From Mind to Body: How Does Mental Health Affect Physical Wellness?

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From Mind to Body: How Does Mental Health Affect Physical Wellness?

“The mind and body are not separate. What affects one affects the other.”

A lot has been happening across the globe day and night, and many people's mental health has gone for a toss seeing unfortunate events around them. However, being anxious or worried once in a while doesn't mean you have developed a mental illness. A mental illness is a condition related to mental health that interferes with how you think or perform day-to-day tasks. The conditions identified as mental health issues include bipolar disorder, OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder), PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), schizophrenia, depression, generalised anxiety disorder, and so on.

Mental illness affects everyone regardless of gender, race, qualification and ethnic background and income level. And little do you know that mental illnesses are absolutely curable if one seeks help from a professional in time. This article will address the most often ignored health condition, mental illness. Read on to learn about the factors affecting mental health and much more.

What Does Mental Health Mean?

Your mental health comprises social, psychological and emotional well-being. It gets affected when you start to feel, think and act more than is required at any stage of life. Mental health is about handling anxiety and stress and making favourable choices that don't weaken your mental health.

According to a report by the World Health Organization (WHO), India has the most significant number of people with mental issues. The burden of people with mental illnesses has increased by 25% in India during the pandemic.

Importance of Mental Health for Overall Health

Poor mental health has become the second largest health burden globally. People with poor mental health should also know their overall physical health is affected. Below are the reasons why mental health is essential for overall health-

  • Physical and mental health are inextricably linked, and it has been proven beyond question that depression causes heart and vascular disease.
  • Mental diseases affect people's health behaviours, such as eating, sleeping, consumption of alcohol and cigarettes, all of which increase the risk of physical sickness.
  • Unemployment, disturbed families, poverty, drug misuse, and related criminality are all consequences of mental illness.
  • Immune dysfunction is significantly influenced by poor mental health.
  • Diabetes, cancer, and heart disease all raise the risk of depression. Similarly, mental illness also increases the risk of chronic health conditions.

Types of Mental Illnesses

Many different conditions related to mental health are categorised as mental illnesses. The most prevalent ones include-

  • Anxiety Disorders- Ones with anxiety disorders are found to be in a state of fear, panic, dread and anxiety. This condition leads to rapid or abnormal heart rate and bouts of sweating.
  • Mood Disorders- People with mood disorders often go through extreme mood swings. One can feel sudden sadness, happiness, or constant fluctuation between extreme sadness and joy. Mood disorders are categorised as bipolar disorder, depression and cyclothymic disorder.
  • Psychotic Disorders- Distorted or disturbed thinking and awareness are called psychotic disorders. The most common psychotic disorders are hallucinations and delusions.
  • Eating Disorders- Someone who has anxiety goes through overwhelming emotions, behaviours and dynamic attitude. These changes also involve mindless binge eating and obesity.
  • Personality Disorders- someone with personality disorders undergoes extreme personality traits that are stressful and cause problems at home, work and social relationships.
  • Obsessive-compulsive Disorder (OCD)- One of the most common disorders, OCD refers to the continuous fears or thoughts to perform routines or rituals. The disturbing thought of being unable to see the proper organisation is an obsession, and the patterns are compulsions.

Symptoms of Mental Health Issues

Signs and symptoms of mental problems vary according to the severity of the illness. Below are some common symptoms one may experience-

  • A sudden drop in energy levels 
  • Too many mood swings
  • Not getting involved with family or friends
  • Insomnia or oversleeping
  • The feeling of being violent, angry or hostile
  • Experiencing auditory hallucinations or paranoia
  • Suicidal or self-harming thoughts

One may also experience physical problems such as back pain and stomach ache due to poor mental health.

Causes of Mental Health Issues

There is no known reason or cause for mental illness. Various factors lead to the risk of mental illness. They include-

  • Childhood trauma or such experiences that had abuse or assault (Sexual or mental), etc.
  • Chronic medical conditions such as cancer, diabetes, etc.
  • Chemical imbalances or biological issues in the brain
  • Consumption of drugs and alcohol.
  • An overwhelming feeling of isolation or loneliness.

How Does Mental Health Councillor Diagnose the Illness?

People with mental illness often ease their signs and symptoms by consulting a  therapist and following the guidance and treatment plan that could also include medication. Your mental health councillor may follow the following diagnosis if the condition is extreme-

  • A physical exam.
  • Lab tests
  • A psychological evaluation

Does Health Insurance Help with Mental Health Illnesses?

The surge in mental health illnesses, including psychological disorders, has become enormous over the years. Your health insurance is a shield that keeps you protected against any medical emergency and the treatment cost it brings along. Care Health Insurance’s health insurance policy will help you through a cashless facility towards Consultation, Counseling and rehabilitation of the policyholder for the following mental illnesses-

  • Acute depression
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder 
  • Anxiety 
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder 

So, if you wish to minimise the burden of arranging finances caused by mental illnesses for yourself or someone in the family, you can consider securing yourself with a plan that also covers mental illnesses.

>> Also Read: Do Health Insurance Plans Cover Mental Illnesses?

Disclaimer: The above information is for reference purposes only: Policy Assurance and Claims at the underwriter's discretion.

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