3 important steps for dealing with mental health problems

Half of all diagnosable mental health conditions start before the age of 14, according to the MindEd Consortium.

Sadly, the number of students with mental health issues is on the increase.  

For many, school and college can be a very a stressful time, especially when changing institutions or preparing for important exams like GCSEs and A-levels; anxiety, lack of sleep, and stress are common.

Students can help manage their stress levels by engaging in physical exercise, getting enough sleep and taking breaks.

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Mental illness symptoms can affect emotions, thoughts and behaviours.

However if you are feeling overwhelmed by lots of things and this is affecting your ability to study, work or your relationships with family and friends then it would be a good idea to seek help from a professional.

Signs and symptoms of mental illness can vary, depending on the disorder, circumstances and other factors. Mental illness symptoms can affect emotions, thoughts and behaviours.

Sometimes symptoms of a mental health disorder appear as physical problems, such as stomach pain, back pain, headache, or other unexplained aches and pains. Sudden changes in functioning in any of the areas above should trigger further investigation. 

3 Important Steps for Dealing with Mental Health Problems: 

·       Spot the problem

·       Get the right help

·       Learn lessons and change behaviour

Spot the problem… here’s a list to help spot signs and symptoms

·       Feeling sad or down

·       Confused thinking or reduced ability to concentrate

·       Excessive fears or worries, or extreme feelings of guilt

·       Extreme mood changes of highs and lows

·       Withdrawal from friends and activities

·       Significant tiredness, low energy or problems sleeping

·       Detachment from reality (delusions), paranoia or hallucinations

·       Inability to cope with daily problems or stress

·       Trouble understanding and relating to situations and to people

·       Alcohol or drug abuse

·       Major changes in eating habits

·       Excessive anger, hostility or violence

·       Suicidal thinking

Get the right help

Professionally this is called ‘help seeking behaviour’. What this looks like is telling people you are having a difficult time. Being open to friends and family asking if you are okay and being honest about that.

Learn lessons and change

Get educated on mental wellness. Ask your school or college to put you in touch with a mental wellness professional to teach you more about this area. You will learn so much, not just about helping other people but about helping yourself. 

Forewarned is for sure forearmed. It’s not possible to promise you that you will never experience mental health problems, but it is 100% possible to promise you the more you are educated about this and the more you apply the lessons to your life, the less severe and shorter will be any mental health issues you have. 

The sooner you spot your mental health problems, the sooner you get help for them, the sooner they go away.

By psychotherapist, Noel McDermott

HealthWeb editor