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Why is your mental health important?
Other than physical health, there are other factors that constitute a fulfilling, happy life. What defines the quality of a good life? For as long as humanity has existed, it has been affected by ‘illnesses of the soul’. In this day and age, we are quite clear that these pertain to our mental and psychological health. Our mental health plays a huge part in our daily dealings. It affects the way we act, and the way we think. In some extreme cases, it can even lead to changes in our physical state. It is not something that any individual should take lightly.
One of the things that make mental health issues so insidious is the invisibility of an actual physical problem. Usually, when you have a broken bone, or a tumor even, it physically shows up on an X-ray scan or an MRI test. But psychological problems have none of those physical markers. They are invisible under these machines, only clear by the indication of behavior and action. This is also why people often take so long in order to ask for help. It has been shown that those who are actually undergoing psychological health problems often don’t understand that they need clinical help.
How poor mental health can affect you?
Anyone can have a bad day. But when negative factors in your life start affecting you persistently, they start deteriorating your mental health. 70% of mental health conditions start developing early in life. That is, in childhood or prepubescence. However, teenagers often bear the large brunt of most psychological and mental concerns.
When fifteen-year-old Alice was brought into Pillars of Wellness, she was very quiet. Her parents were very concerned because they said that there had been a shift in her personality. Alice had always been full of joy and excitement. For the past few weeks, she had been irritable, she was not eating well. She was moody and always very melancholy. She barely spoke, and she could not pay attention to classes. Moreover, she claimed to always be very exhausted and was often found crying.
This was taking a great toll on her parents’ emotional well-being. No parent wants their child to suffer in this manner, especially when the cause is so unclear. At the Clinic, Alice was diagnosed with depression. It had been triggered by going to a new school, which often happens in the country. Societal and peer pressure can cause a lot of mental and emotional stress. You can often feel cornered.
What are the signs of a mental health disorder?
The causes of mental disorders are often very personal and this makes every single case different from the last. Parents, friends and other people close to the person can make a significant change in their mental well-being. There are some signifiers that can help a person understand whether a mental illness does exist, even if it does not clarify what the cause or disorder is. If your child or someone you love is exhibiting at least three of the signs to follow, it is very possible they may have a mental disorder:
- Pushing away friends and family
- Avoiding going to school
- Avoiding or not doing tasks that usually give them pleasure
- Moodiness and irritability
- Feeling very sad
- Not doing well in studies, especially if it is things they were previously good at
- Being reclusive and uncommonly quiet
- Acting out and displaying rebellious behavior
- Having problems with authority figures
- Sudden outbursts of anger
- Obsessions with their weight
- Declining concern for their own physical appearance
- Not eating, or eating more than necessary
- Sleeping too much, or not enough
- Starting to take drugs or alcohol
Although these are all concerning factors, there are a few ways you can determine whether these are the reasons for a clinical mental health condition. Assess whether these symptoms:
- Last for a long period of time
- Are too intense and persistent
- Are not common for the child’s age
Early intervention is detrimental to faster recovery. A parent should treat mental illness in the same way they would treat a physical injury. Just because there is no physical wound does not mean that the problem does not exist. Our mental health at Pillars of Wellness are well trained to assess certain type of mental health
How the treatment is carried out?
If you think your child or someone close to you is exhibiting symptoms of a mental health disorder, seek professional help immediately. A large part of our youth suffers from emotional and psychological problems. It is a condition that indirectly affects all Canadians, that is how widespread it is. In these statistics by the Canadian Mental Health Association, we saw that by the age of 40, at least half of the population of Canada has suffered some mental illness. A staggering 3.2 million of the youth of Canada are at the major risk of developing depression.
Psychotherapy is known to assist with mental health disorders. Also known as behavior or talk therapy, it involves a careful examination of the patient’s life and the causes of their mental condition. Speaking to a psychologist or psychotherapist can help the child understand his own feelings and concerns. Once the understanding is clear, he can perhaps train himself to look past these emotions.
Medication also assists with mental illnesses like schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. But a mix of psychotherapy and medication serves as the best path to recovery and fulfilling life. This is because of medication assists in the physical and chemical treatment of the body. Psychotherapy is what provides a sense of strength and understand to combat your inner turmoil.
For some people, it can be the difference between a good life and a tortured life. So many times a mental illness disrupts a child inner potential to achieve great things. It is unfair to allow something like a mental disorder from achieving their full potential. Therefore, if you feel like your child or someone you love might have a mental condition, do not hesitate to seek professional help immediately. Psychotherapist and occupational therapist are often suggested depending on the disorder.