Why Mental Health Matters And Why It Is Important To Your Health
Mental health refers to cognitive, behavioral, and emotional well-being. It is all about how people think, feel, and behave. People sometimes use the term “mental health” to mean the absence of a mental disorder.
Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. Mental health affects how we think, feel and act. Your mental health can help how you handle stress, related to others, and how you make choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.
Mental and physical health are equally important to your overall health. Mental illness, especially depression, increase the risk for many types of physical health problems, particularly long-lasting conditions like stroke, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.
Mental health is essential to personal well-being, family and the ability to contribute to society. Mental health awareness is super important and can save lives. Mental health is important to living a healthy, balanced life. One in five American people experience mental health issues, according to the National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI).
Mental health impacts how you feel, think and behave each day. Your mental health contributes to what you decide to do with your day, how you handle stress, and the healthy state of your body.
Being healthy emotionally can promote a better environment overall. When you feel better everyone around you feels better. Mental health plays an important part in your relationships, and allows you to adapt to changes in your life.
Common Mental Health Disorders
The most common types of mental illness are as follows:
- Anxiety disorders
- Mood disorders
- Schizophrenia disorders
Anxiety Disorders: According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety disorders are the most common type of mental illness.
People with these conditions have severe fear or anxiety, which relates to certain objects or situations. Most people with an anxiety disorder will try to avoid exposure to whatever triggers their anxiety.
Mood Disorders: People with these conditions have significant changes in mood, generally involving either mania, which is a period of high energy and elation, or depression.
- Major depression: May experience a constant low mood and loses interest in activities and events that they previously enjoyed. They may feel prolonged periods of sadness or extreme sadness.
- Bipolar disorder: May experience unusual changes in their mood, energy levels, levels of activity, and ability to continue with daily life. High moods are known as manic phases, while depressive phases bring on low mood.
- Seasonal affective disorder: Reduced daylight triggers during the fall, winter, and early spring months trigger this type of major depression.
What Causes Someone’s Mental Health To Change Over Time
Someone’s mental health can change over time when demands placed on a them exceed their resources and coping abilities. A good example is, if someone is working long hours caring for an ill relative or experiencing economic hardship they may experience poor mental health.
Mental Health Early Warning Signs:
- Withdrawing from friends, family, and colleague
- Being confused
- 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
Ways To Maintain Positive Mental Health Include:
- Getting professional help if you need it
- Meditating and deep breathing
- Having a support group network
- Staying positive
- Connecting with others
- Being physically active
- Helping others
- Getting enough sleep
- Developing coping skills
Hopefully you learned why mental health matters and why it is important to your health. Please feel free to share your experience in the comments below! Stay safe and God bless.