In some ways, it is strange that we separate the term ‘mental health’ into its own section at all. After all - it’s still health. It’s still something that’s happening to the body, to a person, isn’t it?
The distinction probably comes from the fact we can’t outright see a mental health condition. As those who suffer from so-called “invisible conditions” can attest, it’s harder to cope when your illness or disability is hidden from view. It’s a lot harder for someone to disagree with a plaster cast up to someone’s hip limiting them than it is to accept the same limits on someone who just says: “I’m stressed”.
There are many people who seem to think messages like the one featured above are the answer to all mental health problems. People just need to think positively! Try not to think like that! Positivity is the answer!
Which seems all well and good, but you wouldn’t tell someone with a fractured wrist to just think positively and then be able to lift a barbell. Positive thinking has its place, but that place is not in the treatment of mental health.
The “Invisible” Aspect
It’s a fair assumption that the invisible factor is why mental health is still treated as the poor cousin when it comes to healthcare. For sufferers, this attitude can make things even worse.
And not only does it make things worse - it’s also wrong.
Mental Health = Physical Health
If you have a mental health condition, it can manifest in many, many physical ways. We’ve all heard of sticky palms when you’re nervous, so it should be no surprise that those with chronic anxiety disorders can suffer from physical illness. If grief - itself “invisible” - can cause people’s health to fail (as is the case with Broken Heart Syndrome), then it’s obvious that simple thoughts can have serious physical impacts.
Not only that, but poor mental health can also result in destructive behaviors that require the assistance of professionals, counseling, or even a treatment center to resolve. The areas of life that suffering from a mental health condition can compromise are legion.
Problems Mental Health Causes
It’s therefore, worth bearing in mind that if you have a physical health problem, your mental health may be contributing to it.
For example: maybe your weight loss is not going how you intended. If you’re not getting enough sleep and/or are stressed, then the raised level of the hormone cortisol in your blood could make it very difficult for you to lose weight even on a calorie-controlled diet.
Furthermore, anxiety disorders have been speculated to lead to an increase in a condition called adrenal fatigue. People with diagnosed depressive issues are more likely to become ill with colds and ‘flu.
So whatever your physical woes, always remember that your mental health needs to be focused on too. They are, after all, one and the same.