Signs and symptoms of mental illness can vary, depending on the disorder. It is important to understand that diagnosis of any mental illness is a key determinant to recovery.
Many mental illnesses do not improve on their own, and if untreated, a mental illness may get worse over time and cause serious problems (Mayoclinic). Suicidal thoughts and behavior are common with some mental illnesses. If you think you may hurt yourself or attempt suicide, get help immediately. Call the Toll Free Crisis Hotline: 1-877-562-6467 or 911 emergency.
Before there was Anxiety, Depression, Bipolar, or any Mental Health Disorder there was Trauma.
Trauma is recognized as an experience that resulted in severe psychological distress. Trauma typically follows any terrible or life-threatening event; a terrifying accident, rape, or natural disaster. Immediately after the event, shock and denial are typical. Longer-term reactions include unpredictable emotions, flashbacks, strained relationships, and even physical symptoms like headaches or nausea. Trauma, if untreated can develop into emotional disturbances and result in multiple mental health disorders (American Psychological Association).
Who is at risk?
Certainly, every human is susceptible to mental illness but there are factors that may increase the risk of developing a mental illness, including:
- A history of mental illness in a blood relative, such as a parent or sibling
- Stressful life situations, such as financial problems, a loved one’s death, or a divorce
- An ongoing (chronic) medical condition, such as diabetes
- Brain damage as a result of a serious injury (traumatic brain injury), such as a violent blow to the head
- Traumatic experiences, such as military combat or assault
- Use of alcohol or recreational drugs
- A childhood history of abuse or neglect
- Few friends or few healthy relationships
- A previous mental illness
Eating, Sleeping, and Living: Healthy steps to regain Mental Health.
The stomach, specifically the gut, plays a vital role in our physical and psychological health through its own neural network: the Enteric Nervous System (ENS), a complex system of about 100 million nerves found in the lining of the gut (National Library of Medicine). The ENS is sometimes called the “second brain,” and it actually arises from the same tissues as our central nervous system (CNS) during fetal development. Therefore, it has many structural and chemical parallels to the brain. This means that if a person is not consuming a healthy, regular diet then they will likely not overcome their physical and psychological unhealth.
According to Harvard Medical School, sleep deprivation affects one’s mental health. Chronic sleep problems affect 50% to 80% of patients in a typical psychiatric practice, compared with 10% to 18% of adults in the general U.S. population. Sleep problems are particularly common in patients with anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). A simple step to improve one’s mental health is a consistent balance of sleep.
Holistic living is more than eating and sleeping but a lifestyle. The majority of illnesses and premature death can be traced back to lifestyle choices (Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease). Western Pharmaceuticals have often been prescribed for addictions and rarely have there been long term success. Natural Medicine has historically been with fewer side effects. If you are seeking more resources contact Zen’s Medicine Staff CLICK HERE.
“Mental health,” Archives of general psychiatry 59.3 (2002): 225-231.
Prince, Martin, et al. “No health without mental health.” The lancet 370.9590 (2007): 859-877. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0140673607612380
“Mental health literacy: past, present, and future.” The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry 61.3 (2016): 154-158. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0706743715616609
“Global Mental Health.” The International Encyclopedia of Anthropology (2018): 1-10. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/9781118924396.wbiea1822
“Physical activity and mental health.” Sports medicine 29.3 (2000): 167-180.
Note: “Western Pharmaceutical” is defined as a system in which medical doctors and other healthcare professionals (such as nurses, pharmacists, and therapists) treat symptoms and diseases using drugs, radiation, or surgery. Quote from National Cancer Institute: http://www.cancer.gov
Mental Health Phone Screening
Holistic Health: is mindfulness of one’s mind, body, emotions, spirit, environment & social group.