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The Connection Between Mental Health and Physical Health
Probably everyone at least once in their lives has faced psychological issues or problems that are difficult to solve on their own. What do people usually do in such cases? Do they go to specialists? Unfortunately, as Statista Corporation shows us, only 41.4 million people in the entire United States went to a specialist in 2020. To give you an idea, that’s less than 13% of the U.S. population. Typically, people tried to solve their problems on their own, not even realizing that by doing so they were not only harming their mental health but also their physical health.
To stay healthy, people need to be in harmony with themselves and the world around them. Different diseases arise when the mental and physical balance is disturbed. The physical disorder affects the mental condition of the person and vice versa.
Very often, physical illnesses can be based on a person’s mental condition. But how does mental health affect physical health? Read on and you’ll find out.
How does mental health affect physical health?
A person’s general health condition greatly affects their life in general. If your client has stable and positive mental health, they are likely to have fewer health problems and be much happier.
Practice shows that people who have had any kind of mental illness or complexes, depression or anxiety, may over time begin to suffer from serious physical illnesses like heart attacks or strokes. In addition, the health condition of a person worsens in general and can develop diabetes, asthma, or even cancer.
The most elementary example would be exams. If the teacher tells you for a year that you will not be able to pass the exam, most likely, you will begin to have doubts about your knowledge and abilities. As a result, this develops into a lot of stress, after which you may develop depression. Usually, depressed people are inclined to suffer from serious eating problems: some eat everything in a row and develop bulimia, and some don’t eat at all and suffer from gallbladder problems.
Neglecting feelings and emotions can lead to serious illness and health conditions such as:
Of course, depression can cause any serious illness. When a person has depression or anxiety, the risk of chronic ailments is about 33%, but that’s not insignificant. Of course, the chronic disease will not appear sharply, but the effect will accumulate and as a result there will be a chronic disease. A person’s health condition can worsen with each passing day and the pain of illness becomes more and more unbearable.
Below, you can check statistics on the occurrence of various illnesses caused by mental health problems:
Possible diseases in mental disorders
Possible percentage of occurrence of the disease
from 10 to 27%
Coronary artery disease
from 18 to 20%
Chronic Pain Syndrome
from 30 to 54%
from 40 to 60%
One of the unpleasant consequences is that such chronic diseases are very difficult to treat. Specialists advise starting treating not the physical health, but the mental health because once you deal with it, it will be much easier to cure a chronic disease. However, not all clients go to the doctor right away; this should be encouraged. If your client has obvious signs, advise him or her to go to the doctor.
People with depression and other mental illnesses are more likely to develop inflammatory processes or autoimmune disorders such as irritable colon syndrome, type II diabetes, and arthritis.
As with chronic illnesses, autoimmune processes are very difficult to cure while a person’s mental health is at an abnormal level.
In many cases, people may have trouble sleeping. People often begin to complain that they have difficulty falling asleep and then have difficulty waking up.
Statistically, in more serious cases, a person can develop insomnia. As a result, people it leads to fatigue, where a person cannot do even basic things, or lethargy, which can manifest in daily routines, headaches and even visual hallucinations.
Diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, or constipation can be symptoms of mental disorders as well. This may be because depression alters the brain’s response to stress by inhibiting the activity of the hypothalamus, pituitary gland, and adrenal glands.
When there is nervous and mental overstrain, and constant anxiety, there is an increase in gastric secretion, which may lead to damage to the mucous membrane of the stomach and duodenum, up to the formation of ulcers.
And these problems may be related to another one.
People whose mental health is not ok can acquire addictions. These include smoking, drinking, drugs, and even excessive food consumption. In the case of drugs, there can be much more serious problems, and a person can’t manage without the help of a specialist.
The constant availability of junk snacks like fast food, cookies, chips, etc., gives people the opportunity to “snack” on the problem. Frequent, uncontrolled eating, including the abuse of alcoholic beverages, combined with a sedentary lifestyle, contributes to the occurrence or exacerbation of pancreatic and liver disease.
Our recommendation to improve your mental health
If you work with a client who has even the slightest signs of depression, they need to see a psychologist. Or you can help, if you are sure that you will succeed.
But for prevention, everyone needs to take care of both physical health and mental health. And we have highlighted a few options to follow:
- Regular Sports. We agree that sometimes it can be lazy to exercise, but who better than a trainer to know the importance of physical activity. Sports are not only great for our physical health, but also our mental health. This is a good way to get away from the routine, as a change of scenery helps to improve life and exercise helps to produce the necessary hormones for the brain, which affect good mood. Also, it is not necessary to choose a sport that the client doesn’t like. The client can try to do yoga. FitWell Content provides a unique 3-in-1 Yoga & Mindfulness & Meditation Bundle program that will help clients completely transform their health.
- Enough Sleep. Set your client up to get 8 hours of sleep a day, at least. That way they can maintain their mental health in order.
- A balanced diet. Your client needs to forget about junk foods. It will be right if their diet includes healthy foods. Perhaps, it is not so delicious, but definitely more beneficial. You can find appetizing and healthy recipes that your client will like here.
- Professional help. If fatigue and weakness last for a long time, have a medical checkup and take some tests. If all indicators are normal, then it is worth talking to the specialist who will figure out what’s on your heart.
Possible, but not certain. They manifest themselves in an unwillingness to do something, apathy, closedness, or, on the contrary, complaining about problems. In these cases, it is worthwhile for the client to go to counselling with a psychologist. Keep a close eye on the client, and at the first sign try to talk to them.
Yes, if everything is done regularly. When people are healthy, they are happy.
Because when a client will do yoga exercises, they will concentrate on their thoughts. But if a person likes squatting instead of yoga, why not?