Mind And Body: Why Mental And Physical Health Are More Connected Than You Might Think
Did you know that mental health and physical health are actually intertwined?
Research shows that a large percentage of people struggle with mental health problems. That’s why it’s important to understand the relationship between mental and physical health so you can stay healthy.
Let’s go through some of the ways that these different types of help affect one another, and what you can do about it.
The Physical Effects of Mental Health
Mental health can actually impact your physical health in many ways that you may not have heard about before.
For one, mental health problems often cause symptoms like fatigue, which impact your physical health. People who suffer from fatigue are less likely to do enough exercise to maintain their health.
They also may struggle to do other tasks that help you stay healthy, such as going to the doctor and dentist when they need to.
Other side effects of mental illness, like anger, can cause damage to your heart when prolonged.
Some specific mental illnesses are linked to health problems. For example, people suffering from schizophrenia or bipolar disorder have around two times the likelihood of dying of cardiovascular problems. People who suffer from schizophrenia are also around three times the likelihood of dying of respiratory issues.
There are also studies that have shown that suffering from mental anguish, like depression or anxiety, for long periods of time may lead to an increased risk of suffering from cancer.
Mental health problems have been linked to specific illnesses such as various types of cancer, asthma, and gastrointestinal disorders. They could also be related to obesity, strokes, psoriasis, and many other issues.
Mental Health Treatment Can Affect Your Health
Unfortunately, many medications that people take for common mental health disorders can have an impact on your long-term physical health. Many medications can cause weight gain and weight loss. Weight changes can cause or exacerbate heart conditions.
And, some mental health medications can interact poorly with medications or treatments you may be taking to improve your physical health. For example, St. John’s wort has a tendency to interact with some medications.
And, being on the wrong treatment for your mental health problems can make your mental health problems worse. This can also cause physical health problems.
That’s why it’s important to talk to your healthcare professional about any side effects you may be having, like sudden changes to your mood.
It’s the best way to make sure you’re on a medication that fits your physical and mental health needs.
The Mental Effects of Physical Health
Additionally, physical health problems can have a huge impact on your mental health as well.
When you suffer from poor physical health, your mental health can also suffer. If chronic illness is preventing you from enjoying your life or spending time with your family, it can lead to depression because of the toll suffering can take on your body.
Illnesses such as diabetes and HIV/AIDS are just some of the few that can eventually lead to depression. Other diseases that can cause issues include Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis.
Chronic health problems are often specifically linked to higher rates of mental illness. If you suffer from several health crises, you may end up suffering from anxiety issues.
Plus, there are some physical health problems that directly lead to physical health problems. For example, thyroid disorders (such as hypothyroidism) can cause depression when left untreated. If you think you may be suffering from one of these conditions, talk to your doctor.
How To Improve Your Health
There are many ways you can improve your mental and physical health so that you can live a healthier lifestyle and enjoy your days more.
For one, what you eat affects your mental and physical health. Your nutrition levels and what you take in can make a huge difference when it comes to both your mental and physical health.
Eating a balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, and proteins is an important part of maintaining your physical health. Eating right can benefit your mental health as well.
If you struggle with poor sleep or insomnia, you can go with tools like lumbar support to help improve the quality of your sleep in the long term. Try creating a set sleep schedule for yourself, and stick to it in the long term. You could also book a consultation at a sleep clinic if your problems are more severe.
Regular exercise is an important tool for improving both your mental health. Exercise has been demonstrated to improve your mood, which helps ease mental health problems.
And, exercising regularly can really improve your physical health over time. If you don’t usually exercise, try starting slow. A half an hour of light exercise a few times a week is a good starting point. That way, you’ll be far less likely to burn yourself out in the long term.
If you think you may have severe mental health problems, you may want to consult a therapist or another type of mental health professional. They can help you talk through your feelings and decide about the next steps to take on your wellness journey.
You should also speak to your family doctor to make sure that the cause of your mental health problems isn’t rooted in an undiscovered physical health problem.
Mental and Physical Health Are Closely Linked
As you can see, mental and physical health are related. So, if you’re feeling poorly in one way, you’re likely to feel poorly for another. If you’re struggling with one or the other, make sure to contact a healthcare professional.
Are you interested in reading more about health, wellness, and related topics? Check out some of our other blogs today.