We need to be healthy in order to enjoy our life. Not just physically healthy but we need to be mentally well too. More than often mental health is not taken into account. But mental health is equally important and it adds to the quality of life. Recent lifestyle changes have led to an increase in the risk of mental health problems like anxiety, depression, mood changes, etc.
What is mental health?
Before we talk about various feelings and how they affect our lives, it is important to know what mental health is and how it is vital for the overall well-being of any individual.
Mental health encompasses our emotional, psychological, and social health or well-being. It greatly affects our thinking, response, and feelings. It is vital for every step of our life starting from our childhood to puberty and going on through adulthood. As we grow older, our emotions, thinking, and preferences can change. If someone is going through drastic emotional changes then their thinking, mood, and even behaviour can change.
Mental health can occur at any age and there can be several factors influencing your mental wellbeing. Such factors can be biological factors (genes, brain chemistry, etc), life experiences (adversities, trauma, etc), genetic causes (family history), etc.
There can be conditions affecting any individual like anxiety, depression, distress, etc. Let’s talk about them in detail.
Anxiety can be called when you feel scared or worried about something which can be a real-life situation or even a possible outcome of some situation. It is important to know if you are having anxiety disorder so that you can take steps to minimise or stop it from getting any worse. It is often linked to depression and is a quite common mental disorder.
Depression is often confused with sadness. It is different from sadness. If someone is depressed then that person will feel sad and out of energy for weeks and months. You may lose hope and have difficulty focusing on your day-to-day work or even getting out of bed. These are all signs of depression.
Distress is a state of being in extreme trouble. You may have unpleasant feelings, thoughts, or behaviour. It can adversely affect the way you may feel or do things and make decisions.
Mood disorders can affect someone’s emotional state and can be caused due to several reasons like trauma, biological reasons, genetic reasons, etc. Mood changes are identified by intense emotions like sadness or maybe alternated by elation. In short, there is a sudden change in the emotion of the individual.
How can you detect if a person’s mental well-being is affected?
If you feel or see any of these feelings then you might consult your doctor or talk to someone whom you trust. Let’s list down some of these feelings: a feeling of hopelessness, eating too much or not eating anything, losing interest in any activities you perform, always feeling low in energy, having unreasonable pains, excessive drinking or smoking, strained relationships with your friends and family, having mood swings, suicidal thoughts, etc.
Emotional, mental health, and mood changes after being diagnosed with cancer
It’s quite obvious to be flooded by all sorts of emotions after being diagnosed with cancer. You can be shocked, sad, lonely, angry, guilty, and desperate. All these feelings are real and you can start accepting them.
Cancer is a loss for most people. You can lose your health. The overall appearance may change. Family relationships can also change. The heavy burden of cancer treatment can lead to financial setbacks. This is in addition to physical suffering. Therefore, you should also pay attention to your mental health. Mental health is so important that we cannot say we will meet another day.
During the course of treatment, it is very common to feel anxiety before and after the test. You may think that you are not healing the way you should have. You may feel sad, but it’s very common and natural. This can lead to depression. You may lose hope and have difficulty focusing on your day-to-day work or even getting out of bed. These are all signs of depression.
Even after a person recovers from cancer, he or she often doesn’t seem happy or partying. This may be because a person has been through a lot. The person may still be used to not going to the medical facility anymore. Research has found that cancer survivors are more often affected by anxiety and depression than those without a history of cancer.
Ways to deal with mental health issues
Get medical support: You should consult a doctor to get a clear picture of your mental health. A lot of issues can be solved with the help of medicines. For treating depression, you can have antidepressants. The same goes for distress and anxiety as well.
Dealing with your feelings: The first thing you need to do is accept your feelings. Accept that you are feeling overwhelmed, fearful, weak, and angry. All feelings are natural and it’s okay to feel that way. Don’t be hard on yourself or live in guilt.
Exercise regularly: Doing exercise daily can surely help you with both physical and mental health benefits. Practicing yoga, aerobics and meditation can surely help you deal with anxiety and panic attacks.
Social support: Social support for the patients includes the patient’s family, friends, and caretakers. It might also mean therapists or support groups. There is a need for these social support groups to be sensitive and actively listen to the person having mental health issues.
Find a hobby: Take a break and relax. Spend some time doing what you like and enjoy. You can do gardening, knitting, listening to music, etc.
Mental health is vital to stay healthy just like physical health. Although, it may seem to be something you can neglect because it has a significant impact on anyone’s quality of life. Hence, mental health cannot be neglected. It is crucial to understand and identify the mental issue one might be having. You should not feel shy or burdened by it but seek medical attention and help from your loved ones.