Becoming aware and caring for our mental health is crucial to our overall well-being, yet it often goes unnoticed and unaddressed. According to a report by Statista, mental health disorders can affect all age groups. The survey yielded a mind-bending discovery, as these depressive episodes occurred in people ages 18–50 and older.
This staggering statistic emphasises how important it is for us to take care of our mental health and understand its impact on everyday life, no matter which end of the spectrum we are in.
In this article, we will explore what nobody tells you about how your mental health affects all aspects of life – from work productivity and relationships to physical health. So let’s delve deeper into why taking care of your mental well-being should be prioritized.
Understanding mental health
Mental health encompasses more than just our emotional state; it affects our physical, psychological, and social well-being.
It is a complex system of biological, psychological, and social processes that interact to influence our sense of well-being, self-esteem, resilience, and ability to cope with adversity. Generally, mental health refers to our ability to think, express ourselves, manage stress and emotions effectively, make meaningful connections with others, and live a fulfilling life.
Mental health also includes positive thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and attitudes – like having hope for the future or feeling content in the present. It is an overall state of well-being and balance between our physical, psychological, and emotional aspects.
Therefore, taking care of your mental health ensures that you are in sync with all areas of life – physically, mentally, emotionally, and socially. This helps maintain a healthy lifestyle and ultimately provides a better quality of life.
What nobody tells you about mental Health
However, despite the importance of our overall mental condition, people who suffer often go through long periods without any recognition or help. Here’s what nobody tells you about mental health:
Stigma and discrimination
Stigma and discrimination can have far-reaching effects on mental health. Stigma is a form of social judgment where people are labeled or shamed for behaviors that society doesn’t accept. This can often lead to discrimination, which is the inequality of treatment among certain groups based on their identity or perceived character.
The stigma and discrimination faced by those with mental health problems can cause them to feel ashamed or embarrassed. This can lead to social isolation, contributing to a decline in mental well-being. We must create an environment where people feel comfortable discussing and addressing their mental health without fear of judgment.
Loneliness and invisible suffering
You can often overlook loneliness and invisible suffering in our society. Plenty of people who suffer from mental health issues will not express their feelings due to a lack of understanding from others.
This feeling leads to loneliness and contributes to a sense of ‘invisible suffering’ where the individual feels no one genuinely listens to them or understands their struggles. This perception can be especially damaging for those with no one else to talk to, making it difficult for them to receive the help and support they need.
Physical manifestations of mental health issues can include changes in appetite, sleeping habits, energy levels, and physical movements. These physical signs can indicate that one’s mental health is suffering or is somehow affected.
An example would be a lack of sleep, which can lead to irritability and fatigue while overeating may signal low self-esteem or depression. In some cases, physical problems can be caused by mental health issues such as headaches, digestive issues, or muscle tension.
Common mental health disorders
To make sense of mental health even further, you need to understand common mental health disorders. Here are some of a few:
Depression is a common but awful mental health condition that can severely impact a person’s life. Feelings of hopelessness, emptiness, and low self-esteem characterise it. While depression can hit anyone at any age, it is more prevalent among young adults and older people.
Symptoms include changes in sleep patterns, appetite, energy levels, concentration, and overall mood. These symptoms can manifest in the physical realm as headaches, fatigue, and digestive issues. Long-term depression can lead to social isolation or suicidal thoughts.
Phobias are another mental health condition. They are extreme and irrational fears of certain things or situations. They can range from everyday objects, such as spiders, to more complex ones, such as fear of heights, fear of thunder and lightning, or fear of public speaking. Sometimes, the fear can be so intense that it disrupts an individual’s life.
A traumatic event, hereditary traits, or the effects of stress can cause phobias. Symptoms include panic attacks, excessive sweating, trembling, and difficulty breathing. It is essential to seek medical help as soon as possible to address the issue before it gets out of hand.
Bipolar disorder is another mental health illness that affects one’s mood, energy levels, and ability to function. It involves extreme shifts in mood from manic highs to depressive lows. These episodes can last for days or weeks and significantly impair a person’s ability to lead an ordinary life.
People with bipolar disorder experience racing thoughts, increased risk-taking behavior, difficulty concentrating, and sleep disturbances. It is essential to seek help as soon as possible to manage these symptoms and prevent them from worsening. With professional treatment and support, individuals can lead a fulfilling life.
Take care of your mental health and live better
It’s important to remember that taking care of your psyche is vital to living a better life. Mental health affects physical, psychological, and emotional aspects, and it’s necessary to maintain balance in all these areas to live a fulfilling life. With professional help and support, individuals with mental disorders can still live normal lives. So don’t be afraid – take control of your mental health today.
Ellen Diamond, a psychology graduate from the University of Hertfordshire, has a keen interest in the fields of mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.