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MENTAL HEALTH refers to a state of complete emotional, psychological and social well-being of an individual and using such a state of completeness to work with family, friends, colleagues, and the community in a way that is deemed appropriate, acceptable, or normal.

Taking charge of our mental wellness is pertinent due, to a very large extent to the fact that people who appear to be physical health may perpetrate actions that indicate a disorder in their mental capacity. This assertion is predicated on the rate of proliferation of crimes such as rape, internet fraud, murder, abuse, kidnapping, alcohol and substance abuse, social unrest, and child molestation to mention but a few. Also, conditions like bipolar disorder, anxiety, fatigue, insomnia, people with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), madness, and the rest are there evidence that adequate attention has to be paid to our mental wellness!

It is also common to notice the ever-increasing number of mentally ill people in our society. The rate at which people yell or lash out at the slightest provocation, divorce, fights, disorder by the citizens, and disobedience by our children all point to the fact that we are living in a very sick society!

To fully control our mental wellness, a good understanding of the signs and symptoms of mental disorders is necessary below are the common signs and symptoms of mental disorders:

  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Alcohol and substance abuse
  • Suicide thoughts
  • PTSD
  • Loss of concentration
  • Staying away from people
  • Fights and yelling at the slightest provocation
  • Irrational thinking etc.
  • Withdrawal from social activities
  • Inappropriate fear or phobia of things or people

Studies have shown that mental disorders don’t develop from a single factor but from a combination of several risk factors. Some of those risk factors are highlighted below:

1.     Biological factors such as genetic makeup, genetic mutation, etc

2.     Unhealthy lifestyles such as; poor dieting, lack of physical exercise, insufficient sleep

3.     Family history: people with a history of mental illness have the highest tendency of developing it

4.     Socio-economic pressure such as loss of jobs, unemployment, low income, underemployment

5.     Post-war traumas

6.     Past misfortunes such as childhood abuse, rape, divorce, loss of a spouse, child, or a family member or loved ones, and kidnap.

7.     Social discrimination and stigmatization: common among people living with HIV/AIDS and immigrants

8.     Hatred and non-acceptance by peers, family members, and others for certain reasons such as race, religion, social status, ethnicity, etc.

9.     Detachment from family and loved ones


1.     Loss of self-esteem

2.     The negative change in personal life such that one thinks that the past days were better! Anti-social behaviors such as xenophobia, hate speeches, and social aloofness.

It will be helpful to state here that, the above-stated signs and symptoms might have been shown by people who are rather mentally well at one point or another in their lives. It is only when the conditions become persistence or chronic or with a heightened frequency that adequate attention should be paid!

Furthermore, this article will examine the effects of mental illness to the sufferer, the family and the community, in the following paragraphs.



He or she may suffer memory loss, resulting in learning impairment, communication becomes less sensible. Also, the sufferer may have face a possible job loss due to poor quality of work. He or she will experience decrease in income with its attendant economic pressure, even as he or she will have to spend a larger proportion of their income on health care, leaving very little for other personal expenses. The sufferer may also face rejection, stigmatization, homelessness and having to deal with total strangers for those in the rehab centers. They may also be targets for kidnappers and rapists as a result of their homelessness. Some sufferers go to the extent of causing physical injuries to their own bodies, taking drugs and consuming alcohol which worsens their mental conditions. They are also easy targets for terrorists as the latter seek to recruit for their onslaughts.



There is a popular saying that, “it is the family of the madman that feels the shame of the madness than the sufferer”. Yet this saying is true because the burden of giving care to the mentally deformed person by the family is usually increasingly disturbing. Firstly, the family or caregivers will be hard-pressed for time forcing them to work on part-time bases. In the long run, this will cut down their income, putting economic pressure on them. Low productivity will set in, resulting in job loss, unemployment, etc., and there is also the psychological burden on the caregivers too as their own emotions will be affected. There is also a problem of increased fatigue as a result of prolonged physical exhaustion as family and caregivers continue to provide attention to their mentally ill relatives. Increased care time will in turn reduce the possibility of family and care givers attending social functions in the family and society. Furthermore, the affected family may face the problem of stigmatization depending on the culture.



At the community level, the high cost of providing infrastructural facilities for the mentally challenged can drastically reduce the financial capacity in providing other social amenities for the populace. Also, the number of the working or employable population can be reduced as a result of an increasing number of people with a mental disorders. In the macro-economic level, this can reduce the per capita contributions to the GDP. Community leaders and the government may run short in providing trained mental health workers if the number of mentally ill people keeps increasing. In addition to the above mentioned, if the population of mentally challenged people keeps increasing, it might result in an increase in the number of deaths or what is called the death rate of any society or country. The result of this is that the population growth of such communities or countries will be quite slow.



Since mental wellness is an integral part of an individual’s overall well-being. It will be safe to assert that having a mental illness will affect the individual's over-all health status! It’s therefore imperative for everyone to take responsibility of their mental wellness at all times. This implies that no one is responsible for their own mental health no matter their age, gender, race, or social status. Just as no one will suffer the primary effects of neglect of your own mental health but you, that is, if nothing is done to improve it in the first place. So the following are ways to take charge of your own mental health.



Due to the fact that mental illness does not develop from a single cause and the sad truth that it can develop in rather a subtle manner, we all need to learn and become aware of the likely causative or pre-disposing factors, seek knowledge on how best to handle our daily stressful situations, understand signs or indicators that we are experiencing a mental disorder. Seeking any professional help when the need arises will help to monitor our mental status at all times and bring it under control as much as possible.



 When we are able to identify those situations and events that give us stress, it will be significantly easy to control how we respond to such situations in different but safe ways that would reduce our psychological and emotional distress. That way our biochemical and hormonal balance is maintained as we carry on our normal daily routine.



We can also seek to leverage the services of qualified doctors, guidance counselors, and other medical personnel for help anytime our mental health status is perceived to be under threat. This way, we will be able to prevent a possible mental breakdown. Additionally, Going for regular checks and sticking to the doctor’s prescriptions will help to ensure an early dictation if anything goes wrong.




Showing care and loving concern to both sufferers and those who are at risk of developing mental distress will go a long way in helping our own mental state. This show of love and care will in turn give us a sense of fulfillment and inner peace, thus, making us exhibit a positive outlook on life generally and live productively with family, friends, colleagues, and the community.



Having significant awareness of one’s self is a tremendous step toward having a remarkably stable mental status. An awareness of one’s capabilities, weaknesses, and strengths will enable him or her to deal with issues within his abilities and seeking for help and the opinion of others in areas outside his or her potential. This way, a balance is created for a healthier mental status.



After becoming aware of ourselves, the next thing to do is to make appropriate adjustments in our lives where necessary. Toxic lifestyles like smoking, alcohol consumption, drugs, and substance abuse, can be changed to healthy and balanced dieting, adequate sleep, rest and exercise, etc. Disconnecting from people with toxic and negative energy and connecting with those with a positive outlook will help shape, influence, and enrich our own lives. For example, connecting with the right people will help shape the choices we make, reduce stress, and increase our mental energy!



When we realize that life is more than just being physical, sensual or natural, we will begin to appreciate the inner peace such a reality brings! You must have a faith base which you draw inner strength from when things don’t go as planned, lose a loved one, or meet any misfortune for that matter. This faith will help us overcome any obstacles on our way while navigating our journey of life. This way, we have a sense of love, acceptance and security from A Being Higher than us!



Though this is easier said than done! But hanging on to our past losses, pains, failures, disappointments, etc. will exasperate our psychological, emotional, and mental stress, rather than alleviating our pains, we have to let go of our past embrace the presence and forge ahead for the future



  • Improving our psychological and emotional intelligence
  • Increased productivity
  • Better in our learning, communication, and solving real-life problems
  • The quality of your time with family and the community will keep improving
  • You will fulfill your dreams and aspirations in life 
  • You will have a positive outlook on life and manage stress and fatigue successfully
  • You can easily manage your own emotions well and be good enough to work with the emotions of others
  • Manifesting a positive energy that promotes working harmoniously with others for a better result.
  • People who are mentally healthy would easily get assimilated into a new working environment
  • Increased capacity to think in a better way and solve problems productively
  • You become efficient at resolving conflicts
  • Quick adjustment to new tasks, now job now homes, or marriages
  • Involvement in productive community activities would be improved with mental health
  • The nation will have increased per capita contributions to the GDP,


Studies have shown that mental illnesses don’t develop from a single cause, but from a combination of a variety of risk factors, it is also pertinent to note that we cannot take charge of our mental health in just one way, but a combination of all (and many more ) of the above. We, therefore, need to be in control of our physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being. This way our society will in no way be a mad society!  The choice is ours to make!


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