Why Mental Health is just as important as Physical Health

 2nd Feb 2016

Due to the intangibility of the mind, mental health is often overshadowed by biological diseases despite becoming increasingly problematic.

It is important to approach health in a holistic manner to ensure all aspects of a person’s wellbeing are addressed rather than simply prioritising one.

In this blog we will be exploring the reasons why mental health is just as important as physical health.

Lifestyle Factors Affect Both Areas

The detrimental effects of smoking, alcohol and substance abuse on the body are well known but they can also lead to problems in people’s mental wellbeing. Long term smoking can lead to addiction in order to replenish dopamine, a chemical which influences happiness.

Furthermore, it has been found smoking is twice as common in people with depression as it is used to temporarily elevate mood through the mild, but socially acceptable “high” it provides the user.

The structure of a person’s life plays a huge role in their overall happiness too. People who are forced to work excessively or are unable to engage sufficiently in social activities can become increasingly stressed in situations in which their peers would be otherwise unaffected.

One Condition Can Lead to the Development of Others

When a person is diagnosed with a mental condition, it can often instigate the onset of other symptoms or even an additional mental illness entirely.

For instance, a person with anxiety may develop paranoia as a result of social isolation and insecurity and this can then be a causal factor for clinical depression. This is just one example of a concept which can apply to numerous different illnesses which affect people of all ages.

Poor Mental Health Has a Knock-on Effect on Physical Health

The development of many mental health illnesses can also have consequences on a person’s physical health.

Depression can either increase or decrease the production of various essential chemicals in the body, one of which is serotonin. A serotonin deficiency can place a negative impact of an individual’s pain threshold as well as their appetite and overall mood.

Furthermore, panic attacks can be a recurrent symptom for people with severe anxiety which can cause sweating, muscle tension, chest pain and other distressing sensations.

Many People Hide Mental Illnesses

The scarcity of discussion around the topic as well as the prevalent stigma associated with mental health has caused many people to either hide their condition or avoid speaking about it with friends, family or a doctor.

This means that many of the published statistics about the number of people living with depression, anxiety and other abundant mental disorders may in fact be far lower than the true figures, therefore making the issue of mental health far greater than we currently realise.

Furthermore, despite mental health care amounting to over £100 billion a year in social and economic cost, only one quarter of people suffering are currently being treated.

Whether you’re a parent or simply a friend of someone you believe is displaying abnormal behaviour, it is important to educate yourself on the symptoms of the more common mental illnesses as; otherwise, a potential issue may go unnoticed.

If you’d like to learn about the aforementioned effects poor mental wellbeing has on a person’s physical health, click here to read one of our blogs which goes into further detail on the subject.

Encompass Dorset helps people with mental health illnesses and learning difficulties every day to live independent, fulfilling lives.

Find out how our caring team can help you or a loved one by clicking here.

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