Mental health might not seem as important because it doesn’t physically hurt and if oftentimes overlooked. However, it includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.
Here are five reasons why mental health is important and why you must take care of it:
Mental illnesses are more common than you think
In fact, they are more prevalent than cancer, diabetes or heart disease. Approximately 20% of the world’s youth have mental disorders or problems and about half of them develop disorders before the age of 14. This is a massive scale and something that should be widely addressed when it comes to awareness and treatment. More and more people commit suicide each year and it’s the second leading cause of death in 15-29-year-olds. Being aware of this and taking account the symptoms is key to reducing the risk of depression and other disorders. Regardless of a person’s location or status, mental illnesses can affect anyone. No matter people’s age, race, religion or income, these illnesses can be present. They can disrupt a person’s thinking, mood, feeling, and daily functioning.
There are many different kinds of mental illnesses
The most serious include depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, panic disorder, and personality disorder. Four of the ten leading causes of disability in the U.S. and other developing countries are also caused by mental disorders such as these. There are other, more mild cases of mental illnesses that should still be addressed, but these are all very serious examples. These conditions are not to be messed around with and another reason why mental health awareness and action are so important.
Family is affected
Mental disorders can affect families too and in most cases, the children are the ones affected deeply by this. Study shows that children of people with mental illness have a greater chance of developing illnesses of their own, as well as a multitude of other behavioral problems. If kids cannot talk to their parents openly they isolate themselves from the society leading to problems that oftentimes follow them well into adulthood.
Work productivity and financial stability
No one is truly 100% happy with their work and there are days in which it seems that problems keep piling up and there is no solution to them. People battling mental illness oftentimes miss work and are not productive thus leading to financial problems. A report said that 200 million work days are lost every year to depression alone. If the people suffering from mental illnesses had a safe place to talk about their issues, maybe that number wouldn’t be so high. People should be able to go to their place of work and feel comfortable seeking help if a situation arises.
A longer, happier life
If you’re too afraid to acknowledge mental illness, you’ll ignore the warning signs. Remember, just because it doesn’t hurt, doesn’t mean that it’s not there. Don’t ignore the symptoms as then can easily turn into physical problems. If you talk to someone, it can alleviate pain in your mind and your body. Studies found that people with mental illnesses have a lower life expectancy. If you seek help for your issues, you’ll feel better — and you may just increase the days you’re alive.
Many consider mental health not as important as physical health but isn’t your brain an organ of your body too? Just as your back can suffer from strain, so can your brain but at a more intense level. Don’t be afraid to seek help.
This article was written by Casy Vigaru, a dear childhood friend and a passionate psychologist that understands and perceives human behavior at its best.