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#mentaillnessweek MENTAL ILLNESS What is it, really?

Absolutely everyone has at one time or another, a brush with compromising the acceptable limits of their own mental health. Everyone.

Defining mental health looks at emotional wellness, behaviour and one’s ability to cope.

We are human, we grieve death, we lament over ended relationships, unacceptable abuses and betrayal, we have anxiety when faced with physical sickness, we have fears and we have anger. When we are melancholy for too long or often, it’s identified as depression and for the most part, when we ruminate and are unable to move on after an acceptable time, then clinically, that inability is classified as a mental health issue. Addiction and body perception issues are mental health problems and are forms of self-abuse – not self-soothing.

When internal anguish isn’t released, we become overwhelmed and stress manifests itself as physical conditions as our bodies suffer. We tend to go to doctors instead of therapists. A brain when injured or underdeveloped can cause a person to perceive differently. An imbalance in neurotransmitters and their functions, can affect a person’s regulation of emotions. Somehow society accepts intellectual disabilities but shuns how a person feels. Talking about mental health changes that and though we’ve come a long way, there’s room to expand our tolerance by talking about mental health more.

Everyone should learn that some mental health problems are based on immaturity and inappropriate behaviour. There is a wide spectrum of reasoning and acceptability about how people should act. Where does inapt behaviour come from, is a person born with it or is it something they learned? Nature or Nurture or both?

Neuroscience looks at underdeveloped brain function, damaged or impaired genetics. Psychotherapy looks at family dynamics, acute emotional and physical traumas and whether or not a person has had the opportunity to accept, talk and improve how they think and feel.

Either way, advances in neuropsychiatry teach us that cognitive development, and emotional thinking can be repaired by talking, educating and accepting that the centre for our whole well-being relies on how we accept, respect and support one another. Isolation and avoidance of mental health struggles just make them worse and it’s nothing to feel ashamed about.

We need to continue talking about mental health awareness, its easy – just share this story.

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