One in five New Zealanders will experience a mental illness at some stage of their lives.
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We all experience ups and downs in our mental health: at times we may feel really down and low, other times we may feel happy and balanced. A mental illness is when ongoing signs and symptoms cause frequent stress and affect your ability to function. The Doctors at the Upper Hutt Health Centre are here to give advice and support to patients experiencing problems with mental health.
“Keep your face always towards sunshine, and the shadows will fall behind you.”Walt Whitman
Top tips for keeping well
- Share thoughts and feelings with friends, family or a counsellor. Talking your problems through as soon as they appear can really help relieve stress and anxiety.
- Eat nutritious food, get adequate sleep and exercise regularly. Doing these things can trigger a chain of healing affects – especially when you feel anxious or under stress.
- Build and maintain your self-esteem. As you work on building your self-esteem you will feel better more often, enjoy your life more than you did before, and do more of the things you have always wanted to do.
- Learn to relax and spend time doing the things you love to do! There are many relaxation techniques and other methods available to suit personalities and lifestyles, e.g., hobbies, reading and meditation.
- Seek help. A problem can sometimes be too hard to solve alone – or with friends and family – so it’s important to seek professional help. You can see your family doctor, a community group, a psychiatrist, nurse, occupational therapist, psychologist, social worker or counsellor.
Mental illness is any disease or condition that influences the way a person thinks, feels, behaves and relates to others.
Mental illness refers to a wide range of mental health conditions – disorders that affect your mood, thinking and behaviour. For example depression, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, eating disorders, PTSD and addictive behaviours.
We all experience ups and downs in our mental health: at times we may feel really down and low, other times we may feel happy and balanced. A mental illness is when ongoing signs and symptoms cause frequent stress and affect your ability to function.
What to look out for
If you have a mental illness you can experience problems in the way you think, feel or behave. This can significantly affect your relationships, work and quality of life. Symptoms differ from person to person, but a common sign is if your behaviour changes, suddenly or gradually. These changes can sometimes be a reaction to life events; this is especially true for adolescents. Being in a constant state of mental distress can be very damaging, mentally and physically.