New information, medications and technological advances are making continual improvements in health care and the field of mental health is no exception. To keep you informed of the latest developments, our writers provide blogs to keep you up to date.

Refer to this webpage periodically to check for new blogs covering all aspects of mental health and mental illness.

Understanding link between social withdrawal and mental illness

Social withdrawal is the practice of knowingly avoiding people. It could also involve avoidance of activities that require some amount of social engagement. In extreme cases, people isolate or alienate themselves to such an extent that they could even avoid contact with their closest family members and friends. Social withdrawal is often confused with solitude, but it is not so. One might desire solitude and like it as well, but social withdrawal can spring from anxiety, lack of self-confidence or the fear of the unknown.

Social withdrawal is apparent in veterans and military personnel while they transition from the life in the barracks to comforts of home and the society. Owing to the nature of their service and the rigorous demands of a military life, they could find it difficult to adjust with the casual and often chaotic civilian lifestyle. The memories of a bygone era can trigger the onset of mental illnesses like depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and substance abuse, which lead individuals to avoid people and places.

However, it is just as common among ordinary civilians as well. In the post-modern world, even teenagers are taking to social isolation. Social withdrawal serves as a means to escape from life’s most discomforting situations.

Looking for signs of mental disorder

Avoiding an exciting social life can sometimes be an indication of an underlying problem that people might be missing. It is important to understand the root problem cause. Some of the reasons can be:

Anxiety: Anxiety and social withdrawal are often intertwined. Disengagement from communal gatherings and activities can be both the cause and the consequence of an anxiety. For example, a person with phobia of speaking to strangers could be so terror stricken with the idea of seeing people around that he or she would avoid going to the market or a museum. Similarly, when a person decides to withdraw or alienate himself or herself from all social contacts, it could be because the person has an anxiety disorder. The effect of remaining in one’s shell could be quite severe and can have a debilitating impact on the personal and professional life.

Depression: Social withdrawal is also common among people who are suffering from depression. There is an inane tendency to remain cocooned in one’s private world and refuse contact with the life outside. In certain instances, people displaying such a behavior may appear to be arrogant, but actually they could be angry or sad at the way they have been treated. So they refuse to participate. While they could be blamed for their weird behavior, the truth is that the mood changes are driven by chemical imbalances in the brain which forces them to behave in such a manner. Another reason why depressed people avoid making conversations and visiting places is because it depletes their energy reserves. They feel tired all the time due to disturbances in sleep patterns.

PTSD: People who have a traumatic past are more likely to withdraw into isolation. They might refuse to visit the same places and people who remind them of the tragic incident. People who try to sympathize or befriend them are met with disdain. They are trapped in their memories and do not know how to start afresh.

Road to recovery

It is important to find out what makes someone evade the community and sail alone. If they are suffering from any mental health condition, help should be provided immediately. With therapy and counselling, one can give them the hope of a better life.

The Florida Mental Health Helpline can provide the required information about health care providers who can administer personalized treatment programs according to a person’s needs. Call us at our 24/7 helpline number 866-846-5588 to know about evidence-based residential mental health treatment centers in Florida or chat with one of our trained medical representatives to know more about mental health disorder treatment centers in Florida.

Widespread ignorance about mental health issues is a reality, finds US survey

Awareness is a decisive factor in tackling the issues of mental health. It can play a pivotal role in removing stigma and discrimination. It can also help individuals suffering from such disorders, as well as those close to them identify the signs and symptoms, and seek professional help at the earliest.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), approximately 18.5 percent of the total adult population in the U.S. experiences mental illness in a given year, corresponding to one in five adults. It also states that 21.4 percent of the adolescents aged 13-18 experiences a severe mental disorder at some stage in their lives. Unfortunately, only around half of them receive mental health services. This could be due to the fact that many do not recognize the symptoms and those who do, may not know what to do with it.

Need for awareness about risks

A study conducted by the Michigan State University and published in April 27, 2017, finds lack of awareness about mental health conditions and drug abuse among Americans. The researchers focused on four major issues: anxiety, depression, alcohol abuse and prescription drug abuse. The study involved nearly 4,600 participants and the findings indicated that nearly a third of them, or 32 percent of the respondents, were unable to identify signs of prescription drug abuse.

Due to the lack of knowledge, the participants were taking more doses than prescribed, experienced mood swings and sleep disturbances, and indulged in doctor shopping (habit of visiting multiple doctors to acquire prescription medication). The researchers found the figures more disturbing among adults aged 18-34 years (47 percent). They study also revealed that only less than half of the participants could recognize anxiety.

An earlier research published by the BMC Psychiatry, an open access, peer reviewed journal, analyzed 22 published studies on perceived barriers or facilitators in adolescents or young adults. It found that stigma and embarrassment, difficulty in recognizing the symptoms, and self-reliance tendencies were the most crucial barriers to seeking professional help, factors that are closely related to lack of awareness.

A Mental Health and Suicide Survey conducted on behalf of the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) in August 2015, involving 2,020 adults, stated that emerging adults see more value of mental health care, though accessing it remains a challenge for many. A majority of collegegoers (60 percent) feels positive about seeing a mental health professional but a vast majority (90 percent) does not understand the risks associated with mental disorders. The report says, “Only 52 percent recognize anxiety disorders as a risk factor for suicide.”

Lack of awareness delays treatment

Michigan researchers opine that though a lot of development has been made in the field of mental health literacy and care, “the discrepancies in mental health knowledge, helping behaviors and stigma show the importance of continuing to educate the public about mental health issues.” Lack of awareness inevitably leads to delayed treatment and worsening of the condition. There is a need to address behavioral health challenges, educate people about mental health and create a more compassionate environment for the affected individuals.

If you or someone you love is in need of mental health care services, contact the Florida Mental Health Helpline. Call our 24/7 helpline (866) 846-5588 or chat online to get information about some of the finest depression rehab centers in Arizona or the best mental health counselor in Florida.

Guiding emotions for better mental health

Good mental health is indispensable for a person’s overall health. Compared to others, emotionally healthy individuals exercise a greater degree of control over their thoughts, feelings and behaviors. Having a resilient mental health does not mean that a person would never experience emotional problems or mental illnesses. Oftentimes, it is a person’s positive attitude toward deciding factors in life that motivates him or her to get up when the going gets tough, especially during disappointments, setbacks, losses and other changes.

When life dishes out its spasmodic quota of psychological stressors, mentally healthy people are better equipped to turn the corner and overcome adversity, trauma and stress. At a glance, it may seem that emotionally strong individuals have a number of inbuilt tools for coping with stress and guiding them through difficult situations. However, these adaptive mechanisms and positive outlook are not beyond everybody’s reach.

With some practice, a person can attain a healthy state of mind and empower himself or herself to turn the tables on negative emotions in positive ways. One way to achieve this is to remember and implement the acronym PATH (pause, acknowledge, think and help), especially when confounded by unpleasant emotions. The details of this innovative concept are as follows:

  • Pause: A person who toils without respite is more likely to make blunders while acting on his or her impulses. Taking a pause allows an individual to break free and look at his or her source of emotional turbulence from a broader, calmer perspective.
  • Acknowledge: The next step “acknowledge” entails recognizing and admitting the validity of emotionally disturbing feelings. Despite the response that negative emotions instigate, it is important to know that it’s okay to feel that way.
  • Think: After deciphering the negative feelings, people can capitalize on it by finding remedial measures and making themselves feel better.
  • Help: In this final step, a person enforces the pillars of PATH into effective actions that help him or her deal with negative emotions.

Hurdles to emotional well-being

Maladaptive coping mechanisms are the imminent reason that prevents people from effectively addressing their negative emotions. While there may be hidden or underlying causes behind the manifestation of such sensations, the following feelings are increasingly associated with negative emotions:

  • Denial: The phase of denial occurs when a person is not ready to acknowledge his or her wrongdoings or the need to get help. When a person continues to bottle-up his or her simmering emotions, it increases the risk of acting in a harmful manner.
  • Withdrawal: Unlike the temporary need for privacy, withdrawal is the act of isolating oneself from indulging in activities or socializing with people. While there are various reasons behind a person’s withdrawal, it also forebodes the likelihood of depression. Therefore, it is important to communicate and reaffirm one’s relationships with others.
  • Bullying: Bullying is a social act that includes the use of force, intimidation, taunting and mockery to display control over others. Although individuals indulge in bullying to feel better about themselves, it is, without any doubt, harmful for both the bully and the victim. Moreover, it fails to address any of the underlying emotions.
  • Substance use: Many individuals coping with psychological stressors or the symptoms of mental disorders resort to drugs or alcohol to temporarily escape from the thoughts of painful memories and bouts of anxiety. However, in the process, they run the risk of developing an addiction and worsening their symptoms of mental disorders. In some cases, people engaging in such drug-seeking behaviors can trigger self-harm or suicidal thoughts.

Learnt to welcome setbacks with open arms

A healthy state of mind allows better management of stress and challenges, building of relationships, and bouncing back from setbacks and hardships. Despite the prevalence of mental disorders, most individuals display reluctance and hesitance in accepting their mental condition due to the increased stigma attached to psychiatric illnesses. As a result, many are unable to improve their situation. Moreover, others may not have access to treatment.

If you or your loved one is experiencing the symptoms of mental disorders, it is important to seek help. The Florida Mental Health Helpline assists in accessing the finest mental disorder treatment in Florida that specializes in delivering evidence-based intervention plans. Call at our 24/7 helpline 866-846-5588 or chat online to know more about the treatment for mental disorders in Florida.

Risk of mental illness in the highly stressful fashion industry

What can be a more appropriate quote than “All that glitter is not gold” in order to describe the glitz and glamor of the fashion industry? The sheen of the glamor industry often entices one to step in the shoes of designers and models. The elegant dresses, models and the multiple layers of makeup often hide the increased stress and tension prevailing in the fashion industry.

One of the famous quotes of Aristotle, “No great genius has ever existed without a strain of madness,” clearly indicates the connection between genius minds and mental health issues. Several studies have depicted the correlation between creativity with depression.

Be it a depressed writer, desolate poet, anxious director, eccentric photographer or cranky intellectual, most creative people are plagued with depression. This is not a new feather that has been recently added in the cap of creative people. Most eminent celebrities, writers, poets, artists, musicians and scientists have spent a part of their life wrestling with a distressed mind and buddying with substances, such as alcohol and drugs.

Challenges of glamor

People who work in the fashion industry often have to face undesirable distress and unwanted challenges in order to breathe in the industry. Although it seems like a highly rewarding industry from outside the glass door, the repercussions of long working hours without proper food and sleep, low pay, tremendous pressure of meeting the deadlines, etc. often disturbs one’s mental health conditions. People working in the fashion industry are comparatively more prone to developing mental health issues.

The pressure to perform and create something new puts a lot of strain on the minds of people working full-fledged in the fashion industry. The unrealistic looks and the concept of perfectionism in terms of body heavily influence one’s mental health. Moreover, creative minds usually have an altogether different approach toward problem solving and perception of this world. These factors accelerate the chances of developing mental health issues in creative minds.

Therefore, it will be overrated to romanticize the glamor industry as a fanciful kingdom of fairytale and magic. The fashion industry is reverberating with numerous cruel and ruthless untold stories of mental health problems afflicting people every day.

Murkiness in the highly celebrated fashion industry

Being the constantly growing industry of the world, the fashion world has been in the limelight since the 1990s. Being the source of several trends in lifestyle and fashion, it incites unrealistic ambitions and desires, especially among youngsters. The extremely thin models encourage young girls and boys to indulge in unhealthy eating patterns that worsen their mental condition.

Although most children are taught to feel content with their body flaws from a young age, teens and young women upon seeing size zero models on every runway or on the cover of magazines start worrying about their physical appearance. Subsequently, this may trigger binge eating and intense exercising that affect one’s mental health condition.

Recovery road map

Mental health issues affect millions of people every day. However, with proper and timely interventions, one can successfully recover from such problems. The fashion industry plays a major role in influencing the psyche of women of all ages. The unrealistic images often instill insecurities related to a negative body image. Therefore, it is necessary to spread awareness among youngsters to motivate them to lead a healthy life.

If you or your loved one is suffering from any form of mental illness, connect with the Florida Mental Health Helpline to know about the most appropriate mental disorder treatment in Florida. You can chat online or call at our 24/7 helpline number 866-846-5588 to locate the best rehab centers in Florida offering therapeutic interventions.

Students of US universities lend a helping hand to peers with mental problems

The field of mental health care is riddled with various challenges, the primary being those associated with access and costs. Statistics from an earlier report by the World Health Organization (WHO) revealed that there are only 7.79 psychiatrists for every 100,000 people in the United States. Added to this is the fact that they are not paid in proportion to the services they offer. Dr. Linda Girgis, M.D., F.A.A.F.P., feels that this is the reason why psychiatrists are either closing shop or are accepting cash payments only, a mode of payment many people are not comfortable with.

The lack of access to mental health care facilities has created a demand for unconventional support systems, most of which are being initiated by support communities or concerned individuals, who understand the risks posed by untreated mental disorders. Of late, students from University of California, Berkeley (UCB) and University of Michigan (U-M) came forward to create support systems for fellow students with mental ailments.

Connecting students with mental disorders

With the aim to help students with mental illnesses connect with others going through the same ordeal on the campus, Monica Casanova, a public health major with the UCB, who herself suffered from severe depression during her freshman year, developed SafeSpace, a website and mobile application. The app secured the first place in UCB’s annual 2016 Big Ideas Contest. It has now partnered with the University Health Services program, called Cal Bears Say Hi, to promote peer-to-peer relationship, act as a support system among the students on campus, and fight the stigmas associated with mental disorders.

Meanwhile, the students of U-M have also come forward making efforts to help people among themselves suffering from mental disorders. Happy to see such participation, the varsity’s Counselling and Psychology Services (CAPS) encouraged the formation of two new student groups – the CAPS Student Advisory Board (CAPS SAB) and the CAPS In Action (CIA). Both these groups work towards reducing the stigma associated with mental illnesses, advising students on matters relating to mental health, and promoting a holistically healthy environment through their mental health outreach efforts.

Such initiatives are a welcome step at a time when approximately one in every five youths between the ages of 13 and 18 years experiences some kind of severe mental disorder at some point in his or her life. Projects like these help in plugging the gap between large student populations and limited access to mental health services by promoting peer-to-peer support system at the university level. If successful, these models can be replicated for larger populations at the state and/or the national level.

Mental health problems can be treated

Mental health problems are very common and if left untreated can have debilitating effects on an individual. A serious mental health disorder can completely take over one’s life, making it impossible for the individual to foster in any sphere of personal, social and professional life. A mental issue which is comparatively not so severe may turn into a serious one if left untreated or can lead to a co-occurring condition like addiction. However, timely access to treatment programs and support systems help such patients cope with the problem and in most cases lead to full recovery.

If you or your loved one is seeking to overcome any mental illness, Florida Mental Health Helpline can help. Call our 24/7 helpline number 866-846-5588 to get connected with one of the best rehab centers in Florida. You can even chat online with our trained professionals to know more about mental disorder treatment in Florida.

Innovative technology encourages mental health screening and treatment

In a bid to counter the multi-layered challenges of providing easily accessible mental health care services to the public, a seemingly effective approach has been adopted by a number of states in the United States. The aim is to provide free, quick and anonymous mental health screening. The innovative idea of mental health screening through kiosks would enable a wider reach to people with mental disorders, especially those in areas where there are lesser professional mental health care service providers. The kiosk can help destigmatize mental illnesses that prevent people from seeking professional help.

The idea of the kiosk came as part of the 2014 design challenge to find ways to develop a sustainable mental health component inside retail clinics. The winning idea came from The Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disability Services (DBHIDS) and Screening for Mental Health Inc. (SMH). The kiosk is a do-it-yourself mental health screening machine that allows people to use a mounted tablet to access information about mental health, and determine the presence of any symptoms of a mental health disorder. The kiosk also provides information about the nearby mental health care service providers and other treatment resources.

Kiosks taking mental health screening services to the public

In order to make mental health screening as commonplace as any other physical health check-ups, the kiosk concept has been taken up by many public health departments as well as college universities. Hosting the kiosk in the community sends out a strong message that mental health needs to be discussed and should be taken seriously. The Hyde County in North Carolina has received a positive response from residents who have willingly accepted the new step. The Public Health Director, David Howard, calls it a fantastic move to help destigmatize the issues of behavioral health.

Other counties like the Edgecombe County Health Department has collaborated with Eastpointe, a managed care organization (MCO), with the hope to make people’s lives more comfortable and meaningful for people looking for mental health help services and information. One of the biggest challenges that the initiative aims to resolve is the lack of professional health providers in the county.

The kiosk is gaining popularity in college universities as well with Drexel University installing its first kiosk in its recreational center two years back. The kiosk is providing its mental health resources to the students, faculty and staffs of the university as well as to those who are not associated with the university. In January 2017, Oakland University unveiled its first free screening kiosk, which became Michigan’s first health kiosk.

Road to recovery

All around the country, efforts are being taken to bring treatment for mental health disorders at par with physical illness. At the same time, lack of awareness and misconceptions are fueling social stigma that is restraining individuals from asking for help. One must understand that mental health problems can have a negative impact on the overall well-being of an individual and if help is not sought, it can negatively impact the life of the individual as well as of the family.

If you or your loved one is suffering from any mental health disorder, don’t hesitate to seek information about mental disorder treatment in Florida by contacting the treatment advisers at the Florida Mental Health Helpline. You can chat online or call our 24/7 helpline number 866-846-5588 to get details about the best rehab centers in Florida which specializes in customized treatment programs.

Soldiers prone to suicidal tendencies when deputed in units with a history of suicide

Currently, the American military has over 2.5 million serving personnel either on an active duty, in the Reserves, or in the National Guard, as well as over 20 million civilians are apparently veterans. Joining the military and choosing to serve one’s country is a decision that encompasses the risk of injury and death, especially during the times of war.

During combat, people not only witness injuries and other fatalities due to enemy fire, accidents and other war-related events but also face other less understood and less expected, such as trauma, self-inflicted injuries and suicide. According to data published in USA Today, 265 active duty service members committed suicide in 2015.

Suicide and suicidal behaviors among service members have been a prevalent problem in the military service. Suicide rates abruptly increased during conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq, surpassing the suicide rates in the general population for the first time in decades.

Active duty personnel, veterans and their families seek and receive health care services in the military, veteran and civilian settings. Over the years, there has been an increased focus on the mental health issues of service members, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and suicide, as well as increased scrutiny of mental health care providers and reinforced efforts to prevent them.

Unit members’ suicide attempt influences suicidal tendencies in other team members

A study published in JAMA Psychiatry in July 2017 suggests that soldiers are more likely to attempt suicide if others in their unit have had attempted suicide recently. While injuries from combat and unintentional events have the potential to affect the mental health of fellow members, the study delves into the impact of how a person’s suicidal behavior can influence others.

The Army Study to Assess Risk and Resilience in Service members (STARRS) filtered out 9,512 unit members with a history of suicide attempts from the administrative data collected between 2004 and 2009. This sample comprised the following:

  • 4 percent were male
  • 4 percent were 29 years or younger
  • 2 percent were younger than 21 years at the time of joining the army
  • 8 percent were of white ethnicity
  • 6 percent were educated
  • 8 percent were married

When assessing the odds of attempting suicide among army personnel, the study found that:

  • Soldiers were more likely to attempt suicide if assigned to a unit with one or more past-year suicide attempts. These odds increased as the number of unit suicide attempts increased from one to five or more.
  • Soldiers were twice as likely to attempt suicide if there were five or more past-year unit attempts compared to no attempts made. This correlation stood out even upon adjusting for sociodemographic variables, the age of entry into service, duration of service, the status of deployment, occupation and unit size.
  • The researchers point out that unit deaths from combat or suicide did not present a strong correlation to suicide risk among the unit members.

“The findings from this study certainly reflect actionable information, raising tantalizing questions about the influence of military social structure and leadership on suicide risk factors as well as the potential for contagion of suicidal behaviors within Army units,” Charles Hoge, M.D., and Amy Adler, Ph.D., of Walter Reed Army Institute of Reed Army Institute of Research and the Office of the Army Surgeon General wrote in an associated editorial. The authors, however, convey that more research is needed to ascertain if the findings apply to earlier and later periods of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and in other areas of conflict.

Path to recovery

Suicidal behaviors and attempts among military servicemen are a major cause of concern. The exposure to debilitating mental stressors and other traumatic experiences, such as war, death, etc., inflicts anxiety, exaggerated fears, stress, etc. do not end when individual returns home from war. Apart from suicide, other mental disorders, such as PTSD, anxiety and depression, are often observed among military personnel, especially among veterans.

If you or your loved one is battling the symptoms of mental disorders, it is imperative to seek professional help. The Florida Mental Health Helpline assists in accessing the finest mental disorder treatment in Florida that specializes in delivering evidence-based intervention plans. Call at our 24/7 helpline number 866-846-5588 to know more about the treatment for mental disorders in Florida.

Tips to prevent cyberbullying

In this age of social media, high-speed internet connections and ultra-sophisticated smartphones, it is impossible to remain aloof from the offerings of the virtual world. Connecting with loved ones staying miles apart was never so easy. Doing an online course, attending live concerts from the comforts of the home, and having access to zillions of things was an unimaginable concept a few years ago. But this exciting world of technology has also spawned a monster in the form of cyberbullying.

Cyberbullying is a form of online harassment in which a stalker or someone with sinister intentions tries to harass a person by sending inappropriate messages, comments, sharing private pictures and indulging in such similar activities which might be detrimental to an individual’s self-respect, privacy and overall well-being. Sometimes, cyber-bullying can get so stressful for a victim that he or she might resort to substance abuse, develop suicidal ideation or worse, commit suicide. However, one can secure his/her online life by being a little vigilant and informed.

Listed below are a few tips, which can come handy in streamlining one’s online activities and maintain sanity.

Refraining from responding everywhere, every time

Just to elicit a reaction or to provoke someone, a cyberbully might post something offensive or highly undesirable. In such a case, one must combat the urge to revert or retaliate as it would give rise to even more bullying. One should instead take a screenshot, save it, block the offenderand report the misconduct on an appropriate platform.

Exercising caution while sharing information

With the advent of millions of apps, more and more users are getting cyber savvy and hence, one must be cautious while sharing any personal picture or information on the social media. In addition, one must set up privacy controls on all social media platforms so that only a few known and trusted people can have access to the sensitive information.

Not opening unnecessary messages and emails

If one receives emails or messages from unknown users, it is best not to engage with them and simply ignore or discard those messages. Further, one must never share one’s password with anyone and at the same time, should always remember to log out from the shared systems.

Spreading the cause and helping victims

One must actively support anti-cyberbullying campaigns in school and neighborhood. Moreover, if one comes to know of a friend, sibling, classmate or even an acquaintance being victimized through the cyber world, one must reach out to him or her and extend adequate support.

Cyber-bullying can exacerbate mental health disorders

A growing body of literature is establishing that cyberbullying and cyber-crimes are detrimental to the mental health of an individual. A teenager exposed to such kind of victimization can develop anxiety, depression and even trauma. A person with a history of emotional abuse can develop extreme mental health concerns if the bullying continues for long.

Teenage is an impressionable age and the mental agony or any sort of a harassment can continue to distress the mind and the trauma can continue into the adulthood. Therefore, disseminating awareness about the effective use of social media and ways to prevent and handle cyberbullying is important. Besides, it is crucial to empathize with the victims and arrange counseling and other professional support systems for their recovery.

If you or your loved one is suffering from any kind of mental problem, get in touch with the Florida Mental Health Helpline to know about various rehab centers in Florida. Call at our 24/7 helpline number 866-846-5588 or chat online with our representatives for expert advice on mental disorder treatment in Florida.

Also read:

Are internet trolls sadistic personalities?

Excessive social media may lead to sleep disruption, mood disorders

National Happiness Happens Day: Those little things of life that help attain happiness

What is happiness? Is it about waiting for a weekend to unwind, reaching a particular waist size, or buying a solitaire or a luxury car? Actually, happiness is simply a state of mind. Feeling happy should ideally be a space where a person is consciously involved in the present moment, is feeling alive and is in total control. On the contrary, a majority of people attach happiness to material things and moments which are yet to arrive or yet to be achieved. This planning and waiting kill the thrill that can be had from the present.

Constantly thinking about the future can make one anxious and unhappy. Similarly, some people get nostalgic and tend to relate some part of their past with happiness and keep on dwelling in those moments, ruining the present over which they have actual control to build happy moments. It is usually seen that people who focus on gaining experiences and investing themselves into the relationships are happier than those who focus on acquiring things. Mastering the art of being happy can greatly improve one’s quality of life. Since happiness can have such a profound influence on one’s life, every year August 8 is observed as National Happiness Happens Day. The concept was introduced in 1999 by the Secret Society of Happy People to encourage people to strive to be happy and share it with others.

Along with creating experiences, one can do several other things which can be done to create and retain happiness. Some of them are listed below:

Smiling always

One should try to follow this mantra on an everyday basis. Smiling at someone could be the nicest thing one can do. Smiling is a way of sharing one’s positive energy and enthusiasm.

Fostering new friendships

Being open to meeting new people, developing a bond and nurturing it can be a very gratifying experience. Friends can help in alleviating stress and compounding one’s happiness.

Practicing kindness

Being kind is the least that one can do for loved ones, colleagues and even strangers. Helping a partner with some chores, a colleague with a report, offering a seat to someone on the train are small acts of kindness which can make someone’s day.

Pursuing goals

No matter how old one gets, there should be a purpose to one’s life. Therefore, one should keep setting goals, devising strategies to achieve them and putting their heart and soul into the execution. Over a period, when one keeps on achieving life goals, a sense of accomplishment, self-assurance and extreme happiness develops which act as a catalyst to achieve even more.

Taking care of mind and body

Nothing can bring happiness to a person if his mental or physical health is compromised. Therefore, one must indulge in extreme self-care by adopting a healthy lifestyle. Eating nutritious food, remaining hydrated, taking supplements, indulging in some sort of physical activity, sleeping for at least seven to eight hours a day, practicing a few minutes of meditation, listening to one’s favorite music, taking constant breaks for spending time with the loved ones and traveling are some of the ways which can help one build immunity, strength, resilience and a drive to keep striving for excellence and consequently, happiness.

Being happy can make life worth living

Feeling happy and sharing that happiness is a matter of choice. Every individual has his fill of happy and sad moments. The secret to living happily is simply to learn from bad experiences and rejoice the little things of life.

However, if one is persistently sad and depressed and is not being able to keep happy at all, one should immediately seek medical help. Those feelings of blues may be a sign of an underlying mental health problem. If you or a loved one is suffering from any mental health disorder, contact the Florida Mental Health Helpline to know more about the best rehab centers in Florida. Call at our 24/7 helpline number 866-846-5588 or chat online with experts to get information on the finest treatments for mental health disorders in Florida.

Also read:

Importance of good mental health–1: Key to happiness

Tips for dating a mentally distressed person

Dating, for some people, can be a fun experience. However, for some, it can be stressful, especially during the initial days when two people invest time and efforts in getting to know each other. Once the initial chemistry develops, the partners start sharing more about each other with respect to their backgrounds, values, political beliefs, goals and so on. During this getting-to-know-each-other phase, what if one of the partners reveals that he or she is struggling with a mental problem? While this might overwhelm the other person and the revelation could become a dealbreaker, one should always remember that mental problems are of various types and anyone could be affected by them. This, however, doesn’t mean that a mentally distressed person is unfit as a potential match.

Like normal people, an individual with a mental disorder is also likely to have a relationship need. However, while dating people from this category, one should consider few important points, which can greatly help in strengthening the relationship.

Encouraging clear communication

It is always recommended to have an open line of communication in a relationship as it helps in fostering stronger bonds. Therefore, one must encourage one’s partner to share all the details about his or her mental health ailments – how and when do they get affected the most by the illness, how would they like to be approached during that time and so on. However, one must not be too pushy if someone is not willing to share the details of the illness. A relationship needs time for nurturing and gradually, one might get more candid with their other half.

Understanding partner’s mental illness

Once an individual shares his or her mental health condition with the other person, it is imperative that the latter invests some time in reading up on that particular mental illness. This might help a person understand the partner better.

Practicing patience and empathy

There would be times when a person with a mental illness would be down, depressed, incoherent, silent, irrational or lethargic. During these times, it is understandable that the other person might get shocked and overwhelmed, but still one must try to be patient and understanding. One must always remember that a person with a mental illness has no control over the symptom manifestations and during those vulnerable times, he or she would need empathy and assurance from the loved ones.

Setting boundaries and practicing self-care

It is an undeniable fact that a person with a mental illness needs a lot of care and affection, however, under no circumstance does that mean that this person becomes exceedingly dependent on the other half. One should refrain from acting like the mentally disturbed partner’s therapist or caretaker as that can worsen things and affect the charm of a romantic relationship. In addition, one must not get obsessed about taking care of their partner all the time as this can get quite exhausting. Therefore, it is inevitable for both the partners to have an open discussion about setting clear boundaries to prevent the occurrence of any rift arising out of an unrealistic expectation.

Even mentally distressed people are like you and me

Approximately one in five adults or nearly 44 million people in the United States struggle with mental illnesses in any given year, says the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). Therefore, these disorders are fairly common. People with mental illness struggle to reach out for help due to the fear of stigma and discrimination. We must remember that mentally distressed persons are equally competent in their professional and personal lives. We can help them improvise their quality of life by encouraging them to seek therapy for symptom alleviation so that they lead a productive life.

If you or your loved one is struggling with a mental problem, the Florida Depression Helpline can assist in finding the depression rehab centers in Florida that offer coping mechanisms to manage stress. Call at our 24/7 helpline number 866-267-5177 or chat online with our experts for further assistance.

Also read:

Even doctors are not immune to mental health problems