Do you know the main signs of depression? Could you spot them in others? Feelings of inescapable sadness, emptiness or hopelessness Loss of interest in life and the simple things Unexplained weight loss or gain Difficulty sleeping and staying asleep Restless and irritable Feelings of guilt or worthlessness and low self-esteem Fatigue and low energy levels Problems concentrating, remembering and making decisions Thoughts of suicide and thoughts of death If you’ve had five or more of these symptoms for two weeks or more, you might be depressed. Make an appointment with your local GP or talk to someone you can trust. You could also call one of the organisations listed here who offer help and support directly.
This week is Mental Health Awareness Week and the theme is Surviving or Thriving? A surprising 1 in 6 people interviewed in the 2016 Mental Health Foundation report, showed symptoms associated with ill mental health – sleep troubles, worry, irritability and fatigue – yet they didn’t believe they had a mental health problem. So this year, instead of looking at why 1 in 4 adults in the UK now suffers from ill mental health, the focus is on why so few people with seemingly good mental health are merely surviving not thriving. Perhaps the spectrum of good and bad mental health is much narrower than we initially thought. If so, where do you sit on the scale? Find out more about the state of the UK’s mental health here and get involved in Mental Health Awareness Week here.
Our brains produce up to a staggering 50,000 thoughts per day (National Science Foundation). 95% of those thoughts are habitual and repeated on an almost daily basis. If you’re a naturally skeptical or negative person whose mind is filled with worry and anxiety, it’s inevitable this storm of gloomy, negative thoughts is going to have a frightening impact on your mental health and wellbeing. Especially since our thoughts govern our actions – “All that we are is a result of all that we have thought.” Buddha One very important way to look after our mental health, is to take a regular mental inventory of our thoughts to assess what we’re creating in our lives. How much time is spent worrying or complaining? Criticising ourself and others? How much time appreciating the things we do have instead of noticing everything we don’t? Looking at our lives with wonder and gratitude? If what we experience now is a result of our past thoughts, then we’re creating our future with every new thought. If our thoughts are positive and encouraging, then we’re more likely to act in an uplifting …
The Mental Health Foundation published a list of 10 ways to look after your mental health. Can you think of any others? Talk about your feelings Keep active Eat well Drink sensibly Keep in touch with loved ones Ask for help Take a break Do something you’re good at Accept who you are Care for others Find out more at http://www.mentalhealth.org.uk.