What is Mental Health?

Its world mental health day.

We each have our own minds …

mental-health-2019924_1920 (2)Having worked in mental health back in the early 90’s and then again recently, I am amazed at all the different diagnosis that have emerged!!! Previously schizophrenia and Bi Polar were typically the main diagnosis. Now we have more sub categories and a variety of mental health conditions affecting a large proportion of the population such as; Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Anxiety, Depression, Personality Disorders and Body Dysmorphic Disorder to name just a few. According to Mind; 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience some form of mental health issue each year, now that’s a lot of people!

One thing that has always fascinated me is “what is mental health“? Who’s to say this persons mind is healthier than that persons mind. After all we each have our own minds and are responsible for how we use them! Some people are aware of their mental health issues and others are not! It is for us alone to work through our own thought patterns, our belief systems, our repetitive thought process’, our paranoia, fears, anxieties and so on. Therefore I find the whole diagnosis a complex and fascinating subject. Take for example people who have been diagnosed with Personality Disorders/Borderline Personality Disorders (BPD), from my experience working with people who have BPD often come from a back ground of Trauma which usually relates to experiences/circumstances from their childhood .

Craniosacral Therapy (CST) works very well with trauma, as amongst other things it works directly with the nervous system, the fight or flight response which is activated by the sympathetic nervous system. It also works with the vagus nerve which is part of the parasympathetic “rest and digest” nervous system which influences our breathing, digestive function and heart rate, all of which can have a huge impact on a persons mental health, especially if receiving regular CST.

So when is intervention required? Now that is probably too big a question to answer here, however unless someone is a danger to themselves or others or in acute pain then a lot of the time there is a process to go through to unravel certain aspects relating to their emotional and mental well-being. There are times for medication and times where gentle alternative remedies can support someone such as Bach Remedies, Homeopathy, massage, Reiki, Yoga, healthy eating and of course my all time favourite Craniosacral Therapy.

On this note I would like to mention a couple of books which I feel may help people on their road to recovery. One is called ‘Waking the Tiger‘ by Peter A. Levine which is all about Healing Trauma and another book on a lighter note is ‘May the thoughts be with you‘ by Charlotte Reed. This book has lots of positive affirmations with wonderful illustrations, Charlotte also has weekly illustrations in the Evening Standard every Monday as well as her Facebook page and Instagram daily messages of positive thoughts which helped her overcome her own depression.

If in doubt always consult a medical professional for advice and referral if appropriate.

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