Mental Health Tag

What is Bipolar Affective Disorder? Bipolar affective disorder (BPAD), is a mental health condition that is characterised by severe mood swings, between a state of depression and mania, that can last several months at a time. Not all BPAD symptoms are equal – some people experience very high manic and low depressive periods, others may present with severe depression and mild mania (hypomania). When experiencing a depressive episode, patients may appear low and flat in their mood, low motivation, have guilt and sadness, lowered appetite and energy levels and poor sleep. A manic episode is the opposite of a depressive episode, where a...

In Australia, we are experiencing higher than ever before numbers of people living with clinically diagnosed mental health disorders. Previously, mental health issues were rarely discussed due to the sense of weakness or shame in admitting that one may have a problem. Thankfully now, society and its perception of mental health issues is becoming better informed and developing a better educated understanding of the incredibly significant impact that mental health disorders has on an individual, family, healthcare system and the country as a whole. Mental and behavioural disorders, such as depression, anxiety and drug use, are important drivers of disability and morbidity. This...

What is mindfulness? Humans; we love to think - its part of us - its our kind of thing. It’s an incredibly simple, yet challenging mental technique adapted from a Buddhist practice to now suit non-religious contexts. Some people may think its about clearing your head and thinking about “nothing”. But in theory it’s actually more than that, its stepping back and hearing your thoughts without judgment with a relaxed but a focused mind. To sum it all up its basically being aware of what you are doing, when you are doing it, and becoming a master of your mind, rather than being...

This case study is one example of how exercise interventions can assist with improving mental health, activities of daily living and independence when mental health and in this case the impact of substance use is involved.*   The World Health Organisation defines mental health as a state of well being in which every individual realises his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community. ESSA’s joint position statement on mental health states that mental health and physical health are fundamentally connected. A...

According to Perinatal Anxiety & Depression Australia (PANDA) postnatal depression is effecting more than 1 in 7 new mums each year in Australia.   Accredited Exercise Physiologist and women’s health expert, Esme Soan, explains why it’s important to understand the difference between ‘feeling a bit down’ and having a mental condition. “Postnatal depression is different from the ‘baby blues’, which many women experience in the early days after giving birth associated with hormonal cascades. Some signs of PND are consistent low mood, anxiety, feelings of guilt, shame, worthlessness or hopelessness.” For a better over look at postnatal depression and its symptoms and signs, visit Beyond...

Men’s health in the 21st century seems to be promoted as having the latest gadgets (for fitness of course!), updating your online status, getting in shape for summer, buying the top 10 vanity products and having a diet full of “superfoods”. Trying to keep up with the demands of society and ourselves can be overwhelming and our mental and physical health can suffer. We recommend taking a step sideways, not back… and think about your current self. How is your physical health? Not in terms of bulging muscles or how long you can run, but in terms of body fat, aches...

What is Post-traumatic Stress Disorder? Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can occur following exposure to potentially life-threatening or traumatic event. This can include events such as motor vehicle accidents, assault, or experiencing the atrocities of war and combat. Being survivors of these events can cause elevated levels of continual stress that has negative effects on the body. PTSD can cause overwhelming sense of guilt and create negative thought patterns, including replaying the traumatic scenes in the mind of people with PTSD and being on high alert a lot of the time, so that the body is continually in a state of ‘fight...

Using exercise with the sole purpose of improving quality of life through social engagement is proving to have a tremendous effect on the mental health of participants. While exercise and group classes can be targeted and tailored to a pathology a non-specific exercise social group activity can still help with individual outcomes. I’d encourage everyone, whatever their ability or health status, to find people to exercise with or find a local class or gym which offers exercise with an emphasis on social well-being. There is definitely a space for group exercise interventions for mental health outcomes. In this scenario inclusion is important,...

What is Awe? Awe is a stirring feeling of inspiration and wonder that may be elicited from a touching experience in nature, becoming lost in music or in beholding art. It is a response to things perceived as overwhelming and vast, which alter our perception on the world. What one person finds beautiful and motivating, will be different to another. There is no right or wrong. With a mindful mindset, awe can be found almost anywhere, but usually occurs in places with two key features: Physical vastness & Novelty Awe reminds us that we are not the centre of the universe, it...

Generally speaking; individuals experiencing mental health conditions will also be experiencing some elements of poor physical health, and vice versa.   According to data from AIHW, Australia's Health 2016 national report card; mental health conditions were reported as a co-morbidity among: 36% of people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) 30% of people with back pain and problems 29% of people with asthma And those suffering from a mental illness: Are 2-3 times more likely to suffer from diabetes than the general population Almost four times more likely to suffer from cardiovascular disease (CVD) Coronary heart disease carries the independent risk factor of...