Everything You Need To Know About Mental Health

While physical health refers to our physical bodies, mental health refers mostly to our behaviours linked to our brain functionality. This is; how we feel, what we think about, and our behavioural responses to the world around us.

Read our advice to help you take care of your well-being, emotionally and mentally.


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Understanding Mental Health Disorders

While physical health refers to our physical bodies, mental health refers mostly to our behaviours linked to our brain functionality. This is; how we feel, what we think about, and our behavioural responses to the world around us.

There are lots of different types of mental health disorders, and many of them have a spectrum on which the severity of the symptoms is measured.

While the term mental health refers to behaviours, many of these are rooted in the physiological make-up of the affected brain.

What causes mental health disorders?

Physical trauma, like brain injuries caused by a sports impact or a car accident, can cause damage to the brain and affect a person’s mental well-being. Other causes can be severe shock causing a disorder such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or prolonged stress or anxiety, which may cause a variety of mental disorders through more subtle changes over a longer period of time.

Mental health issues are a leading cause of disabilities among all age groups. They are also the leading cause of suicide and should be taken extremely seriously.

They can affect a person for any length of time, and can mark all areas of that person’s life including work, relationships and physical health.

Who is affected by mental health disorders?

There is so much research still being done into the causes and triggers of many mental health disorders.

But the quick answer is that anyone can be affected regardless of their age, gender, ethnicity, or employment status.

But some demographics and communities are more susceptible than others. For example, loneliness leading to depression is at pandemic proportions among the 65+ age demographic in many cultures.

Unemployment and low income, drug and alcohol abuse, physical and mental abuse within families and other problematic lifestyle choices can all impact a person’s mental health.

Some are genetic, others are not but may present at birth.

How is mental health diagnosed?

For a long time, there has been an unfair stigma attached to people dealing with mental health disabilities and for this and other reasons, a disorder may go undiagnosed.

But depending on a person’s symptoms, there are a few ways to diagnose a mental health disorder.

Most often people will visit their GP with physical symptoms such as lethargy, headaches, emotional instability or pain, and if there are no obvious physiological reasons, a GP would ask questions that may lead to a referral to a psychologist or psychiatrist.

How are mental health disorders treated?

Treatment for the various disorders will depend on the type of symptoms, the severity of the symptoms and whether there is more than one mental health disorder present.


These are a series of appointments with a licensed psychologist. Again, in the past, was an unfair stigma linked to people who see a therapist, but fortunately, this no longer the case.

A therapist is really helpful in clearing the clutter of the mind and finding the root of what could be triggering certain behaviours that manifest as a mental illness. Knowing these, you can recognise destructive thought patterns and damaging behaviours such as self-harm through cutting or addictions, and isolation.


It’s important to know that medication can’t cure mental disorders. But, they can be used in support of psychotherapy to help a person with their daily lives, and by making small physiological changes, can offer more positive thought patterns that improve mood and behaviours.

Only a psychiatrist, not a psychologist is able to prescribe medication for mental health.

Getting help

It’s very often a friend or family member that may alert you to the fact that all may not be well, as it’s often hard to see some behavioural changes in ourselves. So, try not to dismiss their concerns. Other times you may feel an overwhelming sadness, unusual bouts of anxiety or ‘brain fog’. These are just a few examples of the myriad symptoms that you may have. But if you suspect that your mental health may be suffering, then please reach out to your physician for support and treatment options as soon as possible.