Mental health is about how a person feels, thinks and behaves.
According to the World Health Organisation 1 in 4 of us will be affected by a mental health issue at some point in our lives. It is therefore essential that people suffering with mental health problems feel supported and know how to ask for help in order to manage their illness.
The image below is an extract from SkillGate's Mental Health Awareness course - click on the words to learn more about common mental health terminology - to review the full course, access via the link below.
Anxiety is an emotion we feel when we are worried, tense or afraid – particularly about things that are about to happen or may happen in future.
When there are uncontrollable feelings of worry or fear about different aspects of everyday life, it can be a form of anxiety disorder.
Fears can also be triggered by social or workplace situations and become uncontrollable.
Phobia is an extreme irrational fear related to a particular object or situation (for example: fear of spiders, fear of heights).
Depression is a low mood that lasts for a long time and affects everyday life. Symptoms include feeling numb, isolated or not being able to relate to people. Such people can avoid social events and activities, have difficulty in thinking clearly or making decisions.
It can be mild, moderate or severe. In the mildest form, depression can mean just being in low spirits, while severe depression can be life-threatening because it can make a person feels suicidal.
Stress is the body's reaction to change that requires a mental adjustment or physical response. This stress response, also known as the "fight or flight response", is activated in case of an emergency.
Stress becomes negative when a person faces continuous challenges without relief or relaxation between stressors. Prolonged activation of the stress response causes physical and emotional wear and tear on the body and can progress to panic attacks or depression.
It is a mood disorder where a person may have extremes of feeling high (manic episode) or feeling low (depressive) or a combination of both.
Some people have stable periods, while other rapidly cycle from one mood to the other.
The key to coping with bipolar is an early diagnosis, acceptance of the illness and adapting to a lifestyle that includes self-management.
This is a group of conditions present from early childhood and can include autism, learning disability and other developmental delay.
People with a learning disability tend to take longer to learn and may need support to develop new skills, understand complicated information and interact with other people.
People with autism find it hard to communicate and interact with other people, or understand how other people think and feel. They can get anxious or upset with unfamiliar situations, may do the same things over and over, and take longer to understand information.
Schizophrenia is severe and long term mental condition where a person finds it difficult to distinguish between reality and their own thoughts and get confused.
Symptoms can include having hallucinations (hearing or seeing things that do not exist), or having a feeling of altered reality. It is a common misconception that people with schizophrenia have a split personality, but this is quite rare.
People with schizophrenia can avoid social situations, be uninterested, not care about personal hygiene and lose interest in everyday activities.
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