How Mental Health Issues Affects Physical Health

How Mental Health Issues Affects Physical Health

Mental health has a direct effect on physical health. Being mentally at your best promotes the ability to be at your best overall. However, when you are struggling with your mental state, this can surface in physical symptoms, particularly:

  1. Diet
  2. Hygiene
  3. Exercise
  4. Sleep

Sometimes, in these cases, others may see the symptoms before you do.

The Relationship Between Mental Health and Physical Health

Mental health determines all facets of our lives, and the physical symptoms of mental health issues are more common than some may know. Thankfully, there are treatment options to combat mental health disorders that can offer healing and recovery. With treatment, the physical symptoms of your mental health can be reversed, and you can live a life free of lingering physical and mental discomfort.

#1. Mental Health and Diet

Different kinds of mental health disorders can affect your body in different ways due to the strong link between them. Poor diet is a big one. Lack of appetite can come from being distracted due to your mind being overwhelmed with thoughts and emotions or other mental weights that shouldn’t be there.

Issues with diet can include overeating as well as not eating enough. It can also consist of a lack of self-discipline in healthy food choices. You may find yourself overconsuming unhealthy foods compulsively to feel better, while others may not consume enough fatty foods. These tendencies can lead to health issues such as obesity or malnutrition.

#2. Mental Health and Hygiene

When it comes to hygiene, your mind plays a bigger role in it than it’s given credit for. While over the years, it may seem innate to get up and wash your face in the morning, this is something that had become routine. It is a learned behavior, not something one is born knowing to do. Therefore, when your mind is under attack, you are not getting the same signals that you are when your mind is free and clear.

Self-hygiene is essential for the human body. Your body requires upkeep, just like a house or a car. If your mind is so burdened that you struggle to get out of bed each day, your body is likely declining along with it.

Self-maintenance has been a part of your daily routine since childhood. However, when your mind physically hurts due to what’s going on within it, it can be hard to do or focus on anything. So you may miss or go weeks without the following and more:

  • Washing your face
  • Brushing your teeth and flossing
  • Taking a shower
  • Putting on deodorant
  • Moisturizing your body
  • Combing your hair

Even when people are in a healthy mental state, daily maintenance is not a pressing issue as it has become a habit or routine. It’s just another part of the day that requires a piece of time to complete. However, when struggling with mental health, these necessary routines can feel like tasks that require work, time, and energy that you just don’t seem to have.

First, you may not even notice the first couple of times that you don’t brush your teeth or comb your hair. It may even take someone pointing it out to you for you to finally realize it. While lack of hygiene can be common when experiencing mental health issues, it goes to show just how crucial maintaining your mental health is.

#3. Mental Health and Exercise

Even those who appear physically fit may not exercise at all or at the level their body requires. However, there is a decline in body movement often when one is experiencing mental health issues.

Even if a certain level of fitness is not on your goal or agenda, the body requires movement each day. When some experience anxiety or depression, they may find that they can lie in bed for hours or even days on end. This is not healthy. Movement and exercise release endorphins and dopamine to the body, which can increase the positive feelings that your mind and body need to function properly.

Also, without movement, your body can stiffen and weaken over time. This is why optimizing physical activity and daily movement is encouraged even for children, as it is the body’s reminder that it is alive and in working condition.

#4. Mental Health and Sleep

Sleep patterns can be another physical symptom of mental health disorders. When there is a lack of sleep developed by burdens of the mind, the body can go into survival mode. When this happens and it runs out of fuel, it will shut down. Sleep deprivation can cause irritability, lack of awareness, and physical instability. When the body is not rested, it cannot function how it is supposed to.

Just as you can have a lack of sleep, sometimes, when our minds are constantly awake, we may try to combat that by choosing to sleep more than normal. While the body requires sleep, it also requires awake time so that you can eat, move, and complete responsibilities.

Treatment and Recovery for Mental Health

If you notice any of these signs in yourself, it is okay. Self-realization is the first step in moving toward healing and getting better. At SoCal Mental Health, our goal is to connect you to plethora of treatment options that can help you heal. Therapies like talk therapy, mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), and holistic therapy can help address your mental health concerns.

These treatment options can provide the necessary relief to your mind, so you do not have to settle for any solution that can seemingly help. This is why you may overeat or sleep for long periods of time because it offers a short-term sense of relief. Therapy and treatment, however, can get you in the best mental and physical shape of your life.

Mental health is vital to protect and maintain as it determines physical health. When the mind cannot tell the body to properly maintain upkeep, it simply will not. It can be hard to endure poor mental health each day, let alone enjoy everyday life. Physical symptoms can even add to mental health symptoms. It can cause neglected hygiene, diet, exercise, and sleep habits and can become a vicious cycle of the mind affecting the body and vice versa if not addressed. Fortunately, there’s help available. Treatment facilities like the ones that our preferred providers support can help you address your mental health concerns and recover as well. To learn how, call (888) 312-0219.

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