Taking care of your mental health is just as important as your physical health. Mental health affects how we think, feel and act as we cope with life. Nurse Rose Melendez, RN, shares how common mental health is and ways to recover.
How Common Are Mental Health Issues and What Are Some Examples?
Nurse Rose: Mental illness is a physical illness of the brain that affects 1 in 5 adults and 1 in 6 youth aged 6-17 each year. Only half of the people struggling with their mental health receive treatment, often due to the stigma attached to it. The two most common mental health conditions are:
- Anxiety disorders, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder and specific phobias.
- Mood disorders, such as depression and bi-polar disorder
What Are Some Signs of Mental Health Issues?
Nurse Rose: It can be hard to identify mental illness. Recognizing the signs is the first step to getting help. Some common signs may be:
- Changes in sleeping or eating habits
- Have low or no energy
- Lack of interest
- Changes in mood or behavior
- Decreased performance
How Can You Support Someone with a Mental Illness or Get Them Help If They’re Struggling?
Nurse Rose: Those struggling with mental illness can feel overwhelmed with the stigma and misinformation surrounding it. These coping mechanisms may help manage symptoms.
- Spending time outdoors
- Getting adequate sleep, at least seven to eight hours
As always, your physician or a mental health professional can provide additional resources and pathways to get help for you or a loved one. This can include psychotherapy, medication or support groups.