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Last Updated on June 16, 2022 by Randy Withers, LCMHC
- A healthy mind can help you enjoy your life to the fullest, achieve professional success, and tackle any challenges that come your way.
- Mental health issues may adversely impact your quality of life and diminish your ability to perform various tasks while undermining your physical health.
- It is crucial to understand the early symptoms of declining mental health and seek prompt treatment for the same.
- We need to remove the stigma surrounding mental health disorders and make their treatment accessible to everyone. Mental Health Awareness is critical in order to accomplish this.
- If you or a loved one is dealing with poor mental health, understand that it is similar to physical disease and encourage treatment and lifestyle changes to improve their mental health.
Mental health disorders might be similar to physical health issues in terms of impacting one’s quality of life. They can make everyday tasks difficult to perform and may hamper your confidence and independence.
Various mental health disorders are prevalent across the globe, such as depression, anxiety disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorder. In an increasingly competitive world, the incidence of these disorders continues to grow. Moreover, the pandemic has exposed people to isolation and loss, further tightening the grip of poor mental health on our society.
Your mental and emotional health play a crucial role in determining the quality of your life. A healthy brain can help you achieve your goals, improve your relationships, and maintain harmony in your daily routine.
Paying attention to your mental health is crucial for your overall well-being.
What Is Mental Health Awareness And Why Is It Important?
Unlike physical disorders and diseases that are accompanied by tell-tale symptoms, mental health issues often do not come with obvious symptoms. To add to this, the stigma around mental health disorders further prevents those suffering from mental health issues to seek appropriate treatment.
Spreading mental health awareness is crucial, as it will enable early identification and prompt treatment of these disorders. Thus, initiatives like World Mental Health Day and Mental Health Awareness Month are essential drivers for changing the global mental health landscape.
Quoting an excerpt from an article on goodmenproject.com – “People going through addiction or mental health problems aren’t always aware that they need to see a specialist. For starters, they rarely believe that they have a mental health problem. Some may feel that the issue isn’t that serious and can be addressed by them without necessarily seeking treatment.”
It further emphasizes the need to spread awareness regarding the signs of mental health issues and encourage those suffering to seek treatment at the earliest. Early treatment of mental health issues may help prevent severe mental disorders or physical health impediments caused by the same.
Factors That Impact Mental Health
Various internal and external factors may adversely impact your mental and emotional health, making you susceptible to mental health disorders. Some of the common factors resulting in poor mental health include:
- Hereditary factors or a family history of mental disease
- Exposure to trauma, abuse, or highly stressful situations in your life
- Poor diet or an unhealthy lifestyle
- Substance abuse
- Genetic predisposition
If any or all of these factors apply to you, you may be at a higher risk of mental health issues. However, you may prevent or manage them with stress management, therapy, or clinical treatment.
As many of these causes of poor mental health are external and fairly ubiquitous, any individual may develop mental health issues. Don’t consider poor mental health as a personal shortcoming. Instead, seek treatment for it as you would for a physical disease.
Common Symptoms Of Poor Mental Health
Studies have been investigating the efficacy of early screening and preventive measures to reduce the risk of severe mental health disorders. Understanding and identifying the common symptoms of poor mental health is a crucial step for these screening activities. Even as an individual, recognizing the early signs of poor mental health can help identify and manage your stressors. It might also help you seek treatment in the early stages, preventing severe symptoms. So, keep an eye out for the following symptoms that are indicators of declining mental health:
- Sudden change in your appetite
- Lack of interest in activities that you used to enjoy
- Declining energy and stamina
- Not wanting to interact with your social circle
- A feeling of numbness or hopelessness
- Inability to perform routine tasks
- Unexplained aches and pains
- Voices in your head
- Mood swings
- Sudden urges to harm yourself or others
- Spells of confusion, anger, forgetfulness, or anxiety
While you may confuse some of these symptoms for usual responses to a stressful scenario, if they persist for days or weeks, you must consult a professional. Therapy or treatment at an early stage is often more effective compared to treatment when the symptoms become more severe. It is the reason why initiatives like World Mental Health Day focus on educating people regarding these symptoms and removing the stigma around mental health treatment.
What To Do If You Struggle With Mental Illness
It is always recommended to visit a professional when dealing with mental health issues. They can suggest the appropriate treatment or therapy to ease your symptoms. Additionally, you can reach out to your friends and family for support and even join a support group to connect with others fighting the same symptoms.
After identifying your symptoms, you can use the following methods to improve your mental health.
- Psychotherapy – According to studies, different types of psychotherapy may help those struggling with mental health issues like depression. Short-term psychotherapy may provide immediate relief, but depending on the severity of your symptoms, you may need long-term psychotherapy. Consult a licensed therapist who can help you choose the best therapy as per your symptoms and needs.
- Pharmacotherapy – Pharmacotherapy for mental disorders includes medications that alter your brain chemistry to placate your symptoms. These medicines may include antidepressants or anti-anxiety medication, as per your current symptoms. Your doctor may prescribe these medications along with therapy or as a standalone treatment. You must follow the dosage and duration of pharmacotherapy as prescribed by your doctor.
- Lifestyle Improvements – A sedentary lifestyle may further aggravate poor mental health. So, try to include exercise and outdoor activities in your daily routine. Exercise is not just a healthy distraction from disturbing thoughts but also releases endorphins in the brain. These endorphins can improve your mood and boost the efficacy of other treatments for mental health issues. Also, try to get 7-9 hours of sleep daily to boost your mental health.
- Better Diet – A healthy diet rich in vitamins, minerals, and omega-3 fatty acids may help boost your mental health. Include fruits, nuts, and fatty fish in your meals to get adequate quantities of these nutrients. Avoid sugary foods as they can increase your stress. Furthermore, avoid smoking, alcohol, and excess caffeine consumption as these can worsen the symptoms of various mental health disorders.
- Socializing – Isolation can often aggravate mental illness. Try to mingle with your friends or family members. Even a video call with a loved one can drastically boost your mental health.
- Journaling And Meditation – Journaling and meditation are both techniques that help you practice mindfulness. Journaling helps you express and understand your emotions and stressors better. It can also make you gain a clearer perspective of your life and find things to be grateful for.
Apart from these activities, mindful breathing, gardening, and nature walks may also be helpful. With the above treatment strategies and tips to improve mental health, you may notice an improvement in your symptoms within a few weeks. Remember, you are not alone in this struggle, and reach out to your doctor and loved ones for any support you may need during your recovery.
Final Thoughts on Mental Health Awareness
A healthy mind is essential for enjoying your everyday life, succeeding at work, solving problems, building relationships, and maintaining excellent physical health. Hence, mental health awareness is needed to tackle any symptoms and boost your brain health. The first step is to familiarize yourself with the early symptoms of declining mental health so that you can seek prompt treatment. Equally crucial is removing the stigma around mental health issues and making treatment accessible to all.
If you are dealing with any symptoms of mental health disorders, make sure to consult a specialist at the earliest and reach out to your loved ones for support. Besides medical treatments like therapy and medications, you can also try lifestyle changes to improve your mental health. These include being more physically active, eating healthy, sleeping well, journaling, and meditating.
So, if you or a loved one is struggling with poor mental health, try these methods for a smooth recovery. Also, spread mental health awareness with friends and family so that we can tackle this global crisis together.