“It’s up to you today to start making healthy choices. Not choices that are just healthy for your body, but healthy for your mind.”― Steve Maraboli
Click Here To Read A Specific Topic
My smile does not always mean I am okay, I may smile, but my world is crushing into tiny bits. If I say “I’m fine,” it does not mean everything is going well; I may be trying to put on a brave face. I may be funny and supportive to my friends but breaking inside. The major problem with mental health is that it is certainly not straightforward. Unfortunately, there is no health without mental health.
What Is Mental Health?
The conversation around mental health is not new, but not old either. Unfortunately, it is a menace that has slowly crept into our society and is eating up our people. So what is this elephant that everyone needs to know about? Mental health can be described as our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. Essentially, mental is integral to our overall health. It is a critical part of any human being’s ability to cope with everyday stress, stay productive, and make a meaningful contribution to the community around them.
You are not alone.
Dealing with mental illness is not easy. This is primarily due to the unending stigma around mental issues and one’s ability to handle stress. Not everyone can remain conscious during difficult moments or even in the face of the pressures of life. The numbers of those affected are alarming, making it necessary to make everyone feel supported. Each person’s story may be unique; however, the struggle is more or less the same. It is not shameful to be mentally overwhelmed, feel anxious, or feel like you are not controlling your thoughts. If you can acknowledge the presence of a mental issue, then something can be done about it. Opening up to get help is the first definite step in the right direction.
Effects Of Mental Health
Mental health is a genuine concern, and the effects of mental illness are very dear If not treated timely. Most often than not, it has a ripple effect not only on those affected but also on their families. It creates stress, creates tension, uncertainty and at times takes a complete toll on the lives of those affected. If untreated, mental illnesses can lead to the following situations;
1. Reduced quality of life
Most people affected by mental illnesses find it hard to stay happy or control their happiness (in bipolar). As a result, at times, they get detached from their emotions and, more often than not, fake happiness while around others.
Whether it is family conflict or conflict in relationships, mental illnesses can lead to social isolation disguised in problems such as anger issues, insecurities, etc. In addition, conflict may arise from the lack of understanding for the affected person or denial of a mental disorder.
3. Unproductivity in school and at work
Several mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression can tremendously limit an individual’s performance. Those affected exhibit signs of demotivation and inability to concentrate, among other symptoms. Consequently, it affects their ability to screen out environmental stimuli, making it hard for them to perform at the workplace or school.
4. Drug addiction
Several people diagnosed with drug addiction are often found to suffer from mental disorders and vice versa- dual diagnosis in which either can cause the other. It can be a short-term or long-term effect depending on how early the affected gets help.
5. Weak Immune system
They say the mind controls the rest of the body, which is true. However, mental disorders occur disguised as other diseases and physical illnesses such as insomnia, reduced appetite, convulsions, heart disease, and migraines. Typically, mental disorders such as depression weaken the immune system and increase the body’s susceptibility to illnesses. Scientifically, it is explained as an increase in stress hormones such as adrenaline which compromise the body’s ability to fight infections.
6. Self-harm and harm to others
Mental disorders undermine an individual’s reasoning and interest in life. If worse gets worse, the person becomes suicidal, and If left alone, they may constantly think of death as a solution. As a result, people suffering may become a threat to themselves and those around them.
How To Treat Mental Disorder?
Mental disorders can be controlled and treated through medical and non-medical methods. These treatment options work differently for different people; therefore, seeking professional help is highly recommended. A professional is better placed to diagnose the problem and advise on the best treatment option to explore. In some cases, a combination of two or more treatment options works best. Some of these treatment options include:
– Psychotherapy is a form of therapeutic treatment that is provided by a mental health professional. It involves exploring thoughts, feelings, and behaviours in an attempt to improve the person’s well-being.
– Medication– Although medicines cannot cure mental health, they help manage the symptoms towards recovery. This treatment option is commonly combined with psychotherapy.
– Case Management– involves using a case manager to assess, plan and implement several strategies that facilitate recovery.
– Hospitalization- confinement or hospitalization is effected for individuals that need close monitoring, when an accurate diagnosis is required or when there is a need to adjust medication when the illness worsens.
– Peer supports from individuals that have undergone similar experiences.
– Self-help plans whereby the individual addresses the condition and implements strategies that promote wellness.
It is fundamental to create an environment that supports mental health by creating awareness and acknowledging the importance of mental health’s civil, political, socio-economic, and cultural rights. This means promoting national health policies and programs that are sensitive to the needs of those affected and their families. The participation of society gives everyone a chance to control their health and significantly reduce the impact of mental disorders on the world.