Many people experience some form of psychological or emotional problem at some point in their lives. There can be many reasons for this. Sometimes problems develop after an upsetting or stressful event, such as a bereavement or accident. At other times they may build up gradually due to pressures of work or difficulties in the family. Sometimes events from the past can affect how we feel today.
Common mental health problems include anxiety-related difficulties and symptoms of depression. There is a wide range in severity of symptoms of anxiety or depression. Some people are able to get on with their day to day lives even though they may struggle at times. For others, the problems can be more disabling, for example, feeling too anxious to go into shops to buy food or feeling so low that they spend large amounts of the day in bed.
There can be many reasons why people develop mental health problems and why they may continue. For more information about mental health problems and for resources to help with them, including classes open to everyone such as Step on Stress (see leaflet on right hand side of page), see the NHS Fife website MoodCafe.
Preventing mental health problems by recognising and dealing with stress is a key part of keeping healthy. The Steps for Stress Campaign has useful information and resources to help with this.
For more information on coping with suicide, please see the attached leaflet After a Suicide
As well as common mental health problems, there are also some recognised mental illnesses. These include schizophrenia and bi-polar disorder. These illnesses are rare compared to the problems described above. More information about mental illness can be found on the Royal College of Psychiatrists website.