We’ve talked about anxiety and work life balance in previous episodes but we haven’t talked about mental health, in general. We wanted to dedicate an episode to discuss what mental health is, myths, what happens if you don’t protect your mental health, risk factors, applications and some treatment options. If you haven't listened yet, CLICK HERE. Then come back for the show notes:
♡ What is Mental Health?
This is a very broad topic that encompasses cognitive, behavioral and emotional aspects.
Let’s break it down further:
Cognitive is the thought process
Behavioral involves your actions
Emotional is how you feel
All of these components correspond to your well-being. Sure, some of us have moments where we are sad and then those feelings are gone as quickly as they came while others have these feelings linger and start to affect their mental health.
♡ When do you need to be concerned about your mental health?
When it affects your day to day.
A quote we found that we really wanted to share:
“Mental health is a state of well-being in which an individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.”
Statistically speaking in the US the National Alliance on Mental Illness estimates that almost 1 in 5 adults experience mental health problems each year. In 2017, an estimated 11.2 million adults in the US or about 4.5% of adults had a severe psychological condition according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).
♡ Risk Factors
Everyone can be at risk for a mental health disorder
Social and financial circumstances can increase your risk
Genetics and/or physical health (i.e.: diabetes, cancer, chronic pain)
Co-disorders (i.e.: someone with ADHD, OCD can be diagnosed simultaneously)
Some risk factors will be particular to certain mental health issues:
i.e.: In depression, elderly males are at highest risk for suicide
It’s important to always emphasize modifiable risk factors as these you can change to some extent. These include:
Socioeconomics (your work or occupation)
Overall quality of life
Non-modifiable risk factors (those you can’t typically change) include:
sex, age and ethnicity
♡ Early Signs
Withdrawal from social interactions (family, friends, colleagues)
Avoiding activities you would normally be a part of
Excess sleep or lack thereof
Eating more or way less
Feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness
Low energy (continuously) not like after my ICU night shift week...
Using substances more commonly (alcohol, tobacco, drugs)
Confused or being unable to complete daily tasks
Persistent thoughts or memories that continue to recur
Wanting to hurt yourself or others
Hallucinations or delusions
Individual to each persons needs
Typically, treatment is most effective when used in therapy and pharmacologic management are used in combination:
The therapy most commonly utilized is CBT aka cognitive behavioral therapy or its subtypes
Medications depending on the underlying mental health issue
A good support system
♡ Corona and Mental health
Corona has definitely been hard for a lot of people in regards to their mental health. We have seen patients seeking treatment due to the social isolation as it has become a burden in various ways. It’s important to try to adapt to some of these changes and find other means to socialize, interact and get outside. Go for a hike even if it is only by yourself, keep your body moving, interact via zoom or other apps or websites, get a stationary bike for the house, do not fear utilizing tele services and if needed there are always Facetime tele-health services available. Remember that we acknowledge what you are going through and we want you to know that you are not alone!
♡ Secret Tips
Drink plenty of water
Write out your thoughts
(this can be done in several ways by writing in a diary or jotting down what you’re grateful for)
Yoga or meditation
(doubles up as exercise and relaxation)
Listen to music
Get appropriate amounts of sleep
Speak to someone
(friend, neighbor, family member, stranger, healthcare professional)
Understand you’re not alone
Read self-help books
(Like we do)
Sometimes these are some easy things that may help!
♡ Mental Health Resources
https://www.thehotline.org/ - domestic violence
https://candleinc.org/ - substance abuse
https://soaringspirits.org/ - widowed support
https://www.ffcmh.org/resources - families for children’s mental health
https://www.nami.org/Home - national mental health alliance
Support groups are super important and you can find many of these online such as, alcoholics anonymous, narcotics anonymous, or find your local chapter. There are also international mental health services https://www.centreforglobalmentalhealth.org/ as well as, religious outlets.
Some of our favorite platforms that promote mental health:
Peloton exercise app
Final note: SUICIDE and really Suicide prevention. If you know someone at immediate risk of self-harm, suicide, or hurting another person:
Ask the tough question if they have thought about committing suicide
Listen to them without judgment
Call 911 or the local emergency number
You can text TALK to 741741 to communicate with a trained crisis counselor
Stay with the person until professional help arrives
Remove any potentially harmful objects such as, weapons or medications, if possible
If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide you can reach out to The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline which is available 24 hours per day at 1-800-273-8255. People who are hard of hearing can call 1-800-799-4889.
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