Mental health is an essential aspect of your life but is often overlooked. Often the mind and body are labeled as two separate entities, however, when considering overall health, the clear distinction between the two must be eradicated. Poor physical health can contribute to mental health issues. Similarly, unstable mental health can leave you prone to physical health issues often heightening your risk of developing certain illnesses.
Mental Health and Mental Fitness
In today’s era, we face a few unique circumstances. Although we are free to do what we want, we often find ourselves bound by our freedom. The expectations and the pressure associated with daily life can get distressing. In times when you feel like things are beyond your control, you reach out and call for help. Mental illness is the leading cause of disability in the United States. This statement alone should be able to make anyone understand the groundbreaking impact of mental instability in today’s world.
Mental health is not the only factor that one must consider when assessing brain health. Mental agility or fitness is another neglected part of mental health that does not get the kind of attention that it deserves. Being mentally fit refers to keeping your brain active by constantly engaging it in various exercises that allow the mind to remain alert and stimulated. If you exercise regularly, your muscle adapts to it, and over time it gains mass and becomes stronger. However, if you quit, that same muscle lags and does not perform in a similar way. The same paradigm can be applied to the brain tissue. The more you exercise, the more active it becomes, and thus, it naturally gets prone to neurocognitive illnesses such as dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, etc. Brain tests for dementia reveal that the majority of patients reporting with signs of neurocognitive changes are those who were not mentally fit.
Why check your mental health and agility: its importance
- Awareness: Mental illness happens to be more common than cancer, diabetes or heart disease. This speaks volumes about its impact, and it should be enough to spark awareness amongst others to be more vocal about it. According to the World Health Organization, half of the world’s youth struggling with mental health issues develop them before the tender age of 14. These alarming statistics call for urgent measures, so more and more people can recognize, understand, process and implement steps to take control of the situation.
- Differentiate: Many different kinds of mental illnesses can affect people. Depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, OCD, PTSD, personality disorder, and manic-depressive disorder are some of the few known examples of mental illnesses that are found around us. Unfortunately, due to many societal stigmas, we fail to recognize and differentiate one disease from another, making it even more difficult for individuals to get better. Being able to distinguish what condition is affecting someone is vital so that they may be able to process it and work towards the betterment. After personally experiencing it and going through their set of symptoms, one may be able to reach out to others in a better way to help them understand what they’re feeling.
- Increased Risk: Mental disability significantly increases one’s risk of developing many other illnesses and also leaves them prone to self-harm. HIV, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and neurocognitive disorders like dementia are some of the few illnesses that may affect a mental health patient. Also, drug and substance abuse is a common inclination for many who are suffering. Diabetes, CVD, and dementia are mainly the results of stress and emotional trauma associated with mental illness and mental incompatibility.
- Missing Work: One of the leading causes behind employees missing their work is weak mental health. It does not only harm you, but also affects your job and thus your overall performance. If you skip work owing to your struggles, you will be at a loss, and your name will be highlighted. This will affect your performance and might even lead you towards getting fired. If your workplace is stressing you or you feel like you cannot handle the pressure of it, while dealing with your personal exertions, it is important to come forward and talk about it. Seek help and let it out before you lose your job.
- Right Treatment: Unfortunately, even in this day and age when medicine has advanced to such great heights, many still do not receive the proper treatment for mental health issues. Stigma, denial, perception and most importantly, discrimination play a considerable role in this because some myths claim that mental illness cannot be treated. People are often looked down upon and discriminated when diagnosed with symptoms that are beyond ordinary. In order to ward off queries and issues, they are commonly prescribed medication that does not address the problem at hand making all the effort pointless. Mental health issues need to be taken seriously and must be incorporated in the public health agenda to help everyone in need.
Life is a race, and we are all competing. Every day, we deal with new challenges and obstacles; each affecting us in its own way. Some are more damaging than others, and this can root itself quite deep. Don’t let yourself be distressed by all the complications that life throws your way, instead always be in check. Be sure to prioritize yourself and your health over everything else.
Give your brain time to heal and do the necessary work to improve its fitness by engaging in exercises that will help your mind stay stimulated. The more you let your mind stay stagnant, the more prone you are to an array of neurocognitive illnesses and get associated with the loss of brain function. It is very easy to ignore ourselves, especially our mental health. Take out time for yourself and undergo a brain test now. Due to social stigmas and general hesitance, many still reconsider consulting a professional. If you feel like you need a therapist, go and get yourself one because of your health matters above everything else.