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Mental Health

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)

Lifestyle choices

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)

  • Social involvement

  • Education

  • Housing situation

  • 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)

Negative emotions

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


Treatment

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

Self help

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)

Exercise

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


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:

MSBR

Calm app

HeadSpace app

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.

That's all for this week, don't forget to leave us feedback, rate, review, subscribe and send in your questions so we can continue to improve as well as, provide you high quality content. Disclaimer: The Content on our podcast/website is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

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