggles.

Depression

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Depression is a mood disorder that negatively impacts a person’s emotions, thoughts, and behaviors, leaving a person dealing with a wide range of issues.

The Prevalence of Depression

Depression is one of the most common health conditions in the world, with an estimated 5% of adults experiencing the mental illness worldwide. Certain factors increase the risk of depression, such as being female, identifying as more than one race, and being between 18 and 25 years old.

Why Do I Need to Learn About it?

Still wondering what this has to do with you? Considering just how common depression is, chances are high that you or someone you know will experience a depressive episode at one point in your life or another.

The more open you are to learning about the disorder, the better off you will be if you develop symptoms (& the more helpful you will be to loved ones who are suffering, too!) It is critical to a person’s health, safety, and overall wellbeing to seek help for depression as quickly as possible. When left untreated, the disorder can send a person deeper down a rabbit hole of dark thoughts, which can have devastating consequences for them and those who love them.

What to Do if You Know Someone with Depression

If you suspect a loved one may be experiencing depression, a few ways you can help them include:

  • Getting educated about the illness.

  • Encouraging them to seek treatment as quickly as possible.

  • Offering your support

Anxiety

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As a mental health skeptic, anxiety disorders may leave you rolling your eyes, especially considering that feeling anxious is normal. However, anxiety disorders can harm a person’s quality of life. Imagine living your life overcome with fear and worry about everyday things. Imagine feeling as though you are unable to escape your anxiety. 

The Prevalence of Anxiety

In 2019, an estimated 301 million people were experiencing an anxiety disorder, making it one of the world’s most common mental health disorders.

Why Do I Need to Learn About it?

With anxiety disorders being so common, the chances of you or someone you know experiencing one are high. Anxiety can significantly impact a person’s ability to function normally. It can cause them to pull away from those they love, avoid any situation they fear will trigger their anxiety, and live their life feeling on edge.

The stress and other symptoms of anxiety can also cause many health issues down the road, as the physical symptoms of anxiety impact every part of the body. The more one knows about anxiety, the more efficiently they can get the treatment they need, which will be critical to living a healthy, happy life. 

What to Do if You Know Someone with Anxiety

If someone you know is experiencing anxiety, the best help you can offer them will include:

  • A listening ear

  • Your support

  • Validation of their feelings

  • Most importantly, encouragement to seek treatment

Stress

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Stress is the body’s response to life events that require your immediate attention. A fun fact you may not know about it is that the human race evolved to feel stressed to increase our chances of survival. However, while stress is necessary for survival, too much can negatively impact one’s physical, emotional, and psychological health.

The Prevalence of Stress

Everyone experiences stress at one point in their life or another. Chronic stress, or persistent stress, is experienced by an estimated 35% of people worldwide.

Why Do I Need to Learn About it?

Stress is great for moments you need to increase your reflexes and awareness for survival. However, feeling stressed too often can harm your health and quality of life.

Learning about stress will help you recognize the feeling as it arises. You can also learn healthy coping mechanisms that will allow you to handle your stress before it becomes out of control. 

Ways You Can Help Someone Suffering from Stress

If you have noticed a loved one feeling more stressed than usual, a few ways you can help them include:

  • Offering them a friend to vent to

  • Validating them

  • Helping them relax

  • Offering to take something off their plate.

  • Encouraging them to seek help.

Insomnia

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Insomnia is a common sleep disorder in which a person struggles to fall asleep, stay asleep, or get enough quality sleep. 

The Prevalence of Insomnia

An estimated one-third of adults are experiencing insomnia symptoms at a time. Most people experience these symptoms at one point in their life. That means the chances of you or someone you know experiencing these symptoms are very high. 

Why Do I Need to Learn About it?

Sleep is essential to maintaining our mental health and overall wellness. Knowing when you or a loved one is experiencing a sleep disorder will allow ample time to seek professional health before experiencing long-term negative consequences, which can include:

 

  • Increased stress levels

  • Severe mood swings

  • An increased risk of developing mental illness

  • Other health issues

What to do if You Know Someone with Insomnia

If someone you know is experiencing insomnia, the best thing you can do for them is to encourage proper sleep habits and encourage them to seek the help of their doctor.

What to Do If Your Mental Health is Struggling

Your mental health plays a vital role in your health and happiness. When your mental health is struggling, other areas of your life will begin to struggle, too, like your physical health, career, relationships, and overall ability to enjoy life. If you have found yourself experiencing any mental health struggles, reaching out to your primary care doctor or a therapist will prove critical. Take this crucial step toward caring for your mental health today and begin your journey to a happier, healthier life.

References

Batson, J. (2011). What is Stress? The American Institute of Stress. https://www.stress.org/daily-life

Salas, M.D., R. (2021, August 8). Insomnia: What You Need to Know as You Age. www.hopkinsmedicine.org. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/insomnia-what-you-need-to-know-as-you-age#:~:text=Overview

World Health Organization. (2021, September 13). Depression. World Health Organization;

World Health Organization. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/depression

World Health Organization. (2022, June 8). Mental disorders. World Health Organization; World Health Organization: WHO. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/mental-disorders

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