We tend not to see the impact on our mental health in the same way the things that impact our physical well-being. Mental health issues can have a profound impact on our thoughts, feelings and behaviours. These can range from daily worries and stress, to serious long-term problems that affect our everyday life and work that requires treatment or professional support to manage effectively. Below are some of the common issues that we deal with. You are not alone, talk to us now to find out how we can help.
Addiction results from an unhealthy relationship with certain substances or activities including alcohol, drugs, gambling, eating, sex, gaming or using the internet from what is considered a common activity into a more destructive compulsive activity that harms you and those around you. Addictions can be pleasurable and offer a distraction for someone who is perhaps going through a difficult time. They can also be a form of self harm and self sabotage resulting from past experiences such as trauma or issues of self worth.
Angry is a basic emotion and natural response to certain life experiences that can occur when we come under attack, feel deceived, insulted or frustrated. Anger becomes a problem when we fail to manage our emotions and our anger gets out of control. Anger becomes a problem when it leads to explosive outbursts, breaking things getting involved in physical violence, losing your temper quickly or feeling a need to lash out. It can be destructive and shatter important relationships.
There are many different types of abuse, including domestic violence, child abuse, emotional abuse, sexual, verbal and physical abuse. Any behaviour towards someone that causes deliberate harm or upset can be considered abuse. Abusive behaviour can have a detrimental impact on our mental health and well-being – not only at the time of the abuse but, throughout a person’s life. Victims may feel shame and guilt over what is happening to them and hide it from others avoiding reaching out for help.
When we feel guilt, we feel badly about something we did or neglected to do.
When we feel shame, we feel badly about who we are. Put another way: guilty people fear punishment, shamed people fear abandonment. When we feel guilty we need to learn it’s okay to make mistakes. When we feel shame we need to learn it’s okay to be who we are. There are no clear cut answers as to why someone might feel shame but, its consequences may lead to low self-esteem, self-harm, self-limiting doubts and beliefs and substance abuse.
Psychological trauma usually occurs after a particularly distressing event or a series of enduring events. The result of this can lead you to feel totally overwhelmed and unable to cope. The traumatic event can be so severe that symptoms include flashbacks and insomnia. Depending on the severity of the trauma, it may result in Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The cause of the trauma can result from an accident, injury abuse, prolonged domestic or physical violence or a bereavement.
Relationships & Sex
Conflict, inability to communicate, loss of intimacy, affairs, loss of sexual contact, sexual difficulties, loss of direction or an unexpected crisis. Relationships are an important part of our lives and can bring us a great deal of happiness and fulfilment and allow us to be at our healthiest and most productive. Sometimes our most meaningful relationships break down, leaving us feeling lonely, isolated and unsure of ourselves. A relationship may not be meeting our expectations and leave us unhappy and unsatisfied.
Stress can result from pressure from ourselves or others and, if we are unable to cope with this pressure, it can lead to illness. Stress is an innate reaction to how deal with threatening situations. Because of the chemicals reaction in our body to either a current situation or a possible situation in the future we can experience a “fight, flight or freeze” reaction. Stress can cause an excessive consumption of alcohol, difficulty sleeping, chest pains, dizziness or feeling anxious.
Self-esteem is the way we perceive and value ourselves and can be influenced by many things in our life including childhoods experiences and other life events. Low self-esteem can have a negative impact on our mental well-being. Low self-esteem may be something you have lived with for a long time or it may have resulted because of a recent life experience including ill health, job loss or a breakdown in a relationship. We can look at the root cause together with ways of overcoming our self-limiting beliefs.
Anxiety is used to describe feelings of worry, fear and unease and incorporates both the emotional and physical sensations we experience when worried or nervous. While anxiety is a normal experience, it can be overwhelming. Anxiety is related to the ‘fight, flight, freeze’ response. It is unpleasant and it is a normal reaction when our body perceives a threat. Anxiety can make you imagine things are worse than they are and prevent you from carrying out everyday tasks or even prevent you from leaving your house.
Relationships are fundamental to who we are. When someone you care about suddenly leaves your life, it’s not a case of taking time out to recover. The experience of losing someone, because they have died can often have the biggest impact. Bereavement is a natural process but, it can be incredibly painful trying to accept what happened, learning to adjust to life without that person and finding a place to keep their memory alive while you try to get along as best you can.
Sometimes we can feel low or sad, but, depression is more significant. It affects our daily life, making it hard for you to find enjoyment in day-to-day activities. Some days it may be impossible to leave the house or even get out of bed and on other days you may feel more able to go about your normal daily tasks. Living with depression can be incredibly difficult, for both those suffering and those around us. No matter how trivial you may perceive this problem to be, it might be worth talking.
Our sexuality and gender is a big part of our identity and those who don’t fit in to society’s hetero-normative ideal can come be presented with challenges, prejudices and internal conflicts. Being gay, lesbian, bisexual, transsexual, pansexual, asexual, queer, non-binary or questioning – LGBTQ+ in its self does not lead to mental health problems however, dealing with other people’s adverse reactions can cause problems. Those who identify as LGBTQ+ can be seen as ‘different’ and face discrimination, bullying and a lack of understanding.