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Your Mental Health Matters: Causes and What You Can Do

With the fast-paced environment that we live in today, there are many things that one should take care of. Aside from our personal responsibilities and obligations and social relationships, there are other essential things that one should be conscious about– our overall wellness.

Often, we only focus on getting through each day and being able to fulfil our roles which causes us to overlook our health. And when we do take a step to live a healthy life, many of us are guilty of focusing only on our physical aspect and forgetting about getting a rain check on our mental health. 

There could be many reasons behind this; unfortunately, being taboo is one of them. The mental health stigma dramatically contributes to why many people who seek help for their mental disorders choose not to come forward, suffer in silence and refuse to speak to professionals who can help them.

Over the years, the discussion of the importance of mental health has been on the rise. Concerning this, the World Health Organisation honours October 10th of each year as the World Mental Health Day to promote and support mental health awareness. This aims to reduce or alleviate the stigma surrounding mental health and illnesses so that those who suffer from them get the appropriate attention and treatment.

Mental Health and Its Importance

Health is defined as the complete wellness of our physical, psychological and social states, which means that our mental and physical health go hand in hand. Keeping them in good shape enables us to make healthy choices, making them significant to living a healthy and balanced life.

Unfortunately, mental health issues are more common than we think. In fact, according to the National Health Service (NHS) in England, one out of four adults and one in every ten children experience mental illness. And because the occurrence continuously increases, everyone must be aware of the importance of keeping our mental health in excellent condition.

When we are physically unwell, our mental health also suffers, resulting in other health problems. For example, when someone suffers from a long-term physical illness, it can be hard for them to cope with the situation. It can also make them lose enthusiasm and make it difficult for them to have a brighter outlook. In worse instances, this can bring a lot of stress and anxiety resulting in more complex conditions.

Regardless of what stage people are in life, mental health matters because it plays a crucial part in managing relationships, coping in times of challenges, and adapting to change. Having poor mental health not only affects the way we think, but it is also possible to manifest as actual physical pains and more.

Common Causes

Mental health issues are not an easy thing to spot. While some are displaying apparent symptoms, some are also difficult to recognise because they are easy to hide, especially when someone with a mental condition is afraid to let those around them know about what they are going through. 

Bad life experiences can adversely affect your psychological and emotional wellness. They can come from situations like a history of abuse, sexual assault, trauma, and witnessing violence from childhood or at any point in life, which can impact mental health. 

Because of this, those who have gone through such adversaries have a higher risk for psychological concerns like Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD), which can trigger panic attacks and increased risk of developing physical health problems.

Chronic medical conditions can also contribute to mental health deterioration. People with severe and long-term physical illnesses like cancer, diabetes, heart conditions, or chronic pain are prone to suffering from mental health issues due to their inability to live a normal life again.  

Often, people feel discouraged and sad when diagnosed with these conditions as it could mean adapting to a new reality. For many, coping with the challenges, changes, and treatment that come with the diagnosis is difficult. These trigger persistent sadness that leads to depression, anxiety, changes in appetite, and even suicidal thoughts.

For some, the most significant factor that causes their mental problems is their family history or genes. It is usually used as a clue to determine someone’s risk for developing a mental disorder. Conditions like anxiety, depression and bipolar disorders are some hereditary mental conditions that tend to run in families.

What You Can Do:

Speak to a psychiatrist

Dealing with mental problems is difficult, and you don’t have to do it alone. Help is always available; you can seek it as your first step to improving. If you feel that your symptoms are debilitating or starting to affect your daily life, speaking to a psychiatrist can be helpful.

Psychiatrists are the experts when it comes to mental health. They can help you diagnose mental issues professionally by assessing your psychological and physical symptoms and work with you to develop a particular treatment plan that suits you. 

Often, people get reluctant to approach medical professionals due to fear of judgement. But take note that Psychiatrists are professionals who are equipped to provide treatment, medication, or therapies that can help you get through your mental issues.

Consider medical cannabis

If you feel that the standard medication prescribed by your psychiatrist is insufficient to help your mental issues, you can consider alternative methods like medical cannabis. 

Commonly referred to as weed, pot, or marijuana, this plant has earned a bad reputation in the past relating to addiction and drug abuse. But contrary to popular belief about its negative effects, anecdotal evidence and scientific studies about the plant’s benefits suggests that it may actually help with an array of physical and mental issues when consumed properly. 

In fact, more and more countries are legalising the use of medical cannabis to enable patients to have access to cannabis legally and benefit from its therapeutic properties, like in the UK. This gave way to UK medical cannabis clinics with specialist doctors to issue legal prescriptions. After the patient provides access to their health records and undergoes evaluation, they can be eligible for cannabis prescriptions and authorised to get their medical cannabis from pharmacies.

Cannabis contains an array of cannabinoids, terpenoids, and flavonoids. It has a way of regulating our bodies, which may cause immediate and long-term effects. According to a scientific study on the potential impact of the use of cannabis, using marijuana on conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, anxiety disorders, and bipolar disorder has demonstrated improved outcomes over time. While, for patients with PTSD, frequent use of this plant has reduced their anxiety and improved sleep quality. 

Join self-help groups

Aside from connecting with your friends and family, you can also opt to join self-help groups. Aside from giving you tools to deepen your self-awareness and help you cope with your mental state in healthier ways, this can help you find and interact with individuals with similar experiences. Doing so can contribute to self-empowerment and provide better emotional support. It is also considered an adjunct to formal therapy as sessions in this kind of support group can be facilitated by a professional counsellor or are peer-led. 

Self-help groups can come in many forms. It can be a traditional support group where you gather in meeting rooms or public spaces and socialise face-to-face with people who have experienced the same challenges and adversity. Another form is an online support community where you can join online forums and closed social networks. This can make it easier for those uncomfortable speaking about their experiences in front of many people.

The phrase strength in numbers is especially true with this way of managing health issues. By joining, you never have to face your fears and mental battles alone.

Alexia Hope

Alexia is the author at Research Snipers covering all technology news including Google, Apple, Android, Xiaomi, Huawei, Samsung News, and More.