People tend to see a big difference between their minds and bodies. After all, heartache and headache are two completely different things, aren’t they? You can take a pill to deal with the stomachache, but none of the over-the-counter meds can deal with the pain you suffer for personal reasons.
When you are physically ill, you can still work with your mind. When you are mentally ill, your body can still perform many tasks. So are these two matters completely independent? In reality, your mind and body depend on each other substantially.
Liana Khutsurauli, NYC success life coach, has been studying the subject closely and agreed to share a few thoughts on the matter.
How Mental Health Affects Physical Health
There are three ways mental health affects physical health.
1. Not Caring For The Body
People with depression often don’t take care of their bodies properly, thus causing serious health problems. For example, they don’t eat on a regular basis, fail to go out to get fresh air, don’t take showers, forget to take medication etc. This is the most obvious way that mental health can affect the physical one.
Another direct effect on the body can be seen in people with bulimia and anorexia. In these cases, the mental condition leads to health problems and sometimes eventual death.
People with mental problems often fail to get treatment. As a result, their condition worsens and may become fatal. Additionally, such mental conditions as depression may lead to self-destructive behavior and suicide.
2. Stressing Mentally Leads To Stressing Physically
Numerous studies have been done to demonstrate the effect of stress on a person’s health. Even a minor stressful situation can lead to stomach pain or a headache. Serious sudden stress and anger can result in a heart attack and death.
Chronic stress is even more dangerous to your body then sudden stress. It can lead to the development of coronary diseases. High-stress levels can cause cancer development.
3. Suffering From Serious Mental Illness
A 2017 study done by the researches of King’s College in London showed that severe mental illness can be linked to coronary problems and death.
Such conditions as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and severe depression can double the risk of death from heart-related problems and triple the death risk from respiratory diseases. Schizophrenia has also been linked to osteoporosis development.
People with mental health problems are less likely to go through routine medical checkups and blood work. They tend to lead an ascetic and reclusive way of life, thus not allowing others to see the problem and offer assistance.
Such mental illness sufferers are also more likely to increase alcohol, nicotine, and drug consumption, thus hindering physical health.
How Physical Health Affects Mental Health
Physical problems can damage mental health as easily as mental conditions can ruin your physical well-being.
1. Serious Illness Or Injury
Severe injuries or scary diagnoses are likely to affect a person’s mental health. People suffering from cancer are much more likely to develop depression than those who are cancer-free. In fact, this condition affects more than 10 percent of cancer patients.
Disabling injuries can also lead to the development of serious mental conditions. In many cases, people fail to get psychological assistance together with medical one.
2. Noticeable Conditions
Such conditions as dermatitis and plaque psoriasis may not be dangerous to the person’s overall physical health, but they can ruin mental health. When an unpleasant patch appears on the visible part of the skin, people feel self-conscious. This is especially common for teenagers.
About one-third of people with psoriasis experience anxiety and depression. More than 80 % feel uneasy about the condition.
The same is true for such conditions as crossed eyes, improper ear cartridge development, and obesity.
Physical and mental health are closely related and often interchangeable. When a person develops one problem, the other one is likely to follow. It’s highly important to diagnose the mental condition in time for it not to cause further physical problems.