Mental health is necessary for everyone’s well-being. A mental illness is a disease that causes mild to severe disturbances in thought and/or behavior, resulting in an inability to cope with life’s ordinary demands and routines.
In the medical, health and fitness community there has been a shift in how mental health is now seen connected to not just the mind but the physical body. So much of what we do physically affects us mentally. Learning the best ways to improve mental health and being aware of signs of someone who may be experiencing mental health problems are very important.
A healthy lifestyle can help to prevent the onset or worsening of mental health conditions like depression and anxiety, as well as heart disease, diabetes, obesity and other chronic health problems. It can also play a big role in helping people recover from these conditions. Taking good care of your body is part of a before Stage Four approach to mental health.
Getting the appropriate amount of exercise can help control weight, improve mental health, and help you live longer and healthier. Recent research is also connecting your nutrition and gut health with your mental health. Sleep also plays a critical role in all aspects of our life and overall health. Getting a good night's sleep is important to having enough physical and mental energy to take on daily responsibilities. And we all know that stress can have a huge impact on all aspects of our health, so it’s important to take time to focus on stress-reducing activities like meditation and yoga. Joining a gym or yoga studio, hiring a personal trainer, practicing mindfulness with varied types of meditation will help guide you on a path to improving your mental and physical health.
Increasing Awareness: What to Look for and Recognizing the Signs in Children and Adults
Anxiety, Phobias, Obsessive-compulsive disorder, Panic disorder can be normal for adults and even children but when the worries of a child or adult begin to control their daily life it could signal a disorder.
According to Mental Health America; Most people believe that mental disorders are rare and “happen to someone else." In fact, mental disorders are common and widespread. An estimated 54 million Americans suffer from some form of mental disorder in a given year.
Most families are not prepared to cope with learning their loved one has a mental illness. It can be physically and emotionally trying, and can make us feel vulnerable to the opinions and judgments of others.
There are more than 200 classified forms of mental illness. Some of the more common disorders are depression, bipolar disorder, dementia, schizophrenia and anxiety disorders. Symptoms may include changes in mood, personality, personal habits and/or social withdrawal. With proper care and treatment many individuals learn to cope or recover from a mental illness or emotional disorder.
To learn more about symptoms that are specific to a particular mental illness, search under Mental Health Information or refer to the Mental Health America brochure on that illness.
If you or someone you know is in crisis now, seek help immediately. Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) to reach a 24 hour crisis center or dial 911 for immediate assistance.