It's a goal of mine to be as personable as possible with my clients, to help foster a relationship to equip them with a skillset to be successful in life.
Licensed Professional Counselor | Marriage Coach
The World Health Organization defines health as a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. Physical health can be explained as the proper functioning of the body and its organs. Its components include physical activity, nutrition and diet, rest, sleep, and medical self-care. Mental health is about how we think, process emotions, create meaningful relationships, socialize with others, earn a living, live purposefully, and enjoy life.
When you have both mental and physical health issues, the quality of your life significantly drops and affects your relationships and social interactions. Mental health struggles are known to trigger isolation and dissociation from socializing. Without supportive relationships and forms of socialization, it’s easy for someone to fall prey to mental health issues.
As a black therapist, I understand how mental and physical health are connected and dependent on each other. How good your mental health is, affects how physically well you are for yourself and your family. People who struggle with serious mental health issues are more vulnerable to developing chronic and lifestyle diseases. Depression, for example, puts one at risk of developing heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and even death.
Physical and mental health are also connected scientifically :
• Dehydration causes cognitive impairment like short-term memory, slowed attention, mood changes, lack of productivity, and low esteem.
• Lack of sleep can cause the development of severe mental distress and may lead to depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Also, stress-related disorders and illnesses can cause a severe lack of sleep.
• Poor nutrition habits like skipping meals, eating processed and sugary foods, and poor appetite can lead to the severity of depression and mood disorders. What we eat affects our moods and behaviors. Mental health illnesses can also contribute to poor nutrition especially mood disorders.
• Physical inactivity leads to low brain resiliency which is how quickly we dust ourselves up when we go through tough situations, stress, and trauma. A lack of resiliency makes one’s mental health dwindle.
It is widely known that a high number of African Americans are living with chronic illnesses like cancer, arthritis, diabetes, and autoimmune diseases, which leaves them at a higher chance of having mental health issues like depression and anxiety. Symptoms of poor mental health can also manifest physically as fatigue, headaches, sensory overload, heart palpitations, stomachaches, sweating, cramps, and restlessness.
Two key takeaways are; there is no health without mental health and physical wellbeing significantly impacts mental health. If you’ve found yourself struggling to take care of your mental health or if your physical illnesses are affecting your mental health, feel free to contact us for a consultation.
Tiffany Saunders, Licensed Professional Counselor
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