Reasons why you shouldn’t ignore your Mental Health
The first step to having good mental health is to know what mental health is . Mental health is our psychological, emotional, and social well-being. It makes sure we think properly, can make good decisions, feel good about ourselves, and behave like ourselves. Good mental health means all our feelings from happiness, sadness, or anger are felt completely but later can be moved on. When you’re not mentally fit, your negative emotions dominate and are prolonged, hindering your basic functioning. Good health is physical, mental, and social well-being. When one of these is affected surely the others would experience problems too.
Common mental illnesses
There are myriad types of mental illnesses that affect thousands of people every day. They can be short-lived, episodic (return after certain incidents or timespan), or chronic. Some of the common mental illness which are prevalent include:
This makes you react to certain incidents or actions with prolonged fear and restlessness. It might be due to the discomfort in socializing (social anxiety), certain situations that make you extremely scared, or panic (panic attacks and phobia).
Disruptive Behavior Disorder:
This is observed mainly in adolescents and can extend even to adulthood in some cases, where trauma or mental stress can push them to unruly and uncontrolled behavior.
This can be over-eating or under-eating due to societal pressure to look in a certain way. For example, girls tend to eat very little to maintain a lean body image or reduce weight drastically. Some over-eat due to stress but take medication or forced methods of vomiting to bring the food out due to fear of getting fat. Stress eating also happens when you are going through difficulties in life or are simply stressed.
This is probably the most heard word post-covid and lockdown. Well, this is because staying at home has had drastic effects on many people’s mental health. Sadness or a bad mood that is prolonged and cannot be controlled or changed by oneself can be a simple explanation of depression. WHO has termed depression to be the 2nd most prevalent illness among people.
This can be mostly observed in children when they have a difficulty in concentrating or are uncontrollably active.
Post-traumatic stress disorder:
People who have witnessed a traumatic event, been through a hard phase in their life, or lost someone close to them might experience this illness. This might trigger memories of the incident, make you feel stressed and scared that you might have to relive the pain, or make you depressed over the traumatic incident.
When someone has an abnormally rigid personality that affects their relationships with people around them but can’t be changed it’s called a personality disorder
Why shouldn’t mental health be ignored?
Mental health is connected to the overall well-being of our body just as much as physical health. When this is affected it affects our way of thinking, emotions, feelings, and productivity. Mental illness takes up over 10% of the global health issues. 1 person dies every 40 seconds by suicide and everyone who commits suicide has gone through one form of mental pressure or illness. These issues also pave the way to chronic physical illnesses like heart disease and blood pressure.
Being mentally unhealthy could stop you from concentrating on your daily work, reduce your performance, drive you to random moments of sadness or anger, and more. Despite having so many effects very few people acknowledge their problem or go for a checkup. This is mainly due to the stigma associated with mental illnesses. People tend to push away even those who come forward with their problems as attention-seeking or overreacting. The worst is when the attempts to address their problem are branded as ‘faking it’. The fewer people coming forward for treatment makes even few people to treat. Rates of mental health professionals vary from 2 for every 100,000 people in low-income countries to 70 for every 100,000 people in high-income countries. Mental health should be taken care of and mental illness shouldn’t be ignored for the basic fact that it exists and affects you just like any other ailment in your body.
How to identify that your mental health is deteriorating?
Every case of mental issues is different from the other and hence their symptoms may also vary. This is the key reason why people do not acknowledge their problem or even realize they have it. But if you have some of the following observations, you could always go to a therapist to check your mental health.
- Abnormal eating and sleeping patterns
- Not involving in activities which were once enjoyed
- Lack of energy all the time
- Feeling not good enough or hopeless
- Inability to do tasks and lack of focus
- Suicidal thoughts and intentions of self-harm
- Increase in alcohol intake or drug usage
Mental health in children and adolescents:
The transition from childhood to adulthood is huge. They would already be going through several hormonal, physical, and mental changes. Understanding these changes and growing with them is a huge task in itself. Added to this pressure from school and parents for marks and career choice could add further stress. Around 1 in 5 children in the world have some form of mental disorder. But, they are too young to interpret or even detect what is happening to them. This is why we need to understand the symptoms and identify if our children are suffering in silence. If you observe your child:
- Worried or angry all the time
- Wanting to be alone all the time
- Showing decline in performance
- Not involving in activities once enjoyed
- Daydreaming a lot and can’t focus
- Having suicidal thoughts
- Feeling that life is too hard and unfair only for them
- Needing to continuously wash hands or be extra-clean to feel ok
- Having constant nightmares
- Behave recklessly
- Go through vast changes in eating habits
- Consume alcohol or use drugs
Unfortunately, most parents fail to notice these changes or disregard their children’s words when they come forward themselves. This is a huge contributing factor to the worsening of your child’s mental health. Hence, stay alert and listen to your children.
How to improve mental health?
As mentioned earlier physical, mental, and social wellbeing together constitute good health.
Following a proper diet and exercising regularly is a great way to keep your mental health in check. Food supplies some vital nutrients and vitamins which cannot be prepared by the body on its own. These nutrients are important for your mental well-being. Similarly, exercising produces hormones that help keep your mind active, refreshed, and happy.
Being around the right people is also very important. Stay away from anyone who is mentally draining you or is the reason for your sadness. Open up to family and friends. Share your feelings with them and involve in things that keep you happy.
Ask for help!
All the above things are your efforts to keep you healthy mentally and physically. But illness might not always be in our control. Likewise, mental issues might affect you due to certain incidents in your life that you couldn’t control. Remember, mental illness is not something that gets cured if tried harder or if you tried to snap out of it. It is a health issue like any other that needs to be checked and can be cured with proper therapy and medication. It is not ‘just a phase’ or something that goes away if you ignore it.
It is perfectly fine to go for regular mental health check-ups or attend online quizzes that show where your wellness stands. For those who feel like, you are just over-exaggerating or faking your illness, if you can feel a change it already means something is wrong. You wouldn’t be feeling it if you were faking it. You might not always have a serious illness but it never hurts to get checked. Mental illnesses are completely curable under proper medication and therapy. So, do not ignore the signs and let your health worsen.