Undoubtedly, mental health care professionals are better equipped to treat mental health issues. However, there are some steps you should regularly take to reduce your risk of mental health issues.
Factors That Increase Risk Of Mental Illness
Your mental health is not something you should take lightly. While we might be able to put aside our worries momentarily, the negative effects can compound. For instance, in Florida, the suicide rate stands at 28.9 per 100,000 people. The state is also responsible for 76% of all drug-related overdoses in the country, with over 32% of its residents having reported mental health issues.
Here are a few factors that exacerbate the risk of mental health issues:
Lack Of Proper Nutrition
If you’ve ever heard the phrase ‘healthy body, healthy mind’, you will see why good nutrition is essential to our mental well-being. To achieve a balanced diet, adults are required to consume between 1800 to 2400 calories per day.
Not consuming the required amount of nutrients per day puts you at higher risk of mental illnesses. Additionally, make sure you are eating the right foods in balanced quantities. Having a bad diet that overshoots the calorie count can be just as bad for you.
Sleep is essential to our well-being. According to the CDC, the required amount of sleep for a school-going child is 9-12 hours, while an adult requires about 9 hours of sleep to stay healthy. Not getting enough sleep, and not sleeping at the right time can hurt your health, both physical and mental.
A lack of sleep can result in increased mood swings, feeling low on energy, and an increase in stress and anxiety.
Even a single night of no sleep can have detrimental effects. Getting the required sleep at the right time can help reduce your risk of mental illness.
Everyone faces some amount of stress in their life. From the evolutionary perspective, stress is said to motivate animals in stressful situations, causing them to have quick and strong responses to threats they face.
The downside is that this response consumes energy, and if you’re expending too much energy it can be harmful to your wellbeing. Chronic stress can have especially concerning effects on your mental health.
What You Can Do About It
You cannot heal yourself of a fever or a cold. But, you can take steps to strengthen your immunity should the illnesses make an appearance again. Such is the case with mental illness as well. In the same way, regular exercise keeps us healthy, regular mental health wellbeing activities keep our mind healthy. Here are a few things you can do.
Get A Mental Health Evaluation
If you notice yourself experiencing symptoms of mental health issues, one of the first steps you should take is to get a mental health evaluation. Much like we visit the doctor to determine the precise cause of our stomach aches, you can get a mental health checkup to ascertain the cause of your symptoms.
Based on where you live, the cost of mental health care could vary. While the average cost of a therapy session (without insurance) in New Jersey is upwards of $150, the average therapy session in Florida comes in at about $90.
Keep in mind that mental health is not as straightforward as physical health, and you might have to visit a therapist or two before you find the right fit. It might be a good idea to find a therapist close to you. If you are a Floridian, find yourself a therapist in Florida. It is particularly crucial, considering over 32.3% of adults in Florida suffer from anxiety and/or depression.
Zencare points out that there are more than a hundred therapy types that are evidence based. If you find that the professional conducting your assessment or treatment is effective, do not hesitate to visit another therapist.
Read Up About Mental Health
It’s a good idea to be well-informed about your mental health. While you may not be a mental health professional, you can study and equip yourself to recognize the symptoms of deteriorating mental health.
This could be something as simple as learning to recognize when you are in a bad mood or are experiencing anxiety, without a tangible trigger.
Strike A Balance
Having a balanced life is essential to having good mental health. Balance can be achieved in many forms, be it a balanced diet or a balanced work schedule.
The latter is especially important. Even if you love your job, extended periods of exertion can contribute to an increase in stress levels. Making sure to take the time out to take a break every so often can make a world of difference.
Strengthen Your Support System
When we fall sick, we lean on our loved ones to take care of us. There is no reason why the same shouldn’t happen when it comes to your mental health. A good support system can reduce the risk of mental health illnesses.
Having someone you can talk to during a period of high stress or high anxiety can help bring the levels down, making it easier for you to tackle. Having friends and family around you also keeps you from feeling overwhelmed.
Mental health awareness has skyrocketed in the last few decades, and we have come a long way. At the same time, there is a long way to go. Despite being aware of mental health issues, we often tend to leave them on the back burner because they do not require instant attention like a physical injury might. Neglecting your mental health over time, however, can cause long-lasting effects.
More than one in five U.S. citizens have a mental illness. Therefore, if you find yourself experiencing any such issues, do not feel afraid to seek help.