When Do Mental Health Issues Start?
On 22 February 2023
Mental health affects how we think, feel and behave. It determines how we handle stress and our relationships with others. Mental illness can result from many factors, such as genes or chemical imbalances in your brain. But it can also result from stressful events, like losing a job or relationship problems.
Depression is a common medical illness affecting how you feel and think. It can also change your ability to function at work and home.
Most people with depression feel better after treatment. 80% to 90% of those who seek treatment eventually respond well.
Inherited traits, environmental exposures and brain chemistry cause mental health problems. Sometimes they’re triggered by life events, like the loss of a job or a divorce.
If you have been anxious and find it hard to cope with your daily life, it may be time to talk to a healthcare professional. Getting help early is important, as it can prevent long-term health issues.
Everyone feels anxious or nervous from time to time. However, if the anxiety becomes a constant and interferes with your daily life, it’s likely a sign of an anxiety disorder.
Anxiety sets off the body’s fight-or-flight response. Even if you aren’t in danger, your body releases stress hormones that cause physical symptoms such as rapid heartbeat, trembling and shaking.
Your doctor can prescribe medicine to reduce these symptoms. They can also recommend psychotherapy to help you understand your thoughts, behaviour and feelings and learn to change them.
Bipolar disorder is a mental health issue that affects how you think, feel and act. It can be a lifelong condition, but treatment is available that can help control symptoms and enable you to live a healthy and productive life.
People with bipolar disorder experience periods of intense emotion, changes in sleep patterns and activity levels, and unusual behaviours. These periods are called mood episodes.
Mood changes can include mania or hypomania (when you have elevated euphoria) and depression. Some episodes are more severe than others and may involve hallucinations or delusions, which can be dangerous to yourself or others.
Early diagnosis can help reduce the impact of mental illness and allow you to receive treatment sooner. It can also help prevent relapses and improve your quality of life.
Many mental health issues start when children are young. ADHD is an example of this.
A child with ADHD is diagnosed when they have at least six symptoms of inattention and hyperactivity-impulsivity that have been present for six months. These symptoms cause problems in school, with friends or family or both.
Symptoms must also be notified before age 12. You should see a doctor if your child struggles with schoolwork or social situations.
Some people develop mental health problems later in life, after a traumatic event or a long period of stress. Genetics, environment and lifestyle may play a role in this.
Trauma can be a life-changing experience, and the effects can last a lifetime. It can lead to psychological and physical symptoms, including flashbacks or nightmares, anxiety and panic attacks, numbness or feeling disconnected from others, sleep disturbances, loss of appetite or overeating, or cold or irritability.
In addition, people who have experienced trauma often also suffer from other mental disorders, such as mood disorders, anxiety disorders, personality disorders and substance use disorders. These co-occurring disorders typically exacerbate or prolong PTSD symptoms and make treatment more difficult. The presence of these disorders is often a sign that the person needs help from a qualified mental health professional.