The Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey (APMS 2007) surveyed 2000 adults living in private households in England. The authors found that 1 in 4 people in England will experience a mental health problem in any given year.

*Nearly 1 in 5 people in the UK aged 16 and older showed symptoms of anxiety or depression in the 2013 UK Wellbeing Survey,

*There were 8.2 million cases of anxiety disorder in 2013

*4-10% of people in England will experience major depression in their lifetime

*Mixed anxiety & depression in the most common mental disorder in Britain, with 9% of people meeting criteria for diagnosis.

*In England Women are almost twice as likely to be diagnosed with anxiety disorders as men

(Fundamental Fact About Mental Health 2015, published by Mental Health Foundation.

What is Mental Health?

Our brain takes in everything we see, hear and touch and turns into information, processing it as needed.

Mental health involves cognitive thinking including the ability to stay focused with sustained, divided and selective attention, and the capability to process information, store information in our long-term memory, the ability to understand what we hear and see, along with the function of logical processing and reasoning.

Also, it involves volitional reasoning, or the ability to make a conscious choice or a reasonable decision based on the given information. Forming opinions, making decisions and using logic are also components of mental health

Deductive reasoning and processing new information are two fundamental components of mental health.

Emotional Health. Is it different from Mental Health?

Whereas mental health involves cognitive thinking and reasoning, emotional health concerns the capability to express our emotions in an appropriate way. Emotional health may not be easy to determine because our emotional range and control varies by age and other factors. For example, it is normal for a two-year-old to run through different emotions in a short span of time, but it is inappropriate for an adult as adults are expected to have much greater control of his/her emotions.

A definition of optimal emotional health is positive management and an expression of your emotional actions and reactions without unhealthy stress or depression/anxiety.

Mental health is our ability to properly think and process information whereas emotional health is our ability to appropriately express feelings and emotions.

Mental and Emotional Health are intertwined

Mental health and emotional health are very much intertwined although they are 2 different matters. We cannot have one without the other. The choices we make on a day-to-day basis require both mental and emotional processing. Our cognitive reasoning is often influenced by the way we feel about a certain situation.

Renata Salecl writes “Choice actually little to do with one’s rationality. The way someone deals with choices often reflects their deeper psychological make- up. ……… In reality, we need a much broader psychological understanding of choice. The fact that psychoanalysis sees people as responsible for their symptoms does not mean that each of us has rationally chose our suffering. However, it does mean that the person is a subject – someone who always to creates an individual symptom (or neurosis). Change is possible, and we have the capacity to overcome individual suffering as well as to create it.”  The Tyranny of Choice by Renata Salecl, 2010

It is good to talk

Support from family and friends we can trust is important when we go through a difficult time. But a well-trained professional psychotherapist can offer much more than talking to family and friends. Out therapists have years of education, training and experience. They are experts in understanding and treating complex issues. Psychotherapy is much more than “just talking and listening” Research shows that psychotherapy is effective and helpful.

Psychotherapists can recognise behaviour and thought patterns objectively, more so than those closest to you who may stopped noticing (or perhaps never notice) the behaviour and thought patterns.  Psychotherapists would offer remarks and observations similar to those in your existing relationships. However, interpretations of professional psychotherapists may be far more effective due to their timing, focus or your trust in their neutral stance.

Also, you can be more honest with your psychotherapist without concern that anyone else will know about information you disclosed in your sessions as psychotherapists are obliged to protect confidentially of their clients. (There are a very few exceptions where psychotherapists have a duty to inform an appropriate authority, such as if a client is under a serious risk to harm his/her life or someone else.)

Life is not always easy. Everyone handles it differently. Some people find a certain situation more stressful/difficult than others. If you have difficulty managing your mental or/and emotional health, perhaps you can talk about it to find YOUR WAY to deal with. The key may be to understand how your mind works and to become in-turn with your own mental and emotional health.

Statistically both depression and anxiety appear more often in women than men. In England women are almost twice as likely to be diagnosed as anxiety disorders as men. About 1 in 4 women will suffer from depression in comparison to 1 in 10 men. There may be various reasons, including biological factors as well as social ones, for those findings. Men are probably more reluctant to acknowledge mental and emotional difficulties. They sometimes turn to excessive drinking, over-working or aggression to mask depressive feelings or anxiety.

However, in 2013, 6,233 suicides were recorded for people aged 15 and over. Of those 78% were male and 22% were female.  This may suggest that men tend to be pushed over the edge partly because they are more likely bottled up things.

Looking after both mental and emotional health is important to optimise our well-being. It is good to talk about interpersonal difficulties with a trained professional.

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