The following factors could potentially result in a period of poor mental health:
- Childhood abuse, Trauma, or Neglect
- Social Isolation or Loneliness
- Experiencing discrimination and Stigma
- Social disadvantage, Poverty or Debt
- Bereavement (losing someone close to you)
- Severe or long-term stress
- Having a long-term physical health condition
- Unemployment or Losing your job
- Homelessness or poor housing
- Being a long-term carer for someone
- Drug and Alcohol misuse
- Domestic violence, bullying or other abuse as an adult
- Significant trauma as an adult, such as military combat, being involved in a serious incident in which you feared for your life, or being the victim of a violent crime.
- Physical causes – for example, a head injury or a neurological condition such as epilepsy can have an impact on your behavior and mood. (It’s important to rule out potential physical causes before seeking further treatment for a mental health problem)
Misconceptions about mental health
Those suffering with mental health issues have had to face stigma for many years due to the invisible nature of the illness.
- You are either mentally ill or mentally healthy
- In a similar way to physical health, it is inaccurate to suggest that someone is 100% mentally healthy. There are many different factors that can affect someone’s mental health and these can vary greatly in the severity of the impact these have on a person’s overall state of mental health. It is not a simple case of being either mentally ill or mentally healthy, we all have good and bad days.
- Men don’t suffer mental illness
- A common misconception is that men are less susceptible to suffering from mental health issues than women because they are generally physically stronger. In contrast to this assumption, male suicide rates in the UK are actually about three times higher than those of females. This is often exacerbated by the fact that many men do not like to talk to someone when they are suffering from their mental health.
- Mental illness is rare
- Many people suffer from mental illness and often feel like they are alone, however, the reality is that this couldn’t be further from the truth. One in four people will experience a mental health problem in any given year, so there is no need to feel isolated if you are going through this.
- Mental illness often leads to violence
- The majority of people suffering from mental illness are no more likely to be violent towards you than any other member of the general public. In fact, those facing these issues are in fact ten times more likely to have been a victim of violence.
- Mental health problems are a sign of weakness
- Perhaps the biggest misconception for mental health is that those suffering from mental illness must be weak. Many people feel that they cannot express their concerns because of this stigma. Luckily this mind-set has started to change over the past 20 years but there is still a long way to go