understanding mental health

Mental illness is not rare, not just something that happens to other families, in other neighborhoods.

There is a great range in the type and severity of mental problems. Often people with mental illness can function and make valuable contributions. President Abraham Lincoln struggled with depression, and is esteemed as one of the great U.S. presidents.

Patients and their families must cope with disturbing symptoms as they seek healing and a normal life. All of us are responsible for treating every person, without exception, with respect and compassion.

The Mental Health Association of Maryland serves as the National Institute of Mental Health Outreach Partner in Maryland to deliver the most current and accurate information about mental health and mental illness to the public.

What is mental health?

Mental health is how we think about life or issues, how we feel about ourselves and others, and how we act in handling change, stress and other things that happen to us.

With good mental health, you feel good about yourself, feel relaxed with other people, and handle tasks and problems easily.

Taking good care of your mental health is just as important as taking good care of your body. If you had a broken bone, you would go to a doctor. If you have a mental health problem, you should seek treatment.

Common mental and emotional difficulties include the following:

  • anxiety disorders
  • substance abuse
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • phobias

Personal problems, such as grief over the death of a loved one or nervous “butterflies” before a public presentation, are normal. If symptoms interfere with an ability to be satisfied and effective at work or school and in personal relationships, it’s a good idea to seek professional help.

» Click here to learn more about the symptoms of mental illness.

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