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  • Writer's pictureKara Kohnen

Understanding Common Mental Health Concerns

Mental health is a crucial aspect of our overall well-being, yet it’s often overlooked or misunderstood. Many people experience mental health issues at some point in their lives, and understanding these concerns can help us support ourselves and others. In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the most common mental health concerns and how they can be managed.

1. Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety disorders are among the most common mental health issues. They involve excessive fear or worry that can interfere with daily activities.

Types of Anxiety Disorders:

        •       Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD): Persistent and excessive worry about various aspects of life.

        •       Panic Disorder: Recurrent panic attacks, characterized by sudden feelings of intense fear.

        •       Social Anxiety Disorder: Intense fear of social situations and being judged by others.

        •       Specific Phobias: Extreme fear of specific objects or situations.

Managing Anxiety:

        •       Practice relaxation techniques like deep breathing and meditation.

        •       Engage in regular physical activity.

        •       Seek therapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), to address negative thought patterns.

2. Depression

Depression is a mood disorder that causes persistent feelings of sadness and loss of interest in activities. It can affect how you feel, think, and handle daily activities.

Symptoms of Depression:

        •       Persistent sad or empty mood

        •       Loss of interest or pleasure in activities

        •       Changes in appetite or weight

        •       Difficulty sleeping or oversleeping

        •       Fatigue or lack of energy

        •       Feelings of worthlessness or excessive guilt

        •       Difficulty concentrating or making decisions

        •       Thoughts of death or suicide

Managing Depression:

        •       Seek support from friends, family, or a mental health professional.

        •       Engage in regular physical activity.

        •       Maintain a healthy diet and sleep routine.

        •       Practice mindfulness and relaxation techniques.

        •       Consider therapy and, if necessary, medication.

3. Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is characterized by extreme mood swings that include emotional highs (mania or hypomania) and lows (depression).

Symptoms of Mania/Hypomania:

        •       Increased energy or activity

        •       Elevated or irritable mood

        •       Decreased need for sleep

        •       Unusual talkativeness

        •       Racing thoughts

        •       Distractibility

        •       Impulsive or risky behavior

Symptoms of Depression (as listed above)

Managing Bipolar Disorder:

        •       Follow a treatment plan prescribed by a healthcare provider.

        •       Take medications as directed.

        •       Attend therapy sessions regularly.

        •       Monitor mood changes and triggers.

        •       Maintain a stable routine and avoid substance abuse.

4. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

PTSD can develop after experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event. It involves ongoing mental and emotional distress.

Symptoms of PTSD:

        •       Intrusive memories or flashbacks of the traumatic event

        •       Avoidance of reminders of the trauma

        •       Negative changes in thinking and mood

        •       Changes in physical and emotional reactions, such as being easily startled or having trouble sleeping

Managing PTSD:

        •       Seek therapy, particularly trauma-focused therapies like EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) or CBT.

        •       Build a support network of trusted friends and family.

        •       Practice self-care and relaxation techniques.

        •       Consider medication under the guidance of a healthcare provider.

5. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

OCD involves unwanted and intrusive thoughts (obsessions) that lead to repetitive behaviors (compulsions) intended to reduce anxiety.

Symptoms of OCD:

        •       Obsessions: Persistent, unwanted thoughts or urges.

        •       Compulsions: Repetitive behaviors or mental acts performed to relieve anxiety.

Managing OCD:

        •       Seek cognitive-behavioral therapy, particularly Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP).

        •       Learn and practice stress management techniques.

        •       Consider medication, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).

        •       Engage in regular physical activity and maintain a healthy lifestyle.


Understanding common mental health concerns is the first step toward addressing them. If you or someone you know is suffering with a mental health concern, please contact our intake team at 619-549-0329 ext 0 today. We are accepting new patients at Grow Through Life Counseling.

"Don't just go through life, grow through life!" - E Butterworth

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