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What is Mental Health?

Mental health has become a more commonly used term in the last decade. But as something we often cannot see, it’s important to remember what mental health is, what it entails, and how we can take care of ourselves and others that may be facing mental health challenges.

The definition

Mental health is the culmination of our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. The World Health Organization defines it as “a state of well-being in which the individual realizes their own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to their community.” 

Your well-being can be influenced by a number of external factors like genes, brain chemistry, trauma, abuse, or a family history of mental health issues. 

Mental health issues are never your fault, and there is always hope for better health.

The signs

Early warning signs that someone is living with a mental health problem include: 

  • Eating too much or too little
  • Irregular sleeping patterns
  • Disconnecting from people
  • Giving up hobbies and activities
  • Having low energy
  • Extreme mood swings
  • Unexplained aches and pains
  • Feeling helpless or hopeless
  • Engaging in risky behaviors
  • Inability to perform daily tasks
  • Persistent thoughts or memories that won’t go away

The impact

So why is mental health important? It helps determine how we approach life, handle stress, build relationships, and make decisions. Those with positive mental health are able to realize their full potential and make meaningful connections. However, when mental health is left on the back burner, many issues can arise, including: 

  • Decreased enjoyment of life
  • Relational conflict
  • Social isolation
  • Addiction problems
  • Legal and financial issues
  • Self-harm and harm to others
  • Weakened immune system and other health issues

If you or someone you love is exhibiting signs of a potential mental health concern, help is available. Our team of experts here at Valley Oaks Health can help you find the best path toward better mental health.

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