How Does Mental Health Affect Your Physical Health?

Our mental and physical health are strongly interconnected. While poor mental health can have adverse effects on our physical health, our mental well-being can positively contribute to our physical health. Mental health plays a key role in propelling our overall well-being. Yet, many people often fail to comprehend the relationship between the two. Since the misconception still largely exists, equating the two entities on the same page is important. Let’s discuss the effects of mental health on physical health.

Smoking

People dealing with poor mental health are more likely to become smokers. What’s more, is that smokers with poor mental health conditions begin to light up more cigarettes as their mental health deteriorates. A reduced level of the chemical dopamine is found among people who are confronting severe depression. Studies suggest that dopamine stimulates progressive feelings in the brain. Nicotine present in cigarettes positively influences the creation of dopamine. Although cigarettes are commonly utilized to relieve depression, there are increased chances of a person gradually developing a desire and addiction for cigarettes.

While some people often have the opportunity and courage to reach out, many stay quiet. Unfortunately, untreated mental illnesses can be deadly. So if you think someone close to you is suffering from a mental health problem, try connecting them with a counselor. These professionals have relevant qualifications, for example, an online masters in counseling that equips them with the proper knowledge to treat a mentally suffering person.

Sleeping Problems

Poor mental health condition is a leading cause of sleeping disorders among people. People dealing with a mental health problem are more likely to experience sleep apnea or insomnia. Sleep apnea causes people to repeatedly stop and start breathing while sleeping, while insomnia makes it hard for people to fall or stay asleep.

People with good mental health are less likely to develop sleeping disorders. According to research, most people dealing with sleeping problems are those who are also suffering from mental health problems. Mental illnesses like bipolar disorder, anxiety, or depression cause sleeping problems. Like any mental health problem, it is suggested never to take any sleeping disturbances lightly because they may hint at any underlying mental health condition.

Chronic Diseases

Mental health conditions like schizophrenia and depression often lead to several chronic illnesses, including respiratory diseases, heart diseases, arthritis, cardiovascular disease, cancer, asthma, and diabetes. People dealing with mental illnesses are more at risk of developing such conditions as compared to people with good mental health. Let’s take a look at some of the chronic diseases caused by mental health problems.

  • Cancer: A mental health condition known as schizophrenia causes binge eating disorders among people. This unhealthy behavior makes schizophrenic people consume high-fat diets, which is considered a leading cause of bowel and gallbladder cancers. Not only this, but high levels of emotional stress among people with mental health problems worsen this condition. According to research studies, people with substance use, dementia, or severe mental illnesses are less likely to survive once they are diagnosed with cancer because they might not undertake preventive screening and follow treatment plans.
  • Chronic respiratory conditions: As stated above, mental health problems can also lead to smoking. High levels of smoking make people vulnerable to respiratory diseases. These diseases involve asthma, chronic bronchitis, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Moreover, mental health conditions like anxiety or panic disorder increase the likelihood of an asthmatic person experiencing a severe asthma attack.
  • Heart diseases: Depression can make it difficult for people with heart diseases to make a recovery. This mental health condition worsens tiredness and intensifies pain among people, and they often feel the urge to isolate themselves. Untreated mental health problems give way to irregular heart rhythms, arterial damage, and high blood pressure. What’s more, is that people with poor mental health are more likely to develop an addiction to tobacco which is considered a major risk factor for developing heart diseases.
  • Diabetes: Some research studies have found a direct link between mental health illnesses and diabetes. Mental health conditions like schizophrenia and depression influence the body’s resistance to insulin and make a person vulnerable to type 2 diabetes. This condition often worsens people dealing with mental health conditions since they find it difficult to cope with the responsibilities that come with the disease.

While a person’s mental health can significantly influence their physical health, people with physical illnesses are also at increased risk of developing mental health problems. Fortunately, early diagnosis and prompt treatment can ensure a quicker recovery in both situations. While adopting a healthy lifestyle is a key to prevent mental illnesses and chronic diseases, being social and friendly is equally essential. It will not only be beneficial for you but will also help you keep an eye out for whether your loved one is suffering from a mental health issue.