Your Mental and Physical Health

In our day-to-day lives, we often forget how interconnected our physical and mental wellness are to each other. If we go into the doctor’s office for gastrointestinal issues, we may not even realize that anxiety might also play a role. Or, for another example, if we go to a therapist for depression issues, we may not realize that an insomnia condition is also occurring.

So, looking at the above examples, it is important to be mindful of both mental health and physical health at the same time. According to NAMI (The National Alliance on Mental Illness), people who experience mental health problems often face additional physical issues like cardiovascular or metabolic disease. On the other hand, having a physical problem can create mental health issues like depression and anxiety. Not addressing one can intensify the other and make it harder to progress or get better.

Many therapists and physicians screen for coexisting disorders or symptoms and will refer or recommend further assessment if indicated. However, it is also important for the patient to advocate for themselves and speak up about other problems they may be experiencing.

A great way to prevent or minimize risk factors related to physical and mental health is increasing physical activity, practicing adequate eating and sleep hygiene, social support, and inclusion, and reaching out to address mental and physical symptoms as they occur.