Your physical and psychological health are closely linked. A long-term physical illness is likely to make you feel low, while a mental health disorder such as depression may cause physical symptoms. You can make changes in your lifestyle to improve your physical and psychological state so that you are better able to deal with the stresses and strains of daily life.
Some life events, such as a death in the family, inevitably cause stress. People’s reactions to such stressful events depend in part on personality and in part on other current causes of stress, such as financial problems. The more stress you have to face, the greater your risk of developing a psychiatric disorder.
To help you to identify problems at an early stage, this section starts with a discussion of the difference between the normal range of wellbeing and a mental health disorder. The next two articles provide advice on how to develop good sleep habits and on ways to identify and minimize stress. The final article explains the process of grieving and suggests ways in which you might cope with your feelings.
Specific psychiatric disorders are covered elsewhere (see Mental health disorders).
From the 2010 revision of the Complete Home Medical Guide © Dorling Kindersley Limited.