Holistic Health: Why Mind Matters Too

by Laura C. Jones

Have you heard the saying “a healthy mind in a healthy body?” It’s the essence of holistic health, and some people will add spirit into the equation to complete it. Whichever way we look at it, however, one thing is abundantly clear: while we often prioritize our physical health, we tend to be less careful about our mental health. The result of this neglect has been an upsurge in mental health issues that health authorities around the world recognize as a serious overall health risk.

Why People Don’t Get Help

There are many reasons why people don’t get the help they need, even when they have access to online therapy sessions. There’s a stigma attached to having mental health issues. Most people are perfectly happy to talk about their physical health problems, but when it comes to mental health, it becomes difficult to admit having a problem, even to ourselves. The longer we leave it, the harder it gets, and that’s part of the reason why we find the UN reporting that nearly one billion people around the world have untreated mental health issues.

What Are The Consequences of Letting Mental Health Take the Backseat?

The consequences of untreated mental health issues depend on the severity and nature of the condition. For some, it may just be a matter of not being able to be the best and happiest that they could otherwise be. But in more severe instances, the consequences could range from disturbances in family life to suicide.

Substance abuse, homelessness, underperformance at school or work, and consistent difficulty in forming and maintaining relationships with others are often linked to mental health issues.

There’s also a link between physical health problems and mental health. The Canadian Mental Health Association reports that people with mental health disorders are at higher risk of experiencing certain chronic illnesses. It also works the other way around. So, to be healthy, both body and mind need care.

Do You Need Help?

There are many signs and symptoms of mental health risks that should see you booking an appointment with a psychologist. If you or someone close to you exhibits the following disturbing symptoms, there is cause for concern.

  1. Sudden and unexpected mood or behavior changes.
  2. Disturbed sleep patterns or insomnia.
  3. Difficulty relating to others, even when relationships were previously good.
  4. Feelings of acute anxiety, panic, or fits of anger.
  5. Not spending time on activities that were previously enjoyed.
  6. Not taking proper care of personal basics, including eating and personal care.
  7. Inability to concentrate and increased incidence of mistakes and poorly-judged decisions.
  8. Not eating enough, eating too much, and sudden shifts in body mass.
  9. Self-harm or threats against others.
  10. Suicidal thinking or just wishing that life would end.

If you have physical symptoms, you see a doctor. So use these symptoms to judge whether you should be getting help from a psychologist or psychiatrist. Talk to your family doctor first. It could be the best move you ever made. Still, feeling hesitant? Even some of the world’s most famous celebrities shared their mental health challenges during lockdown. Isn’t it time you talked to someone about yours?

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