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06/Nov/2019

According to the Australian Government Department of Health, mental illness is prevalent throughout Australia, as it is in other developed countries.  Mental illness affects all areas of life, including the social, family, and economic spheres.  Consequently, dealing with mental illness is gaining priority throughout the developed world, as the costs incurred to deal with this epidemic continue to climb.  These costs negatively affect individuals, companies, and governments alike.

A mental illness is a disorder that affects how an individual feels, thinks, and behaves.  Conditions that fall under the mental illness umbrella include depression, anxiety disorders, addictive behaviors, and schizophrenia, as well as many others.  Most people suffer from some form of mental concern at some point in their life.  That mental concern becomes a mental illness when it affects a person’s ability to function in his or her normal, everyday life.

Are you concerned about the idea of developing a mental illness or are you already feeling the effects and are worried about dealing with increasing problems?  If so, there are several actions you can take to help mitigate the symptoms related to mental illness and promote a more peaceful and happier frame of mind.

First, you need to treat yourself well.  Understand the importance of taking time for yourself and doing what you love to do.  Taking time for yourself is not selfish, it is the best thing you can do for yourself and others around you.  Not only will you benefit, but those you deal with will also benefit, as you are better able to be supportive of your family and friends.

Second, take care of your body.  The state of your physical body has a great effect on the state of your mental mindset.  Remember to eat properly.  Good nutrition is essential.  Keep hydrated by drinking plenty of water.  Exercise regularly.  When you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins; these endorphins then promote a positive feeling in your body.

Avoid alcohol, nicotine, and caffeine.  While the exact relationship between these substances and depression is not fully understood, it is known that regular consumption increases feelings of depression.  Therefore, it is best to avoid them altogether.  (Yes, it is definitely easier said than done.)

Get out (or stay in) and do something fun.  Change up your routine.  Whether simply changing the route you take to work or getting out and going on an adventure, some change is good for your mental health.

Study after study cites that adults are not getting enough sleep.  This can be extremely detrimental to your mental health.  The solution here is to put a higher priority on getting a good night’s sleep.

Volunteering is another way to ward off or ease mental illness.  As you help others, you gain a sense of satisfaction from helping out someone in need.  In addition, as you look at the lives of others and their difficulties it is easier to accept your own problems and be thankful for what you have.

If you are experiencing mental illness and are just not able to cope with it then please get help.  Mental illness is not something to be ashamed of; it is a disease just like cancer is a disease.  Talk with family or friends.  If family and friends cannot help you, then it is time to talk to a professional such as your medical doctor, psychologist, or psychiatrist.

“Men especially feel the need to pretend that everything is okay, and that admitting this to their friends will make them appear weak.  I can assure you this is actually a sign of strength.”  – Prince William

“Everyone experiences a version of anxiety or worry in their lives, and maybe we go through it in a different or more intense way for longer periods of time, but there’s nothing wrong with you.”  – Emma Stone

https://www.health.gov.au/internet/publications/publishing.nsf/Content/mental-pubs-f-plan09-toc~mental-pubs-f-plan09-con~mental-pubs-f-plan09-con-mag


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