One in four affected

It's easy to think that mental health issues don't concern us, but in fact a quarter of us will have problems with our mental wellbeing at some time in our lives.

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Mental health problems are equally common in men and women, but the types of problems differ. Women are one-and-a-half times more likely to be affected by anxiety and depression, while men suffer more from substance abuse (one in eight men is dependent on alcohol) and anti-social personality disorders. Men are also more prone to suicide: British men are three times more likely than British women to die as a result of suicide.

Serious mental health problems are also more common than you might think. One person in 100 has a severe mental health condition such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.

All these figures are based on people who have sought help for their mental health problems. Many more could be living with undiagnosed mental health issues, according to mental health charity MIND.

If you're worried about your mental health, or if someone in your life is affected, there are plenty of ways to get help. Find out more about mental health support

You can also contact mental health charities such as Sane and the Mental Health Foundation.


Attitudes to mental health

Four people who've had mental health issues, including bipolar disorder, paranoid schizophrenia and personality disorder, talk about the negative reactions they faced and how they overcame them.

Last reviewed: 11/12/2009

Next review due: 11/12/2011


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kellymarie11 said on 10 May 2011

im 17 years old, and well these past few years ive gone through alot with my father and ended up living on my own for 9 months i never knew my mother as she was in lynefield mount. when i lived with my father i told lots of lies and most times selfharmed my self. occassionally i get really depresssed about whats happened in the past and that my life aint never going to get better sometimes i feel like killing myself and i havnt got the guts, so i take overdose any sort of tablet i need help or someone to just let out all my problems too. But i dont no who to talk to.

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User492632 said on 11 January 2011

Psychiatry itself has created the huge stigma associated with mental health. because of the way it labels people instead of treating them as individuals and really listening to them. People often get put on strong mind altering drugs which only mask problems but never really solve anything. There are no scientific, biological tests which prove any psychiatric disorder actually exists . Many people are merely reacting to the stressful situations they find themselves in and when they reach out for help and then get labelled mentally ill, this is the final insult. Drug companies are over medicalising every normal human emotion and feeling and turninmg it into an illness. When psychiatry changes, the world will be a better place

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User499713 said on 06 November 2010

I am worried iv got bipolar disorder, for several reasons i wont go into, but Iv no idea what to say to my gp please help?!?

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capricorn1 said on 28 September 2010

People with mental health problems should have a voice and a choice. I go to my GP practice and choose who I want to see, nobody accuses me of being racist or sexist.

I go to the psychiatric clinic and am expected to talk about child abuse to A) to yet another man, B) to a foreigner who speaks poor English yet when I ask to change doctors i am accused of being racist and denied any treatment.

Sorry, but I don't want to talk to a foreigner, I want to be able to choose in the same way that I have a choice in my GP surgery.

Where there are issues of child abuse we should have a right to see someone we feel comfortable talking to otherwise NHS money is wasted and we get branded racist / difficult.

When are mental health care providers going to wake up to the fact that having been abused by men, we don't want to share all the grotty details with yet another male!

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MissMint said on 10 September 2010

I've heard so many bad things about people waiting for mental health treatment (even though I want to work in mental health in the future) and due to this I have tried my hardest to deal with my problems myself.
I have self harmed since the age of 11 and have also been dealing with bulimia for the past 4 years. It's hard to talk to GP's sometimes as I always feel rushed and end up talking about something else when I go to see them.
Websites such as this and others have helped me alot.

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D O Law said on 09 June 2010

My son has mental health problems and has been under CAMMS from the age of 6. from 16 he has been tossed aside and all I keep getting is sorry no one will accept him as they cant deal with his complex needs.oh sorry we only have two staff so cant accept him in the transitions team at CAMMS, take him back to your GP. These people dont want to know what hes going through what strain is on the family. And oh yes hes my son I love him and I have to cope, with no help. what will it take to get the help, my brake down, getting him arrested, or his suicide. Im so glad of this web site as now at least I know im not alone.

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Andrew42 said on 13 April 2010

I suffer from complex personality disorder, depression and severe agoraphobia (people can't believe me when I tell them I haven't been outside for 14 years). I have tried to get help from NHS but they destroyed my life further by approching my family members behind my back telling them that I am dangerous. I never see my family anymore thanks to NHS. I have no one to turn to and I refuse anything with NHS written on it. I once had visits from a psychiatric nurse but not anymore. I've tried reading through this website but I get very depressed about all the help that is supposed to be available when I know there is no REAL help out there. I wish in the future that the NHS actually recognise's mental illness fully as a disability and not this no hearted approach that I recieved.

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PJdudeyeh said on 12 December 2009

I agree it would be better if people could access mental health services in a reasonable time frame. I told my doctor in Manchester about my illness (it was already confirmed that I had a mental illness before I moved back to Manchester from Market Rasen) and after MONTHS, I finally got a letter. Not a letter giving me an appointment, but a letter asking me if I wanted to be put on a waiting the list.

Why on earth would I have asked my doctor to refer me if I didn't want to be at least put on the waiting list. So I waited months not for help, but months to be asked if I wanted a chance to get help, despite what I'd told my doctor.

I figured if it takes that long and all I get is such a stupid letter, rather than an appointment, I might as well not bother and instead just deal with things on my own.

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Cheryl90 said on 14 September 2009

depression and anxiety took over my life when i was 17 working as a dental nurse, i lost my job in the end, people who i thought were my friends and alot more. Nobody from work had any sympathy for me and seen me as a fruad they had the attitude 'what does a 17year old know about depression?' What i have went through these past couple years has been heredous and it puts a chill in my spine to think anybody else has or had to go through it. I have been diagnosed with boarderline personality disorder, it would make my life and my familys somthing abit closer to bearable if stigma wasn't there, im realy thankful to people being so open about it on this website.

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Rhiasmum said on 18 August 2008

It would be far better for people with mental health problems if the services were quicker to help and the services easier to access.especially for families

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Anonymous said on 11 August 2008

This site is a great resource, especially in helping people see that mental illness is something that could happen and does happen to anyone, across different backgrounds/sex/age/lifestyle. As a medical student I have always been fascinated by the workings of the perfected human body and mind. However, I have had friends experiencing mental illness and did not think there was much the medical profession could really help with these health situation. Learning more about the mind recently in context of psychiatry and having seen numerous people with mental illness, was my impression of mental health services has changed, after seeing how many people have been helped and now have their quality of life improved with the help of good psychiatric care - a factor so important and a right of any person with mental illness to receive. I very much hope standards of mental health services would be at their best everywhere, and deffinitely improved where they are needed the most.

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Cleo said on 15 July 2008

This site is invaluable, I suffer from depression and have done severely for the last 12 months. It is with the right help and support that I can now start to see the wood from the trees. My Church and friends have been so supportive, however mental health services need to be improved. When I was in crisis, the local NHS team were next to useless and appointments with the mental health team are like gold dust.

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Andrew said on 13 May 2008

I'd just like to say that reading and watching the videos on this website has made me feel like I need to be more open about myself in order to address my problems. I suffer from depression and for a long time struggled on in life and made some bad life decisions, masked the issues with alcohol and generally had a very unhappy time and made my partner very unhappy along the way. No one else knows how I feel because I felt ashamed and weak and didn't want other people to be affected, but it is too much to go alone. I want to seek help and feel that the first and most important thing is to accept the problem and face up and not feel ashamed. It is something that so many people will suffer in silence, but this is not the right way to deal with feelings of depression and mental illness and they will not go away by themselves but just get worse and worse.

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Anonymous said on 27 March 2008

As a psychiatric nurse, and also a sufferer of depression, I think sites like this are essential in helping to get relevant and accurate information out there, about mental health. And hopefully get rid of the stigma attatched to these illnesses.

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konopnicka said on 27 March 2008

Thank you for this site.It is vital to raise mental health awarness,so people recognise it,accept it and maybe start understanding people affected by it.

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Joanne said on 17 March 2008

To overcome this problem society needs to be made more aware of what they are doing to sufferers! They are making the problems worse by segregating people and making them feel that it is their fault that they are mentally ill. People need to stand up and make changes!!

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Anonymous said on 14 March 2008

Drugs are not the answer, ask for Beating the Blues therapy

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Anonymous said on 14 March 2008

just want to say thankyou for making this site available.

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Mental health

Get information about mental health problems, find out where to get help and read other people's real life stories.

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