Mental Wellness is happiness, peace of mind, enjoyment and satisfaction in life. Mental health affects your everyday life and physical well-being. It involves the way that you balance your needs, ambition, abilities, ideals, feelings and conscience in order to meet the demands of everyday life.
Feel good about yourself.
Your not overwhelmed by your own emotions. You can take life’s disappointments in stride. You are tolerant, take pleasure in simple, everyday things and have an easy-going attitude toward yourself and others. You can respect and laugh at yourself, accept your shortcomings. You truly love yourself and forgive yourself.
Feel comfortable with other people.
You are able to give love and to consider the interests of others. You have satisfying and lasting personal relationships. You like and trust others and believe that others will like and trust you. You are able to embrace other people’s uniqueness. You do not take advantage of others, nor do you allow others to take advantage you. You feel that you belong.
Able to meet the demands of life.
You accept your responsibilities and take care of problems as they arise. You shape your environment whenever possible and adjust to it whenever necessary. You plan ahead and do not fear the future. You welcome new experiences and ideas. You make use of your talents and set realistic goals. You are able to make your own decisions and are satisfied with putting your best effort into what you do.
Think about your mental health and know that you have the power to change it.
You realize that mental health is not something that is given to you at birth, it has developed and changed with you. You know that one of the most important steps you can take in life is accepting responsibility for your life - for your successes, your failures, your happiness.
Recognizing when you need help.
Be mindful that it takes courage and strength to ask for help.
Qualities that Promote Success
- Sense of Humor
- It's okay to want what you want
- It's okay to see and hear what you see and hear.
- It’s okay and necessary to have lots of fun and play.
- It’s okay to make mistakes.
- It’s okay to have problems.
Possible Signs of Trouble
Tension & Nervousness
- Easily annoyed
- Critical of others
- Crying easily
- Losing temper easily
- Feeling like you can’t do anything right
- Arguing for no reason
- Feeling restless, like you can’t relax
- Extreme highs and lows in mood
- Excessive fears, worries and anxieties
- Can’t fall asleep or toss and turn
- Wake up during the night, can ’ t get back to sleep
- Stay awake all night
- Sleep all day
- Have nightmares
- Don’t feel like getting out of bed
Change in Eating Habits
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Weight gain
- Food doesn’t taste good
- Too restless to eat
Less Social Contact
- Loss of energy, don’t feel like making an effort to see people
- Feel others don’t really want to see you
- Feel like you’re better off alone
- Argue with family/friends/neighbors
- Don’t feel like making an effort to take a shower, wash clothes, etc.
- Talk excitedly or loudly
Illogical Flow of Thoughts
- Grandiose ideas
- Ideas of persecution
- Obsessive thoughts
- Denial of obvious problems
- Can’t remember where things are
- Can’t follow directions
- Don’t really hear what others are saying
- Easily distracted – start to say something and forget what
- Watching TV and not remembering what the program was about
- Can’t concentrate or read
- Change in Speech Patterns
- Nonsensical speech or chatter
- Word repetition
- Pressured speech
- Extremely slow speech
- Feeling of Being Laughed at or Talked About
- Feel lonely
- Think others don’t like you
- Think others make fun of you
- Feel suspicious about motives of others
- Don’t believe others are concerned about you
- Feel others lie about you
- Feel embarrassed around others
- Surroundings inappropriate
- Accumulation of trash or hoarding
- Presence of feces or urine on the floor or walls
- Growing inability to cope with daily problems and activities
- Substance use paraphernalia
Numerous unexplained physical ailments
You can feel better and recover.
We ask that you learn more about support groups, counseling, medications, changing to positive thought patterns, and enhancing your coping skills. Healthy lifestyles are also important. They include exercise, stress management, a balanced diet, faith and hope.
There are varying degrees of mental wellness, illness and subtance use. For some people, naturally occurring chemicals in the brain get out of balance and cause mental illness. For other, research shows that very stressful, traumatic or violent events can make changes in the brain and result in a person developing mental illness.
You can feel better
Mental illness and substance use disorders can be treated. People can and do recover. Individuals with mental illness and substance use disorders are primarily treated with:
- Therapy and counseling to resolve problems, change negative thought patterns and develop coping skills
- A combination of these as prescribed by a health care professional
- Healthy lifestyle changes that include exercise, stress management, balanced diet, and developing a more positive attitude
- Community services and support groups
Definition of Recovery
In July of 2003 the President’s New Freedom Commission on Mental Health issued it’s final report: Achieving the Promise: Transforming Mental Health Care in America. The ultimate goal of a transformed system of care as identified by the Commission was summed in one word: RECOVERY. While the commission report focuses more on transforming the system of care, it is important to have some understanding of what is meant by “Recovery”.
The commission defines Recovery as: "Recovery refers to the process in which people are able to live, work, learn and participate fully in their communities. For some individuals, recovery is the ability to live a fulfilling and productive life despite a disability. For others, recovery implies the reduction or complete remission of symptoms. Science has shown that having hope plays an integral role in an individual’s recovery."
Some key points to this working definition.
• Recovery is a “process”, an on-going series of stages which people go through. Recovery is not a “cure” nor is it an end-product. Recovery can also be ever-changing, in that individuals may choose or be able to do certain things at certain times, but not at other times.
• Each individual defines what “recovery” is for them, not others. This is a very fundamental point in that the individual is the driver in determining their recovery not clinicians, doctors or others deciding for them. Ultimately it should be an equal partnership between the individual and all those providing services in developing a plan of care with clearly defined goals. Again these goals should be driven by the individual and in partnership with the care providers.
• Recovery can be much more than just lessening of symptoms, medication and therapy. Frequently it can involve all spheres of the person's life. Critical areas that should be considered include: Supportive employment: Research shows individuals with a mental illness disability have the highest rate of not working. Also many programs emphasize serving other disabilities for assistance.
Housing: This includes supportive housing programs, and being able to access affordable housing in the community.
Peer support services: This includes a full range of consumer run programs and services from clubhouses, to drop in centers, to peer supporters. Recent research has demonstrated improved outcomes and better recovery when individuals can access these peer run support programs in addition to their traditional therapy. This area is often overlooked and needs to be included in a person’s plan of care.
Recovery is a process that virtually everyone goes through each person defines it differently. While there is debate as to whether a person can “fully recover” or is “always in recovery”, it is a process that encompasses much more than just improving a person’s presenting symptoms. Recovery is the process of the individual, in full partnership with care providers to address all areas of a person's life, to be productive and participate fully in their community.
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