The World Health Organisation defines mental health as a state of wellbeing whereby a person can cope with the normal stressors of life, he/she realizes where her strengths lie, is able to work with them towards being productive and thus contributes positively to the community.

Generally, people believe mental health to be the exact opposite of mental illness, that is, the absence of any form of mental illness such as anxiety or abnormal behavioural patterns, and this is true, though not so limited.

A number of times, a balance between performing expected responsibilities, taking rests, meeting set targets, could give peace in a way that you feel mentally healthy, however, in some cases, it transcends that. A number of factors have been thought to play roles in the mental health of individuals:

  • Genetic

The biological heritage of an individual could contribute to how mentally healthy they remain. It has been suggested that a family history of mental illness could contribute to the development of same traits by members of that family.

  • Pressure

The world is changing so quickly and it could sometimes look like you are being left behind, or that while some of your peers are catching up with the pace, you are barely breathing. This feeling could cause undue pressure which sometimes causes individuals to slip into depression.

  • And many other risk factors such as traumatic experiences, brain damage, alcohol or drug abuse

Mental illness is a broad umbrella for a lot of disorders, some of which are discussed below:

  • Anxiety Disorder: This is a case of constant worry and fear, worse still, they are usually overwhelming.

Other disorders that could be classified under Anxiety disorder are; panic disorder which is feeling terrified randomly without any known cause, it could be characterized by trembling, pounding heart, chest pain, chills or feelings of being stifled.

There is also phobia which is the fear of specific stuff, such as the fear of heights. There is the generalized anxiety disorder which is being unnecessarily under excessive tension.

Depression: Declared by the WHO as capable of stimulating suicide, depression is a mental illness that causes a continuous feeling of sadness and loss of interest.

It is usually characterized by anger, tiredness, slow thinking, weight loss or weight gain and suicidal thoughts. Some suggested risk factors are brain chemistry, hormonal imbalance and inherited traits.

Bipolar disorder: this is a mental disorder that causes unwarranted change in mood, concentration, energy or activity levels. It is usually a swing between energized behavior (manic episodes) and depressive or hopeless states (depressive episodes)

It is possible that a person experiences disorders different from the aforementioned and such diagnosis are often classified under ‘other specified and unspecified bipolar and related disorders.’ Genetics and brain structure & functioning are likely risk factors of bipolar disorders.

Other problems of mental illness may be inflicting self-harm, sleep problems, psychosis etc.


In some persons, it is the inability to get an activity off their faces, or a kind of meal out of their mouths, or to stop a lifestyle.

The most acknowledged form of addiction may be an addiction to drugs, everyone seems to know the consequence, maybe for its more serious repercussions, like mental illness, damage to vital organs or even death.

Addictions are usually a result of regularly doing a thing – regularly eating pork, regularly gambling, regularly downing alcohol and anything done too habitually. So, it is right to say they are long-term habits.

However, it is also important for you to know that many people are at the risk of addiction for various reasons; Genetic factors or family history, their inability to deal with stress, the flow of negative thoughts, or depression.

Addictions generally are very different from misuse or casual abuse, while a person who has misused or abused, for example a drug may get away with the consequences of such action, especially if not done consistently, an addicted individual is more times likely to suffer from his addictions.

Also, the longer it takes to break an addiction, the more danger a person suffers from it. There are lot of effects that an addiction causes, you will find the most direct ones below, but just like a ripple effect, they go on and on.

  • A quite common one is mental disorders, such as depression, paranoia and anxiety. Depression, for example, is even more likely to occur if the addict tries to take a break or stop such lifestyle.
  • Change in behavioural patterns

Unfortunately, this does not only affect the addict, but also people around, especially members of family or friends. A good example is seen in the addiction to alcohol which could result in an irritable attitude such as picking fights irrationally.

Also, an addiction to gambling can cause a once responsible father to abandon his responsibilities while preferring to spend all his earnings in a casino, or a teen to start pilfering when all the money is gone, all of these could go on to cause a damage to relationships and reputation.

What if the addict is violent when intoxicated, as could be seen with Drug Abuse? The immediate family is left to bear the brunt of such behavior.

  • Loss of control

Another dangerous effect is the loss of self-control. The addict can no longer control the urges to perform their addictions.

A Netflix addict cannot see life outside the app even when there are other important tasks.

It is thought that an addiction to alcohol causes a damage of the prefrontal cortex, a part of the brain necessary for decision making, this may be a reason it appears that alcoholics have no control over their drinking habits even when faced with threatening consequences.

  • Death may occur as a long term effect, especially in substance abuse such as drugs or alcohol, a prolonged use could lead to organ damage such as kidney and liver damage which if not checked could result in death.


When it comes to the concept of addiction, it is something which can be regarded as being very broad. For some addicts, it is very hard for them to come to terms with the fact that they are addicted. They cannot be blamed entirely for this, as they are acting on the pleasure which they derive from whatever form of addiction which is plaguing them.

Whereas, there are some addicts who are aware of the fact that they are addicted, and they are in need of urgent help. These set of people understand the adverse effects which comes with addiction, but there is little or nothing which they can do to avoid it.

Now, looking at both aforementioned cases, there is a peculiarity which pertains to them, and it has to do with being unable to break free from addiction, even if it was up to them or not.

One effective way whereby you can make an addict understand what addiction truly does to someone, is through the use of pictures which aid in further highlighting these adverse effect. For those who are in recovery, it would be easier for these pictures to be used during their sessions, and you can expect that they would be more open to learning.

However, those who are not undergoing any form of addiction recovery, might be hard to get across to. Nevertheless, pictures which magnify the addiction effect have been seen to be largely effective, and hence, all addicts must be made to see addiction in that light.

Another way of ensuring that it is as productive as possible, is allowing the addicts to freely express themselves through arts. Some addicts find it hard to narrate their addiction problems, and one of the ways whereby they can express this, is using arts for this purpose.

One feature about this process is, there is no need for any prior artistic experience, the artist would just be required to draw freely, thereby expressing himself to the maximum. Pictures and arts have been proved to be effective tools in the treatment of addiction.