Why is mental health important for overall health?
Mental and physical health are equally important components of overall health. For example, depression increases the risk for many types of physical health problems, particularly long-lasting conditions like, heart disease, and stroke. Similarly, the presence of chronic conditions can increase the risk for mental illness.
Mental illnesses are among the most common health conditions in the United States.
- More than 50% will be diagnosed with a mental illness or disorder at some point in their lifetime.
- 1 in 5 Americans will experience a mental illness in a given year.
- 1 in 5 children, either currently or at some point during their life, have had a seriously debilitating mental illness.
- 1 in 25 Americans lives with a serious mental illness, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or major depression.
It’s important to remember that a person’s mental health can change over time, depending on many factors. When the demands placed on a person exceed their resources and coping abilities, their mental health could be impacted. For example, if someone is working long hours, caring for a relative, or experiencing economic hardship, they may experience poor mental health.
There is no single cause for mental illness. A number of factors can contribute to risk for mental illness, such as
- Early adverse life experiences, such as trauma or a history of abuse (for example, child abuse, sexual assault, witnessing violence, etc.)
- Experiences related to other ongoing (chronic) medical conditions, such as cancer or diabetes
- Biological factors or chemical imbalances in the brain
- Use of alcohol or drugs
- Having feelings of loneliness or isolation
There are many ways to perceive mental illness, and their impact on over all wellness. As we at PathologyPrevention consider mental health we check our thinking and consider our thoughts through the lens of eight psychology theories. The Biological Theory looks for biological explanations for our behavior. On perhaps the other shoulder sits Behavioral Theory. Together they provide a perspective just a little more complete than the one or the other. Then there is the Cognitive Theory and the Humanistic Theory, each with is own set of strengths. The Evolutionary Theory explains in terms of the evolution of mankind. All these theories add to the depth of our understanding. I'd be hard-pressed to say there was one theory more correct than the rest.
The Theory's of Psychodynamic, Sociocultural, and Biopsychosocial are set of theory that attempt to consider an overlapping, holistic sets of thinking. As we approach explanations for our mental health status, normal your going to want to search with all theories in mind.
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