Mental Health Problems
Mental health problems are those problems that are connected with your mental, rather than physical state of health.
However, beacuse the mind and body co-exist and cannot survive without each other, physical and mental health problems almost always ‘overlap’ with one directly affecting the other.
What is mental health?
Medics and Psychiatrists (both working within the medical professions) tend to regard emotional problems as being due to some sort of biological pathology, principally as some form of ‘chemical imbalance’ within a person’s brain.
Psychologists, on the other hand, classify our emotions and emotional experiences as being ‘normal human ways’ of responding.
It is important to recognise, therefore, that mental health problems can be seen in two rather different ways and may, therefore, also be treated in two different ways too!
Medical or psychological treatment?
If you visit your GP to discuss feeling ‘down’ about something the way that you treated will depend very much on the philosophical understandings your GP subscribes to.
If they believe that your depressed feelings are being caused by a chemical imbalance in your brain, then they are most likely to prescribe you with a course of anti-depressants that are designed to make changes to the chemical make-up in your brain.
On the other hand, if they are more oriented towards the psychological models of emotional distress, then they are more likely to arrange for you to partcipate in some form of psychotherapy.
Normal or abnormal?
Here’s the critical question:
Are feelings of extreme sadness or high levels of anxiety ‘normal’ or ‘abnormal’?
Is the feeling of grief (extreme sadness) at the loss of a close relative a mental illness or a normal emotional experience based on the situation?
Is feeling very anxious about having a heart bypass operation a mental illness or normal given the seriousness of the operation you are about to undergo?
If we use the PHQ9 depression test that is used by medical practitioners to determine the presence of depression symptoms on a person experiencing grief, they they will almost certainly register as having symptoms of depression.
It is hard to argue however, that they are mentally ill as these feelings are a perfectly normal human reaction to a loss of this magnitude.
So it seems quite clear, that if you demonstrate depressed symptoms but have a completely rational explanation as to why you are experiencing them (you’ve just lost a close relative) then even if the test classifies you as ‘depressed’ it should be clear that labelling you as ‘mentally ill’ is completely wrong (unless that is that every single person who becomes sad when a parent dies is mentally ill).
Why Choose Prevental?
Paul is a highly experienced, academically qualified psychologist with over 30 years experience of working with people to overcome life challenges and achieve life goals.
We are an approved supplier of mental health support services to the NHS Black Country Clinical Commissioning Groups who we have been working with since late 2017.
We have been helping improve people's mental health in the West Midlands since 2009 and have more than 30,000 hours of clinical experience.
Prevental Healthcare are expert mental health professionals dedicated to helping you and your employees thrive.
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