Mental health is one of the most essential yet avoided topics in the healthcare sector. People often stigmatize mental illness, denying the fact that it is as real and impactful as physical illnesses.
Some people still feel that mental illness is non-existent and merely a sign of instability and weakness. Beliefs like this make tackling mental health issues more complicated than it already is.
So, what is mental health?
According to the World Health Organization, “Mental health is a state of well-being where someone realizes his or her own capabilities, can function and be productive with the normal stresses of life, while being able to make a contribution to his or her community.” This means that our mental health is as important as other aspects of human health.
The effects of mental illness are just like physical illnesses. While physical illness can affect vital organs like the kidney and lungs, mental illness affects the brain functionality. This shows that there is a relationship between mental health and the brain.
Mental Illness and the Brain
Over the years, there has been a lot of research on mental illness and how it works. As researchers continue to dig deeper into mental illness — there is a general consensus that the biological operation of the brain can be influenced by mental illness. Therefore, when a person has mental illness, it is visible in how the brain operates.
Our brain is a complex organ, although a small part of the entire body; it controls every aspect of our life from movement to breathing, emotions, and perception. Every second of a human’s life, there are thousands of chemical reactions in the brain, which sums up our behavior, thoughts, actions, and how we respond to our environment.
If our mental health is in good shape, we will be able to handle mental, physical, and social tasks better.
Physical Health VS Mental Health
Mental health is as equally essential as physical health. While physical health helps keep our bodies strong and fit, mental health helps keep us sane, rational, and headstrong.
Being mentally stable enables us to enjoy life, helps us stay at peace, and prevents us from getting a breakdown.
There are many tests for the physical body, and these tests can show you if your blood pressure or cholesterol level is high. As for brain health, it is much more challenging. This can make it more difficult to test for any mental problem in an individual.
Paying attention to your physical health is just as important as your mental health as many things can affect it, such as:
- Trauma or neglect, especially as a result of child abuse
- Isolation or loneliness
- Social stigma and discrimination
- Severe stress
- A physical health condition
- Alcohol and drugs addiction
- Domestic violence
Mental health is crucial to overall physical health. When you focus on your mental health and make sure that it is in the best shape possible, it keeps your brain active. However, if you experience any of the above factors and feel mentally ill, don’t hesitate to speak with a doctor immediately.