By Adesewa Oyinloye
Mental health is the state of emotional, psychological and social well-being of a person. It is an integral component of overall health that influences your thoughts, feelings and actions. It also has a significant impact on how you handle stress, interact with others and make decisions. Mental health is important at all stages of life, from childhood to adulthood.
Mental health and Mental illness are sometimes used interchangeably but have different meanings. While mental health is a state of the wellness of the mind, mental illnesses are diagnosable disorders that affect a person’s thinking, feeling, mood or behaviour, such as Bipolar Disorder. A person can have poor mental health and not be diagnosed with mental illness.
Causes of poor mental health
There are numerous factors that cause poor mental health. Some of which are:
• Childhood abuse
•Dysfunctional family life
• Rejection or neglect
• Unpleasant life occurrences
• Substance abuse
Effects of poor mental health
•It negatively affects the physical health. Mental and physical health are closely connected. When one is disrupted, the other is disrupted. Depression, for example, increases the risk of physical health problems such as stroke. Similarly, having chronic physical health conditions can cause poor mental health.
•It affects the quality of your life. Poor mental health can make you lose interest in things you once enjoyed doing. It can cause trouble thinking, concentrating, making decisions and even remembering things.
•It causes unhappiness and decreased enjoyment of life. It also increases the risk of suicide by causing suicidal thoughts.
•Poor mental health can impinge on your relationships. It makes you withdraw and isolate yourself from others. It also makes it difficult for you to work with people.
Treatment for poor mental health condition
•Seek help. Going for therapy and counselling sessions will greatly improve your health.
• Eat well, exercise, relax and have fun.
• Socialize. Interacting with others makes you feel happier, reduces stress and decreases anxiety.