Mental health is described as “the psychological state of someone who is functioning at a satisfactory level of emotional and behavioural adjustment”.
It is also described as a “state of cognitive or emotional wellbeing or an absence of a mental disorder” (wikipedia.org).
The causes of mental health disorders are many and can change as we progress through life. For example mental health can change with age related hormonal changes such as with premenstrual tension or menopause. Mental health can also be driven by thyroid hormone disorders.
The state of our mental health can also be driven by a situation that a person finds themselves in. For example a mental health disorder can be triggered by a state of grief as a result of a loss, a state of despair as a result of being sacked from work or a feeling of emotional turmoil as a result of a relationship breakdown. Each of these fit within the description.
At what point does a natural reaction to a situation in your life become a treatable disorder?
The 4 Cycles of Emotional Healing
They say that there are 4 cycles that occur as a result of a bad event, that most people will go through. They are grief, anger, denial and acceptance. The first 3 phases can be repeated numerous times before acceptance occurs.
Of course the extent of the loss or problem will have an impact upon how long the loss is felt, but so to will a persons healing and coping abilities.There are no hard and fast rules here about how long each step should take, but if a person has stress, depression or anxiety for more than 6 weeks this is considered to be a chronic problem.
What Factors Determine Healing and Coping Abilities?
A person’s healing and coping abilities will be determined according to a number of factors. These might include their support mechanisms, their history of dealing with a similar issue, their own sense of self worth, genetics and nutritional status.
The signs of ‘not coping well’ include such things as:
- feeling unable to get any enjoyment out of anything;
- feeling down-hearted or blue;
- feeling irritable;
- feeling close to panic;
- finding it hard to calm down after an upsetting event;
- being in a state of nervous tension;
- finding it difficult to become motivated;
- over reacting to a situation ;
- feelings of being worthless;
- feeling teary a lot of the time.
- Ensure you are getting adequate nutrition (have your levels of zinc and Essential Fatty Acids tested in particular);A zinc taste test can help to determine zinc levels. A Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis gives a 3 month history of mineral levels within the body. Zinc is frequently deficient in both mental health and skin imbalances.
- Ensure you are getting adequate sleep. If necessary take herbs such as Kava Kava, Passion flower, Panax Nono Ginseng to assist with attaining a sound and refreshing sleep);
- Get frequent exercise – 5 days per week. This will help decrease stress hormones;
- Talk to a professional who can put things into a better perspective;
- Temporarily take some herbal supplements such as passionflower, St Johns Wort or Skullcap;
- Increase intake of fish oils;
- Have your hormone levels checked – adrenal, thyroid and reproductive hormones;
- Avoid using stimulants such as coffee;
- Do regular relaxation exercises, meditation, yoga, or tai chi;
- Nurture yourself and give yourself some time out;
- Avoid or remove yourself from toxic relationships;
- Detoxify the body to decrease environmental stressors;
- Talk to your doctor or other trained health professional.
Ask For Help
Remember there is no shame in feeling stressed, anxious, panicky or depressed. Also remember that there are many different ways to improve how a person is feeling.
If the way you are feeling is becoming all consuming or too much, do ask for help. This might be consulting with a Doctor or another health professional trained in looking after mental health disorders.