It’s as important to look after our mental health as it is our physical.
Mental health problems can affect the way you think, feel and behave. Some mental health problems are described using words that are in everyday use, for example, ‘depression’ and ‘anxiety’.
This can make them seem easier to understand, but can also mean people underestimate how serious they can be.
A mental health problem feels just as bad, or worse, than any other illness – only you cannot see it. Although mental health problems are very common – affecting one in four people in Scotland – there is still stigma and discrimination towards people with mental health problems, as well as many myths about what different diagnoses mean.
There are also a lot of different ideas about the ways mental health problems are diagnosed, what causes them and which treatments are most effective.
However, despite these challenges, it is possible to recover from a mental health problem and live a productive and fulfilling life. It is important to remember that, if you have a mental health problem, it is not a sign of weakness. Most people experiencing a common mental health problem see their symptoms pass quite quickly.
Symptoms may return from time to time but people are often able to manage them after the first experience. With more serious mental health problems, people also usually find a way of managing their condition. For many people, getting better does not mean going back to their previous life, but might mean making choices to live differently and having power over areas of life that seemed out of control before. Some people emerge from the experience feeling stronger and wiser having learnt more about themselves.
There is a range of support and treatment to help you and also information for your friends and family that might help them understand how you feel.