Mental Health Month attempts to bring attention to the ways that mental illness affects peoples lives. Adults and children with mental health issues need empathy, understanding and respect.
Mental Illness is Not Unusual
People with mental health issues fell they are different from others. It’s true that discussions of mental illness often tend to speak about “people with mental illness” as if they are unusual or not normal. People that we rarely encounter. The reality is that mental illness is so common that a recent study shows that a life unmarred by mental illness is actually rare.
According to the study, which followed people ages 11-38 and tracked their mental health, only 17% avoided mental illness. Forty-one percent had a mental health condition that lasted for many years. Forty-two percent had a short-lived mental illness. This suggests that, sooner or later, mental illness becomes an issue for most people. Depression, anxiety, and substance abuse were the most common diagnoses in the study.
Male or Female? It Matters.
Somewhere around 1 in 68 children are diagnosed with autism, but the overwhelming majority of those children are boys. A new study suggests this may be because providers fail to recognize the signs of autism in girls.
Depression is the Leading Cause of Disability
The leading cause of disability isn’t cancer or chronic pain. According to data from the World Health Organization (WHO), depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide and it has been for many years.
Despite growing awareness of mental health issues, the rate of depression is getting worse. Particularly in developing nations, people often do not receive treatment for symptoms of depression. And between 2005-2015, the rate of depression increased by 18%.
Mental and Physical Health are Related
Mental and physical health are intertwined. One supports the other and one aggravates the other. Research points to the link between physical and mental health. Some studies suggest that chronic inflammation may cause depression. Others have found that mental illness can affect physical health, or lead to symptoms of chronic pain. The role of exercise in fighting mental illness is well documented. Diet is also very important to mental health. Those will healthy diets are often healthier mentally, in turn, those who are depressed often don’t have the best eating habits.
Your Environment Matters
Much discussion of mental health focuses on genetics, brain chemicals, and other biological factors. While it’s true that mental illness is biological, that does not mean that all cases of mental illness are in the in the brain.
A person’s environment can affect the behavior of genes. Stressful and deprived environments can alter the way your genes react thus triggering mental illness. Recent research links growing up with food insecurity to an increased risk of mental health difficulties.
The environment in which people grow up is also a factor in mental health. Growing up you learn how to handle everything from stress to serious trauma. People may learn depressive thinking from their parents. Children may experience trauma in their childhood that leaves them with lasting mental health issues.
While mental illness has a biological component the other factors affecting mental health cannot be ignored. Treatment can help the brain re-learn ways of processing information. This can helps individuals cope with difficult emotions.
Understanding mental health issues and improving society’s understanding of those issues is important all the time, not just in the month of May.
At Port Orange Chiropractic, we care about your overall health. If you have questions about how you may benefit from chiropractic adjustments, call our friendly staff at (386) 761-0520. We look forward to hearing from you.