Odds are pretty good that you have heard the term "mental health" somewhere recently. The fact is, mental health is important to everyone, and although mental health problems don't always exhibit the physical symptoms that a virus or bacteria-based disease can, the effects can be just as devastating.
The term mental health is actually used to describe an optimum state of mind, one wherein an individual is at his or her absolute best in terms of an ability to cope with life's challenges and to enjoy all that life has to offer. This could mean the ability to manage their bills and mortgage to being able to fully relax when taking a vacation. The factors that detract from overall mental health are what mental health professionals focus on, with the goal of limiting or curing those factors, so an individual may once again fully enjoy life.
One of the problems with many disorders is that they take a lot of time and discipline when it comes to their solution or minimization. Most often, people will use the services of counselors or psychiatrists in order to analyze and work through disorders that can detract from their mental health, but this is a very long process. It can often take many sessions just to diagnose a disorder, and after that a long term commitment to treatment, from therapy to drug testing supplies is required from the professional, the patient, and those close to the patient.
Another tricky thing about many mental health disorders is that they are very easy to trigger. Today's lifestyle is incredibly fast paced, and the boundaries that once rigidly defined the role of the individual have blurred or disappeared altogether. While this may be a good thing for society in general, it often places a large burden on each person as he or she tries to define their place in life and the role they must play. These issues can play a prominent role in the lack of full mental health between family members, in particular. Something can trigger a panic attack or extreme emotional response while a person is making themselves dinner or while working.
Finally, the mass perception of mental health, as illustrated in the first paragraph, has always stood in the way of people's ability to fully achieve the peace of mind they need in order to operate successfully and happily in society. From employers and co-workers to family members, society still tends to have a "suck it up" attitude when it comes to many serious disorders. While therapy and other treatments are becoming more accepted, there are still stigmas attached.
The important thing to remember is that mental health is a real issue, and one that requires more attention today than ever before. Everyone has days where they do not operate at their best, and the solution can be as simple as talking to a qualified, yet impersonal, third party about the issues in one's life. Always take your mental health seriously!
If you or someone you know if experiencing a mental health crisis, go to the Mental Health help line to find resources available in your area.