Thinking that you may have a Mental Health problem can be very distressing and confusing. Particularly if this is the first time you are having these thoughts, or even if this may not be the first time and you’ve always had an idea of this it can still be troubling.
Before I continue I will explain the difference between Mental Health and a Mental Health problem. We all have Mental Health however we don’t all suffer with a Mental Health Problem, this can be triggered by various external situations or events that happen your life.
Mental Health – Mental Health is a person’s state of emotional wellbeing. Your wellbeing is linked to your tolerance of stress levels and how you mange dealing with adversity
Mental Health Problem – Mental Health Problems refers to a range of Mental Health conditions, that can be triggered by external situations or events. When a person is finding it difficult to manage stress, or daily functioning this may result in a Mental Health Problem, which can affect your mood, thinking behaviour and how you feel physically.
Before you start to think that you have a Mental Health Problem, it’s also important to understand what stress, because chronic stress could trigger a Mental Health Problem, if not managed or treated accordingly.
Stress – Stress is a feeling you may experience of being under too much pressure.
Stress can sometimes feel like a Mental Health Problem, due to the symptoms being similar to depression and anxiety. Stress can sometimes make you feel unable to cope or manage your, thoughts, feelings and behaviour. However if you have the right tools stress can be managed.
How to identify if you are experiencing stress:
Step 1: Write down what you think is the problem
Step 2: Write down how this problem is making you feel
Step 3 : Are you able to mange this problem if you have the right tools to help you.
Step 4 : Ask yourself how long have you had this problem for (has it been longer than 6 months)
Step 5 : Don’t rush when doing this exercise, try and take you time going at a pace that is convenient to yourself.
If you feel that you are able to manage what has been causing you to feel stressed. Below is some practical problem solving tips that will hopefully help you.
How to manage stress with Problem Solving:
Step 1: Write down the problem
Step 2: list as many solutions you can think of to solve this problem (anything that comes to mind, it can be as silly as you like)
Step 3: list the pros and cons to all the solutions you have just thought of and number them form 1-(no. of solutions). With 1 being the most likely solution.
Step 4: Pick the suitable solution
Step 5: Make a plan of how you are going to utilise this solution
Step 6: Take action
Step 7: Reflect
If you have followed this steps above and believe that you are experiencing more than stress. Here are some examples of how you can maybe identify if it is more that stress. Try not to self diagnosis yourself with anything, as it is advisable to seek professional and get an assessment if you need further. However being able to identify how you are feeling is important and will help when being assessed by a professional.
How to identify if you are experiencing a possible Mental Health Problem:
(Disclaimer, I am not a Clinical Psychologist although I have qualifications within as a Therapist, I am able to assessing, providing suggestive diagnosis to patients. I am also experienced in providing treatment for low level Depression and Anxiety based on this)
– Mental Health problems, may have an impact in either of the following, how you feel physically, your thoughts and behaviour.
– Your symptoms, may cause significant clinical distress or impairment in social and occupational or other areas of functioning.
– Mental health problems generally last for a period of 6 months (this is dependent on the problem)
The 3 signs can help you identify if you may be experiencing a Mental Health problem but always seek professional advice.
Thank you for reading this post. I hope I was able to make things clear for you, in being able to identify whether you maybe experiencing stress or a Mental Health problem.