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Recognizing Warning Signs for Mental Health Issues

Mentally healthy people can deal with the day-to-day pressures of life without becoming overwhelmed. In this state, it is possible to perform productive labor and contribute meaningfully to society. Individuals and people around them may not realize they have a problem with their mental health until it's too late (Young, 2010). Certain warning indicators, on the other hand, may indicate detrimental alterations to one's well-being. When it comes to a person's overall well-being, mental health cannot be under-emphasized. Personal health and relationships can be at risk when one's psychological well-being is in jeopardy due to a lack of self-control (Piotrowski, 2010). If health care is to focus on promoting well-being rather than treating illness, health practitioners will require new ways of dealing with individuals. A variety of definitions have been used to describe the concept of mental health. As defined by the World Health Organization, mental health is a condition of well-being in which an individual realizes his or her strengths, can manage with the typical stresses of life, can work creatively and fruitfully, and can contribute positively to the community (Psychology, 2013).

Mental health services will need to incorporate new understanding from recovery and positive psychology into their education and training for all mental health practitioners, as well as make modifications to some long-standing practices (Wells, 2014).

The dynamics or structure of psychological well-being is frequently the subject of mental health theories (i.e. the causes and consequences of PWB). Carol Ryff's model of psychological well-being (PWB) is largely accepted for its hedonic and eudaimonic components. In order to understand PWB dynamics, it is important to understand that PWB is a rather stable entity that has been shaped by both prior experience (such as early upbringing) and underlying personality (Busfield, 2011). Individuals who have been exposed to severely traumatic circumstances may benefit psychologically from stress since stress can set the stage for a person's development of mood and anxiety problems later in life. For example, children who have been exposed to somewhat stressful situations appear to be better equipped to cope with later stressors.

Even if one's psychological well-being is relatively steady, the events and experiences of one's daily life have an impact on that well-being. So even the toughest of people may experience severe depression if their everyday life is filled with chronic stress (Young, 2010). So, while short-term adversity can boost PWB's ability to build resilience, long-term stress can have a detrimental effect on PWB. To put it another way, a decreased level of PWB may lead to major health issues such as cardiovascular disease, problems with blood sugar control (e.g., diabetes), and immune system dysfunctions.

Understanding the Dynamics of Psychological Well-being

The psychological well-being (PWB) hypothesis states that a person's early experiences and underlying personality build a foundation for PWB, but everyday encounters can either maintain or deplete PWB, resulting in bad health consequences. A person's psychological well-being and the course of their sickness can be impacted by their emotional reactions when faced with health concerns. Emotional states have also been linked to illness development (Wells, 2014). Negative emotions have been linked to a greater likelihood of experiencing health issues. Negative emotions, on the other hand, have been linked to poor health. Emotions may have a direct impact on health by affecting health-promoting behaviors or by altering physiologic processes such as physiological responsiveness and immune system functioning. We'll talk about ways to assist folks in better managing their negative emotions while also enhancing their positive ones.

According to 'positive psychology,'  mental health can be defined as an individual's ability to enjoy life and maintain a healthy balance between the pursuit of happiness and the pursuit of psychological resilience. Emotional expressiveness and the ability to cope with a wide range of stresses are two more definitions of mental health (Youssef-Morgan & Luthans, 2015). A person's psychological functioning, life satisfaction, and capacity to build and maintain mutually beneficial relationships all go under the umbrella term "mental well-being." The ability to preserve a sense of self-determination, acceptance of oneself, personal growth, a sense of meaning in one's life, and self-esteem are all parts of psychological well-being. Treatment and prevention of mental illness are just the beginning of maintaining mental health (Slade, 2010).

To better understand and criticise present practises in mental health care, researchers in this field have turned to critical, community, and social psychology. This includes, but is not limited to, engaging with alternative methods to psychological and medical models of mental health, criticizing pathologizing practices, and theorizing mental health as a relational and psychosocial phenomenon, rather than an individual one (Engdahl, 2010).

Mental health drugs have grown in popularity and effectiveness, but psychotherapies are still necessary for the most effective and long-term treatment of many problems. Patients can make significant, if not complete, progress in regaining their ability to function normally and independently in society with the use of these treatments (Busfield, 2011).

There are three primary methods for the effective treatment of mental illness. The behavioral, psychodynamic, and cognitive models all fall under this category.

Rational emotive therapy is a type of therapy used to treat mental disorders. Therapy based on rationale and emotion is called R.E.T. (rational-emotive therapy), and it follows the idea of the cognitive model of abnormality that a person's destructive and maladaptive behaviors are the result of incorrect beliefs and perceptions. It was established by Ellis (1962) and is based on the Ellis ABC model, which examines how activating events influence a person's evolved belief and, in turn, their actions. Therapists believe that by exposing a person's unreasonable and flawed ideas (cognitions), they can be replaced with more rational and positive ones (Young, 2010). The goal is to alter a person's behavior by confronting and modifying their incorrect cognitive processes.

Emotional Reactions to Health Concerns and Their Impact on Mental Health

Recovery-oriented cognitive restructuring (R.E.T.) has the potential to be a highly effective treatment for disorders of mood and eating, such as depression and anorexia. For example, a person suffering from anorexia may believe that "if I eat this, I'll get fat and no one will like me," which is the catalyst for their behavior (Piotrowski, 2010). These cognitive processes can therefore be challenged and changed to create beneficial results. However, R.E.T is far less helpful in more complex kinds of mental diseases such as schizophrenia. As a result of schizophrenia's hallucinations, there is no clear mental process that leads to these symptoms, which makes it difficult to diagnose. The lack of a defective mental process to challenge means R.E.T. is not an appropriate therapy to use in such cases.

Aversion treatment is one example of a therapy in the behavioral approach. Aversion treatment is founded on the idea that behavior is learned through association. The goal of aversion treatment is to establish a connection between a person's current behavior and negative thought, feeling, or action. As a result, the patient's mind associates the behavior with the unpleasant response, and the behavior quits. Addictions to substances like alcohol and sex can be successfully treated with this method. To establish a relationship between behavior and the negative response, the therapist employs a variety of techniques. The use of emetic medicines as a treatment for alcoholism is one example of this. An emetic medication is mixed into the alcohol to make the patient vomit and feel queasy. The goal is to get the patient to consume more alcohol (Mardhiyah, 2021). A patient's desire for alcohol eventually fades away as his or her brain learns to associate it with all of the unpleasant side effects of the drug. Images of people are displayed to those suffering from sex addiction (as is the case in American prisons for pedophilia treatment). An electric shock is administered to the patient when signs of sexual excitement are displayed, whether they are naked or sexual in character (Engdahl, 2010). In a similar way to alcoholism, the patient will associate sexual ideas with the agony of the shocks and therefore alter their behavior.

Psychoanalysis is another therapy that has been utilized to treat mental illness. The psychodynamic model of abnormality led to Freud's development of psychoanalysis in 1910. Repressed conflict or trauma is a direct cause of a person's deviant behavior, according to this hypothesis. The goal of psychoanalysis is to uncover the underlying causes and roots of a person's behavior by bringing the suppressed thoughts to light. The therapist and patient form a trusting bond as a result of the therapy's focus on building a therapeutic relationship. This process is known as transference, and it occurs when the therapist allows the patient to freely express their thoughts and feelings while remaining objective (showing no emotions or judgment). This process's ultimate objective involves providing an environment in which the therapist may deduce meaning from the patient's unconscious thoughts and feelings so that they can better understand and change their behavior as a result.

Treatment Options for Mental Illness

The ethics of psychoanalysis, on the other hand, have a significant impact on its application. As humans, we can store memories of past trauma in a way that prevents them from interfering with our ability to operate normally. This indicates that a person may have witnessed or been part of a traumatic event so terrible that the mind locks it away in our unconscious to prevent it from regressing and protecting the psyche of the person (Psychology, 2013). Due to a lack of precise patient histories, psychoanalysis may open up this prior unconscious trauma to the patient's consciousness and cause them to suffer emotional and psychological suffering because they are unable to deal with the problem on their own. Therapists should alleviate their patients' distress and suffering, according to the ethical principles in force (as sighted in B.A.C.P Values of counseling and psychotherapy). As a result, a therapist will be breaking ethical norms by bringing such trauma to the surface (Slade, 2010).

Despite the lack of significant evidence supporting psychoanalysis's efficacy as a therapy, the notion does have a degree of credibility. Additionally, therapy under psychoanalysis is generally less expensive than other forms of treatment; nevertheless, some say that the length of time it takes to complete treatment under psychoanalysis, as well as the associated costs, could rise as time goes on. However, one of the greatest advantages of this medication is that it may be used to treat a wide range of mental illnesses (Youssef-Morgan & Luthans, 2015). Whatever the difficulty, talking with a qualified therapist about your history and present feelings and issues makes this therapy appropriate and helpful for practically any illness, be it schizophrenia, depression, or an eating disorder. 

Without psychological input and therapy, many patients would not be able to recover from these treatments, despite their strengths and flaws. Therapies such as these continue to be helpful in the treatment of mental problems when they are paired with the ever-evolving drug-based medicine world (Mardhiyah, 2021).

References

BarCharts, Inc. (2013). Psychology.

Busfield, J. (2011). Mental illness. The UK.

Engdahl, S. (2010). Mental health. Greenhaven Press/Gale Cengage Learning.

Mardhiyah, S. (2021).Analysis Of Mental Health Literacy And Psychological Distress As Predictors Of Psychological Well-Being In Sriwijaya University Students. Mental Health: Global Challenges Journal, 4(1). https://doi.org/10.32437/mhgcj.v4i1.114

Piotrowski, N. (2010). Salem health. Salem Press.

Piotrowski, N. (2010). Salem health. Salem Press.

Slade, M. (2010). Mental illness and well-being: the central importance of positive psychology and recovery approaches. BMC Health Services Research, 10(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/1472-6963-10-26

Wells, I. (2014). Psychological Well-Being. Nova Science Publishers, Inc.

Young, C. (2010). Help yourself towards mental health. Karnac Books.

Youssef-Morgan, C., & Luthans, F. (2015). Psychological Capital and Well-being. Stress And Health, 31(3), 180-188. https://doi.org/10.1002/smi.2623

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