How Mental Health Affects Us
Mental health impacts nearly every aspect of our lives. In some ways, mental health can be just as important as physical health. Here are a few reasons why we should all pay attention to our mental health:
1. Mental Health Can Affect Physical Health:
Studies have shown that poor mental health makes it more difficult to get regular exercise. This can result in an increased risk of heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and other health problems. In addition, poor mental health can cause an increase in stress levels. This can result in an increased risk of heart attack and stroke.
Furthermore, poor mental health can affect your sleep quality. This can result in impaired immune function, and it can leave you more vulnerable to illnesses.
If an individual suffers from both physical and mental illnesses, doctors tend to focus on the physical illness. However, recovery from the physical health problems is often unlikely if the mental illness is not addressed.
Mental illnesses also can cause changes in dietary habits. This can result in consuming more calories than are needed and result in weight gain. In other cases, those with a serious mental illness do not eat enough. This can result in nutritional deficiencies.
Even individuals who suffer from minor mental health problems often have a shortened life expectancy. High levels of depression and anxiety are estimated to increase one’s mortality risk by as much as 94%. Most of the increased mortality is related to heart disease. Serious mental illnesses can reduce life expectancy by 10-20 years.
2. Mental Health Problems Can Result In Financial Problems:
Mental health problems can cause difficulties with holding down a job. In some cases, individuals suffering from mental health problems even end up foreclosing on their homes.
The average income of those suffering from a mental illness is estimated to be 40% less than the rest of the population. It is estimated that 70% of those with a mental illness earn less than 20,000 dollars per year. In addition, 20% of those with a mental illness earn less than 5,000 dollars per year. A large number of people suffering with a severe mental illness are unable to work and are forced to live on disability benefits.
The cost of treatment for mental health problems is also quite high. Furthermore, many individuals who develop serious mental health problems do not have health insurance. This means that it’s necessary to pay the full price of medications and psychiatry appointments out of pocket.
3. Mental Health Problems Can Result In An Increased Vulnerability To Crime:
Those with severe psychiatric disorders that don’t take medications are estimated to be 2.7 times more likely to fall victim to a violent crime than those without a mental illness. In addition to being at risk for violent crimes, some individuals suffering from a serious mental illness fall victim to theft and fraud. Furthermore, individuals suffering from mental health problems that are untreated are at an increased risk of substance abuse. Substance also increases one’s risk of falling victim to a crime.
4. Mental Health Problems Can Cause Difficulties Within Families:
Individuals with mental health problems who have children often struggle to be effective parents. This can cause their children to become isolated and begin to struggle with mental health problems themselves. Mental health problems can also cause difficulties within marriages. In fact, those suffering from mental health problems are at an increased risk of divorce. Furthermore, spouses sometimes find themselves drained by their significant other suffering from mental health problems and end up experiencing job loss as a result.
5. Mental Health Problems Can Grow More Severe Over Time:
Serious mental health problems may begin as a mild concern. As the illness becomes more serious, it can become much more difficult to treat. For instance, schizophrenia symptoms may first manifest as anxiety or depression. If the problem is treated in the early stages, it may not progress past the initial concerns.
6. Mental Health Problems Are Quite Common:
Many people have the misconception that mental health problems could never affect them, but this couldn’t be any further from the case. In fact, it is estimated that around one in five people are currently suffering from some form of mental illness. Many individuals who are suffering from a mental health problem may not be aware that they are suffering from one. Therefore, it is essential for everyone to keep track of their mental health and take steps to improve it.
Furthermore, a surprising number of people end up developing serious mental health problems at some point. In fact, one out of every seventeen people is suffering from a severe mental health problem. Many others have likely suffered from a severe mental health problem at some point in their life.