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Mental health is one of the rarely talked about topics with little information about it out there. Being an African culture, having emotions and being vulnerable enough to reach out is seen as a sign of weakness especially when it comes to men. This doesn't make the situation any better.
Here is a list of the top 10 asked questions when it comes to mental health answered by a specialist:
1. What is mental illness?
This is having a mental condition that affects ones person's behaviour or thinking. While Mental Health refers to your emotional and psychological well-being.
2. What's the difference between stress and depression?
Stress occurs while one is under emotions or mental pressure and in most cases short term while depression is a mental Disorder that happens mostly at high levels of stressing factors can happen in cycles and is long term in most cases
3. Is mental health genetic?
People with a family history of Mental illness or disorders are at a higher risk of having mental health issues since some of this conditions are brought by chemical or hormonal imbalance
4. How does one tell they are suicidal or a friend is?
Suicidal tendencies are not always visible but some of the things one can notice is if someone is constantly thinking or talking about death,engaging in life risking behaviour, withdrawn,or giving away precious things they own
5. Can one have a mental health condition and not be aware of it?
Yes its very possible, hence its advisable to visit a proffesional once in a while
6. Is mental illness witchcraft especially in less developed regions?
No, mental health conditions can be prevented, cured in some cases and also managed
7. How does one handle a mentally Ill person before professional help arrives?
This depends on a case to case basis, have the person at a safe environment both mentally and physically it also helps to ask the person how to support them
8. Does mental illness occur in children and if yea how is it detected
Children are affected as well, change in behaviour, withdrawal, change in appetite, slow growth rate are some of the ways one can tell
9. Is phobia related to mental health?
Yes, it is one of the disorders
10. Can one self-diagnose on Depression and take medication?
No. It takes a number of test to concluded on a mental illness or disorder, since some symptoms also occur in other conditions, and self-medicating could be outing ones health in danger
For more information on mental health issues, contact us on 0711188300/0738669535
Grace Kinuthia is psychologist