Many people seem to believe that their mental and physical health are unrelated. However, contrary to popular belief, they are both closely related. Poor mental health can have a detrimental impact on physical health and vice versa. And having strong mental health can have a great impact on your physical health.
But how does your mental health impact your physical health? Let’s talk about it.
Effects of Mental Health on Physical Health
Your mental health plays a big role in your overall well-being. Thus, being in a stable mental state can keep you generally healthy. It can also help reduce your risk of getting serious illnesses like heart disease. But if you have unstable mental health, your general well-being also becomes unstable, and you become prone to illness and negative behaviors.
Too Little or Too Much Sleep
When you struggle with mental health issues, you’re more likely to suffer from sleep problems like insomnia. You’re also prone to suffering from sleep apnea, which can lead to breathing problems.
Depression, anxiety, or other mental health illnesses can cause sleep problems. While sleeping problems can worsen your mental health. It’s a never-ending cycle that can be solved by treating your mental health illness.
Many mental health disorders are linked to many other chronic illnesses like cancer, asthma, and even arthritis.
Dealing with a chronic illness can be made more complicated by mental health issues. Individuals with depression and other psychological issues have a higher risk of getting heart problems.
Depression and eating disorders like binge eating can also increase your risk of diabetes.
Bad Lifestyle Habits
When you struggle with mental health disorders, you develop bad lifestyle habits like smoking and drinking.
With that being said, individuals who suffer from depression have lower levels of dopamine, which is a happy hormone that influences the positive feelings in your brain. Thus, people who suffer from depression use nicotine, which is found in cigarettes, to trigger the production of dopamine to help relieve symptoms of depression.
But, you must take note that the effects of nicotine are short-lived. This can cause addiction and other chronic illnesses like lung cancer.
Increased Risk of Heart Disease
Depression can increase your risk of getting coronary heart disease. Not only does it increase your risk if you’re already suffering from heart disease, but depression can also make it a lot worse. It hinders your recovery.
High Blood Pressure
When individuals suffer from depression, anxiety, or chronic stress, their heart rate, and blood pressure increase, blood flow to the heart is restricted, and the body creates more cortisol, a stress hormone. These effects can eventually lead to heart disease or even a heart attack.
That’s a Wrap
If you want to be healthy, you have to take care of both your mental and physical health and not choose between the two. If you’re having an extremely hard time, it’s okay to ask for help and get treatment from a professional. It’s better to get help as soon as you notice something is wrong.