May 10, 2024 in Employee Wellness, Mental Health Awareness

From the Head Down

Mental Health Issues as Full Body Diseases

Mental health issues are full body diseases. Often, symptoms of mental health struggles show up in other places in the body and the lives of those dealing with it. This article explores how mental health issues affect the rest of the body. Like many illnesses, mental health issues come in various forms, there are four main types which are mood disorders (such as depression or bipolar disorder), anxiety disorders, personality disorders, psychotic disorders (such as schizophrenia). You can find a more detailed list of mental health conditions here

Psychologists sometimes refer to emotional volcanoes because they transfer heat away from the inside of the planet; they help the earth’s atmosphere and seas to form; and they push land upwards to make livable land masses. According to Remindful UK, psychologically, when we ‘blow our top’, we are displacing heat away from our body. This lowers our own temperature from an unbearable intensity. We are also emitting the behavioural equivalent of gases into the atmosphere around us. Others will notice that it is difficult to breathe, but over time the environment can adapt to our concerns, and our social environment takes us more into account. By projecting our thoughts and feelings outwards, we create a habitable outer territory. With this in mind, we understand that all emotions are necessary; however, if we start feeling like they’re becoming uncontrollable, we need to consider getting professional help.

Below are some ways that mental health issues can show up in the rest of the body:

  1. Changes in Sleep Patterns: Disrupted sleep patterns, leading to insomnia or oversleeping. Poor sleep quality can exacerbate feelings of fatigue and exacerbate mood disturbances.
  2. Appetite Changes: Some individuals with mental health issues may experience changes in appetite, leading to weight loss or gain. This can result from emotional eating or loss of interest in food.
  3. Fatigue and Low Energy: Feelings of fatigue and low energy are common in mental health issues. Even simple tasks may feel exhausting, contributing to a sense of lethargy and disinterest in activities.
  4. Fatigue and Low Energy: Feelings of fatigue and low energy are common in those struggling with their mental health. Even simple tasks may feel exhausting, contributing to a sense of lethargy and disinterest in activities.
  1. Suppressed Immune Function: Chronic stress associated with mental health issues can weaken the immune system, making individuals more susceptible to illnesses and infections.
  2. Chronic Health Conditions: Mental health issues have been linked to an increased risk of developing certain chronic health conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, and autoimmune disorders. The exact mechanisms underlying these associations are complex and multifaceted.
  3. Impact on Brain Structure and Function: Mental health issues are associated with changes in brain structure and function, including alterations in neurotransmitter levels, neural circuitry, and neuroplasticity. These changes can contribute to cognitive impairments and affect emotional regulation.
  4. Increased Sensitivity to Pain: Mental health issues are often associated with heightened sensitivity to physical pain. This can exacerbate existing pain conditions or make individuals more prone to experiencing pain in response to minor stimuli.
  5. Impact on Hormonal Balance: Mental health issues can disrupt the balance of hormones in the body, including cortisol (the stress hormone), serotonin, and dopamine. These hormonal imbalances can contribute to mood disturbances and exacerbate symptoms of depression.

Overall, the interplay between mental and physical health highlights the importance of taking a holistic approach to its treatment and management. Addressing both the psychological and physiological aspects of the illness can lead to better outcomes and improved overall well-being.

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