You’ve heard it a million times before – these are unprecedented times. 2020 has been perhaps one of the most difficult years in the past decade. From being locked in quarantine to losing jobs, this year has taken a mental/emotional toll on hundreds of millions. If one hasn’t given much thought as to how they should take care of their own mental/emotional health, it has the potential to be detrimental to their lives. This is why it is important to familiarize oneself with facts they may not know concerning mental health.
In light of recent events, namely the 2020 presidential election, we will likely be on a second wave of lockdown throughout the country. It does seem to be a tad frustrating to experience the tease of normality right before having to go back into shutdown to protect the physical well-being of others. Given that this is the case, individuals must be educated regarding the truths of a healthy mental state.
Mental Health: 10 Facts You Should Know
Below are ten facts concerning mental health that not everyone is cognizant of:
- Mental health disorders make up 10% of the global burden of disease.
- 1 in 5 children/adolescents throughout the world suffer from a mental health disorder.
- Depression is a major cause of disability and 264 million people suffer from it.
- Somewhere around half of all mental disorders are developing before age 14.
- Nearly 800,000 people take their own lives every year.
- Every 40 seconds someone dies from suicide.
- Suicide is the second leading cause of death in those who are 15-29 years of age.
- Those who suffer from severe mental health disorders die up to 20 years earlier than the general population.
- 139 countries have mental health policies and plans; less than half have aligned these policies with human rights conventions.
- One trillion US dollars are lost per year in productivity because of poor mental health.
Though there has been discussion concerning the year 2020 and its impact on the mental health of millions, the thing about managing it is that its significance isn’t exclusive to any one year. It’s imperative to check on one’s mind and heart every day. The problem is, not everybody knows enough about the concept of mental health to properly evaluate their psychological well-being. Below are a few things to be mindful of.
It is normal for someone’s feelings and emotions to fluctuate as the days go by; sometimes, depression and anxiety come in waves. It is imperative to prioritize one’s mental health when this is made evident. One way this can be done is by setting reminders on a phone to alert you throughout the day to ask yourself how stressed, anxious, sad, unmotivated, or fatigued you may feel.
When dealing with a potential mental health disorder, it is important to be cognizant of how your body is feeling. Some questions to ask yourself might include the following:
- Is there any tension in your body?
- Are you experiencing chest pain?
- Is there a lump in your throat?
- Do you feel extreme fatigue?
- Is your mouth dry?
- Are you having trouble breathing?
- Are you experiencing any heart palpitations?
- Is your head throbbing?
Have you noticed any significant changes in your sleep patterns? Mental health disorders can take a huge toll on sleep behavior. For example, in some cases, individuals have had difficulty falling or staying asleep. Other times, people have woken up earlier than usual or in the middle of the night. Sometimes anxiety plays a large factor in this regard. Other times, depression can have an impact. If you are sleeping too much or are constantly feeling the need to fall asleep, you may be experiencing depression.
Worry or Fear
A typical part of depression, anxiety, or other mental health disorders has a lot to do with worrying about potential worst-case scenarios. Textbook overthinking can be an uncanny sign of a mental health disorder. Sometimes you may ask yourself, “What if things don’t get better? Will they ever get better?”. This is another potential sign that you may be dealing with a mental health disorder.
Sometimes circumstances become too much to handle; sometimes, terrible things happen, but it’s not about what happens to us – it’s about how we respond. Being mindful of how you’re responding to certain situations will allow you to analyze the ways that you cope. It may be time to prioritize your mental health and take action steps towards being in a more healthy place if you find yourself doing the following:
- Snapping at loved ones
- Have a hard time focusing
- Depending on food to cope
- Depending on alcohol or drugs to cope
Life is hard when you’re doing it alone; it’s especially difficult to be disciplined and keep yourself accountable. What may make the difference is having an accountability partner? Whether it be a good friend, a partner, spouse, co-worker, or family member, it could mean all the difference in your mental wellness.
Being in quarantine is not the equivalence to social isolation. Although it is imperative to keep your distance from people, it does not mean you cannot still talk with them. Living in the 21st century, we have access to things that have been groundbreaking for humanity. People are just a phone call, text, tweet, status, or story update away. If you want to get in touch with another person, it is the farthest thing from impossible.
What Do I Do if I’m Having Trouble Coping?
Sometimes, trying everything seems as though it isn’t enough. Even if you’re doing all the right things to prioritize your mental health and be conscious of how you’re feeling, it could still be difficult to cope successfully. When this happens there are other options. Some of these include the following:
- Making a plan and practicing self-care – A plan of action could mean the difference between poor and outstanding mental health. Being disciplined concerning your self-care routine could make a huge difference in how you’re feeling daily.
- Practice activities that reduce anxiety – Many activities can help a person reduce anxiety. Some of those include physical activity, pleasurable activities, or meditation. Physical activity allows individuals to release endorphins, smell the fresh air, and get a good dose of vitamin D. These results have been known to reduce anxiety. Not only that, but enjoying pleasurable activities like playing/listening to music, crafting something, or reading a book can also make a difference. Meditation also helps individuals think through and process their thoughts/emotions.
- Seek out professional help – When nothing else seems to be working, it may be time to find professional help. Sometimes the difference maker could be therapy or some sort of medicine. There are a lot of cases in which a person tries everything, but what winds up helping them is a dose of the right chemicals. These are not always end-all-be-all solutions, but they do allow people to manage their mental health disorders while complimenting that treatment with other things.
Therapy and Mental Health
Sometimes individuals will view therapy as a last resort in their treatment because they feel as though that’s what you do when nothing else works. This, however, is far from the truth. Even for those who don’t suffer from a mental health disorder, therapy is an important part of their lives. Attending therapy is a way in which some individuals practice active self-care.
When someone attends therapy, they either do so in a group or individual setting. Group settings are more informal, allowing multiple individuals to be involved in a sort of sharing session. Those who participate in group therapy typically sit in a semi-circle and share their drawbacks, struggles, and successes with others.
On the other hand, individual therapy is a much more intimate environment and allows some people to get the one on one time that they need. Most people work best in individual settings because the work is focused on them, allowing them to compartmentalize and fixate on their progress. They may also disclose a lot more to a therapist in a one-on-one rather than a group setting. This allows people to be vulnerable and take closely monitored steps towards meeting their goals.
Regardless of whether or not it’s individual or group therapy, therapy is a great way to help someone treat their mental health disorder. It is imperative for those who are suffering from a mental health disorder to get the help they need; if they don’t, it could prove detrimental to their overall well-being.
Prioritize Your Mental Health Today
Mental health disorders are no joke. Being mindful of where you’re at mentally is imperative to a healthy psychological state. At Montare Behavioral Health, we prioritize the individual’s needs above all else. When we allow the patient to be at the center of the process, that’s when success is maximized. If you or a loved one are struggling with mental health and would like to learn more, you can contact us here.