Mental Health

What is ‘good’ and ‘bad’ mental health? What are some of the signs of poor mental health, what are the causes? 

Bad mental health

According to, poor mental health can be identified or recognised if you might be:

  • Eating or sleeping too much or too little
  • Pulling away from people and usual activities
  • Having low or no energy
  • Feeling numb or like nothing matters
  • Having unexplained aches and pains
  • Feeling helpless or hopeless
  • Smoking, drinking, or using drugs more than usual
  • Feeling unusually confused, forgetful, on edge, angry, upset, worried, or scared
  • Yelling or fighting with family and friends
  • Experiencing severe mood swings that cause problems in relationships
  • Having persistent thoughts and memories you can't get out of your head
  • Hearing voices or believing things that are not true
  • Thinking of harming yourself or others
  • Inability to perform daily tasks like taking care of your kids or getting to work or school

I reckon that most of us have felt or done some of these things. 

What causes bad mental health?

“A person’s historical environmental upbringing, commonly known as your childhood upbringing is dominant in forming how our psychological foundation is fashioned.”

We then experience things using this underpinning as a reference point, so some people are more susceptible than others to anxiety, low mood, low esteem, frustration or a lack of fulfilment than others. 

What can trigger bad mental health?

The big psychological disrupters; those things that bring about stress, anxiety, low mood, esteem problems, irritation and a lack of meaningfulness in our lives:

1. Change 

A change of job, moving house, ending a relationship or health issues can all have an impact. 

2. Loss 

Death, reduced fitness or capabilities, a change of job/status can deeply trouble us. 

3. Time

Rush, rush, rush. Often, we give no time to stand and stare, relax, contemplate, converse or cuddle. Equally we may have too much time with no fulfilling purpose disappearing in boredom. 

4. Space

With no ‘Head Space’ our heads are full of distractions, good and bad information and news.

Good mental health

In my experience, as a psychotherapist who has sat for thousands of hours with clients, I’d say a large majority of people would like to feel calm, composed and true to themselves and they want to live in a place where they are in tune with their authentic reality, being aware and acceptant of that reality and being able to fluidly deal with the highs and lows of life whilst enjoying a unique contented balance. 

How common is bad mental health? 

“Psychological tension is all around us and effects most of us at some stage of our lives.”

Most people will experience mental health issues; some form of anxiety, stress, low esteem, frustration, irritation, low mood or that draining lack of fulfilment or limited sense of purpose.

You are either suffering with some form of psychological difficulty, living with or close to someone with emotional issues, or you just don't get it, which in itself could be deemed as either a lack of knowledge and understanding or a form of psychological distortion and or denial.

What I do believe, and what I have repeatedly witnessed, is that no matter what walk of life we are from, with the right help, support and desire to change, it is possible to ease our issues and in most cases, overcome them.

By Shane Lutkin, lead Psychotherapist at Emotionalskills. 

 *Wednesday 10th October is World Mental Health Day. It is a day for global mental health education, awareness and advocacy against social stigma. 



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