Importance of Mental Health

Mental health is a psychological state of well being that includes our emotional, psychological and social fitness status. It affects the way one thinks, feels and acts. It determines our ability to handle stress, relationships, and decision making. Our behaviors are driven by the status of our mental health. It includes managing any of the following conditions:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Stress
  • Memory loss
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Mood swing disorders
  • Bipolar disorders
  • Personality disorders and many others.

Early warning signs

Experiencing a multitude of following conditions can be indicative of mental health problems. Early warning signs include:

  • Overeating, anorexia, or not eating at all
  • Excessive or too little sleep
  • Pulling yourself away from social activities
  • Feeling low or depressed all the time
  • Experiencing unexplained aches and pains
  • Feeling hopeless about the events of your life
  • Blaming yourself all the time for all the negative events in life
  • Experiencing severe mood swings leading to problems in relationships
  • Having a pre-occupied mind, always thinking about some event of life
  • Being unable to focus or concentrate on daily activities
  • Low work or school performance
  • Inability to improve yourself
  • Hearing strange voices or believing things that are not real
  • Always thinking about the past and future and not focusing on present events
  • Talking to yourself
  • Social isolation

Importance of mental health

Positive and sound mental health allows individuals to realize their full potential and to handle the stress of life optimistically. It allows them to gain excellence in work and make meaningful contributions to society.

How to maintain sound mental health?

  • Seek the help of a neurologist or a psychiatrist if needed
  • Try to connect with your friends and family and do not stay alone all the time
  • Express yourself and talk about your problems to a friend or family member
  • Stay positive and always look at the brighter perspective
  • Try to help others
  • Get enough sleep daily
  • Develop the ability to manage stress and life problems

Here are some of the common myths and facts about mental health

Myth: It is a common myth that children do not experience mental health issues.

Fact: Mental health can affect individuals of any age group whether children, adults or the elderly. Mental health problems are clinically diagnosable and occur as a result of various biological, psychological, social and political factors.

Unfortunately, only 20% of children and adolescents with mental health problems receive the required treatment.

Myth: People with a mental health problem are violent and their behaviors are unpredictable.

Fact: Many people with mental illness are no more likely to be violent than other individuals of society.

Recovery is always possible

Most people with mental health problems seek treatment and live a normal life. Recovery and rehabilitation is an ongoing process that happens over time. The first step is to seek help and reach out to a health care professional or a neurologist in your area.

 Depression affects 16 million American adults each year and the number is rising day by day. A person with depression can present various symptoms depending upon the individual and its environment.

It can be caused by a variety of factors including genetic background or history, medication, use of drugs or alcohol, grief or extreme stress and mental and behavioral disorders. The best way is to reach out to a neurologist and discuss all your health-related concerns. Often, people living with depression or any other mental illness let themselves go untreated due to the associated social stigma, the lack of available treatment options or access to affordable care.

Four dimensions of recovery

There are 4 major dimensions that could help lead to recovery:

1. Health

Make informed health choices that will lead to good physical, mental and emotional well being.

2. Family

Develop a strong and healthy relationship with your family and speak out about your problems. Express yourself and seek their advice.

3. Purpose

Engage yourself in useful activities that you find interesting such as playing a sport, volunteering, being creative, cooking, starting a job or a new degree, or any activity you find interesting.

4. Community

Build relationships and supportive networks of positive thinking.

Develop a recovery plan

If you are struggling with a mental health problem, make a recovery plan.

  • It will enable you to identify your goal
  • Specify the steps you can take to execute those goals
  • Plan new activities for yourself
  • Work out a schedule to incorporate all your daily tasks
  • Track any changes in your mental health status
  • Identify the triggers or any other stressful event that makes you disturbed and lookout for ways to manage that.
  • Get information about the good neurologists or psychologists in your area and reach out to them for consultation.

The social stigma associated with mental health

The social stigma and taboos associated with mental health create a barrier for patients to seek help and get treatment. Mental and behavioral health treatments are considered beyond the realm of traditional medical practices. It further alienates the patients of depression, anxiety or other mental disorders.

Treatment of clinical depression

Patients of chronic diseases are at a higher risk of developing depression or other mental disorders. The patients should consult an experienced psychiatrist or health care professional. Treatment aims to rehabilitate the patient to a normal life, where he can live with positivity and focus on his work and personal life. A therapist may prescribe medication, provide brief therapeutic interventions and support ongoing treatment needs, and connect the patient to the outside environment.

Depression harms the life of the individual and their associated family, friends, and colleagues. It is difficult to make a decision, speak about it and seek professional help. However, remember that you are not alone and depression can be treated and managed effectively. Every individual has the right to attain their health goals and to feel good about themselves.

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