Mental health is a common topic, with many people wanting to improve their mental health or learn more about it. However, many individuals may not understand why mental health matters. Having good mental health should have obvious benefits, but why does it matter? This article aims to provide this understanding to you so you may recognize the warning signs of poor mental health and improve your quality of life.
In this article, we will discuss what mental health is, common mental health conditions and their symptoms, and answer three questions: why is mental health important, what can mental health affect, and why does your mental health matter?
What is Mental Health?
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration, mental health includes our emotional and mental well-being by affecting how we think, feel, and act. Mental health influences how we handle stress, make choices, form relationships, and cope with challenges.
Mental illnesses are some of the most common health conditions in the United States. In 2020, it was reported that 47.1 million people in the United States were living with mental health conditions, averaging about one-in-five adults living with a mental illness. This shows the impact of mental health services and how important it is to understand why your mental health matters.
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Common Mental Health Disorders
Common mental health disorders are a range of conditions that affect a person’s thoughts, emotions, and behavior. They can vary in severity, duration, and specific symptoms, but they often significantly impact an individual’s daily functioning and overall well-being. Here are some of the most common mental health disorders:
- Anxiety Disorders: Anxiety disorders can cause excessive worry, fear, paranoia, and unease. They include disorders such as generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, and phobias.
- Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder that involves patterns of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity that can impact daily life. It is commonly developed during childhood but can continue or develop into adulthood as well.
- Bipolar Disorder: Bipolar disorder involves intense mood swings, resulting in alternating patterns of manic and depressive episodes. The severity and symptoms of bipolar disorder can vary and may also last for extended amounts of time. To be diagnosed with bipolar disorder, an individual may have experienced at least one manic episode.
- Depressive Disorders: Depressive disorders, also known as depression or major depressive disorder, is more than the stereotypical feelings of sadness and is a serious mental illness that requires medical attention. Depression can have devastating effects on individuals and can last as long as several years.
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): PTSD occurs after a traumatic event, such as an accident, assault, death, or natural disaster, and has long-lasting effects on an individual’s mental health. Many individuals may have short-term responses to these kinds of trauma, however, some may develop PTSD.
- Eating Disorders: Eating disorders, such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, or binge eating disorder, involves a distorted way of thinking regarding food, body weight, and physical appearance. This can cause significant physical and mental health problems, such as poor body image, feelings of guilt, inadequate nutrition, and more.
Symptoms of a Mental Health Condition
As seen above, there are many different kinds of mental health conditions that can affect someone. While all these conditions have their own symptoms and health problems, most share some common symptoms. These symptoms can include the following:
- Feelings of extreme sadness
- Difficulties concentrating
- Extreme mood swings
- Excessive paranoia or fear
- Withdrawing from social relationships with loved ones
- Inability to handle stress
- Irregular sleep patterns
- No longer enjoying activities or hobbies
- Changes in sex drive
- Suicidal thoughts or ideation
Why Is Mental Health Important?
Why would mental health be important? Mental health is essential for your overall well-being, as it influences your physical health, productivity, relationships, and ability to cope with stress. It contributes to a higher quality of life and helps prevent and address mental health issues. When mental health is prioritized and maintained, individuals can experience greater satisfaction, resilience, and social connection, while reducing the risk of physical health problems and the impact of mental disorders. Promoting mental well-being and early intervention is crucial for individuals, communities, and societies to thrive and flourish.
What Can Mental Health Affect?
Now that we’ve discussed the importance of mental health, we can take a look at what mental health can affect. While we have mentioned a few things it can affect, several areas of life are impacted by mental health.
- Emotional Well-Being: Mental health significantly impacts our emotional well-being, resulting in problems with how we regulate and experience our emotions. As mental health also affects our cognitive function, mental wellness is imperative. When our mental health is compromised, individuals can experience issues with decision-making, memory, anxiety, and concentration.
- Relationships: Healthy mental well-being fosters positive relationships and social connections, enabling meaningful connections and healthy communication. When individuals have healthy relationships with those close to them, such as family members, friends, or a significant other, their social well-being improves. This can then lead to an improved sense of mental health. However, poor mental health can lead to social withdrawal and strained relationships.
- Physical Health: Mental health is also closely intertwined with physical health, as it can contribute to the development of physical conditions and impact overall health. Mental health plays a significant role in daily functioning, affecting tasks, routines, and relationships.
Why Does Your Mental Health Matter?
Your mental health matters because it impacts every aspect of your life. As seen above, mental health affects many different aspects of your daily life and can cause significant issues if not properly taken care of. Mental health care can seem overwhelming, especially if you suffer from a mental health condition. Still, by prioritizing your mental health, you can lead a balanced, fulfilling, and happier life.
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Mental Health Housing at Riviera Recovery
Now that you’ve got an understanding of why mental health matters, you may be considering receiving treatment for your conditions. Mental health treatment can be overwhelming, especially with all of the options out there.
At Riviera Recovery, we provide premier mental health housing in Los Angeles, CA. We help young adults find their way back into society by utilizing our individualized care programs. Our team of highly trained mental health professionals is here to give you to necessary resources and support to make lifelong changes. If you or a loved one are suffering from a mental illness, contact us today to learn more about our housing programs.