Mental Health... These days everyone all but dreads any blog post, article, or story that has to deal with that unless they are looking for it specifically. I admit that the article is usually very technical, long-winded, and downright boring too. I barely ever read these articles.
But this is not one of those articles.
Believe it or not, this may actually be entertaining to read!
A good read for once?!
All joking stupidity aside, this is less a technical, tight-and-serious article and more of a personalized and easy-to-read post about personal experiences with mental health struggles. It'll just be a post of the kind of crazily annoying, day-to-day nonsense I and many others deal with while having a brain that doesn't quite work the way everyone else's does. But in order to really delve into this topic, that golden question needs to be asked, first.
What exactly IS Mental Health?
That in of itself is a very open-ended question.
You could go the super technical, "directly copied from Google and Dictionary.com" route like most would. But that's not the way I do things. I am a simple person; I like things I like. I love things I love, and if I can't understand something that is supposedly easy to understand and read... How can anyone else?
The easiest way for me to explain "Mental Health" in all its entirety is simply this: Mental Health is the well-being of how we think, feel, and act.
It's the state of our emotions. Our stress levels. Our personal values, views, and even our views of ourselves. Many things about us are stuck under one unified statement, and my goodness is it A LOT.
Trying to unpack Mental Health as a topic- whether personal to yourself, or more toward someone else- is like opening a can of tomato sauce and having the entire thing explode all over you, your kitchen, the floor, the ceiling, and your dog. It's a lot to take in, and it's not simple. There's different areas, or "versions" of Mental Health that many people don't understand or even know about. The main thing nearly everyone talks about when entering this topic, however, is one thing: Illness.
Mental Health Illness is just as broad a term as Mental Health itself. There are so many conditions that affect so many different aspects of someone's mental health, it's hard to keep up with! I'll help you out with this part, though.
Basic Mental Health Illnesses & Conditions, both well-known and less known, include:
• Anxiety Disorders
• Dissociative Disorders
• Eating Disorders
• ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)
• Bipolar Disorder
• Borderline Personality Disorder
• PTSD (Posttraumatic Stress Disorder)
• Schizoaffective Disorder
That's quite a lot of Disorders, isn't it?
Let me remind you that those are just the Broad Umbrella Terms. There's plenty more Disorders and Illnesses hiding among those already listed, and plenty more that aren't even there.
Anxiety Disorders for example, include Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Social Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder and specific Phobias.
Dissociative Disorders include Dissociative Amnesia, Depersonalization Disorder and Dissociative Identity Disorder.
Eating Disorders include Anorexia and Bulimia.
That all sounds quite painful and nerd-like, I know. Researching this and reading, let alone typing all those fancy, complicated words and disorder names made my head hurt. Trying to research what they all are hurt even more. But fret not! I can help with that, too!
I mean I'm sure we all know what most of those Disorders are. Minus possibly Schizoaffective Disorder... I was befuddled by that one, too. But there are plenty I definitely didn't understand much, or even heard of until now.
I'll gladly give quick, simple descriptions of those extra ones for you!
GAD: You literally worry about everything possible. All the time. Every day. It never stops, and trying to make it stop makes it even harder TO stop. You could know that you're worrying is for nothing; you can tell yourself repeatedly that you're worrying for nothing... And you'll still worry and overthink yourself into borderline hysteria.
Social Anxiety Disorder: You're terrified of going out in public, and especially to larger gatherings, crowds or even to just small parties with family and friends. You're more afraid of accidentally angering someone or messing up and facing humiliation publicly in front of everyone. You commonly refuse to go out due to this, or even just participate in friendly, simple discussions!
Panic Disorder: You become absolutely terrified... For no reason, and without any real warning. You don't know why you're suddenly so scared or horrified. You just know that you are. And it's so bad that it causes physical problems too! You could have severe chest and stomach pain; you could have trouble breathing-- you could even faint! Due to this, you avoid anything and everything that could cause a panic attack... Which means you isolate yourself from everyone and everything.
Dissociative Amnesia: You without much warning will just... Forget things. Usually, specific things that literally anyone else could easily remember without being prompted. You literally forget things that... No one else ever forgets, even if they forget a lot! This is usually caused by severe stress or trauma, unfortunately.
Depersonalization Disorder: You feel like your body isn't actually yours-- or that you "break away" from yourself and are no longer in control of your thoughts, actions, and words. You might even feel like you're a robot and not an actual person with how you act and move. And the weirdest part? You know it's not real. But it still throws you off majorly and causes you to become stressed, scared and feel like you're going crazy.
Dissociative Identity Disorder: This is also commonly known as Multiple Personality Disorder, and from that end it's... Exactly how it sounds. You have two or more "personality splits" that both have equal, or different controls of your bodily functions, speech, and overall actions. It's literally like you have two or more different people in one body! In other cases, it feels like you're possessed by different people-- you can even hear them all talking inside your head. You "switch" between the different personalities as well, with or without your knowledge. This also means that you may not remember what your other "personalities" do while they're in "control" of your body. This, like plenty other disorders, is commonly caused by trauma.
Anorexia: Despite many people likely knowing what this is-- or at least hearing about it-- it's still a Disorder generalized under a larger type of Disorder. Anorexia is when you are so terrified or against gaining ANY weight that you barely eat-- or just don't eat at all. Even if you do, you feel guilty about it and force ways to get rid of that food, I.E. you forcefully induce yourself to vomit it back up, or you misuse various medical products. This commonly causes you to be extremely underweight to the point that it's dangerous... But you don't see that. Despite how skinny you really are... You will still see yourself as grotesquely fat.
Bulimia: Though being very similar to Anorexia, the difference here is you binge-eat a ridiculous amount of food BEFORE the panic and guilt of eating all that food forces you to feel like purging yourself of those extra calories is the only option. Bulimia is simply, you eating a lot due to stress, anxiety, trauma, etc... And then immediately regretting it and trying to "undo" all the eating.
Schizoaffective Disorder: This one is a doozy. If you have this Disorder, you suffer from hallucinations/delusions AND mood problems-- like anxiety or depression... So, you can be hallucinating the walls of your home melting, or maybe you're feeling as if literally everyone and anyone in the world who looks at you is out to get you... But you'd also be so tired, depressed, and anxious that you either CAN'T get yourself to do anything about it, or you do literally everything in your power to make sure no one can ever see or touch you again... While also feeling like your house is collapsing on you. Like I said, it's a doozy! (Let me point out that those things mentioned are just examples. It's not the only thing you'd think or feel with this Disorder. Same goes for all of these Disorders, really!)
That's quite a serious info dump, isn't it?
There's way more to mental health disorders than most people expect or know about! But that's why I decided to post this article. Maybe I helped someone out a little! Or maybe I made someone realize that "Hey, one of those kinds of sounds like me..." Which would then lead to more research, or possibly even a doctor’s visit. Regardless of the outcome, I'm just glad I could give out this info!
As someone who has quite a few of these Disorders myself, I feel that doing my due diligence to speak out a bit on these topics just... Comes with the territory, really. Helping someone understand mental disorders-- even a little bit-- with my words could help someone else who hasn't read anything about any of this!
I hope you folks got a kick out of this, as well as possibly learned something today!
About the Creator
I'm an animal and nature-loving artist who also loves to write! Here on Vocal, I write about animals, nature, and occasionally mental or physical health. Enjoy my personal experiences and lessons of life told through my weirdness~