Mental health has been increasingly regarded as a significant component of public health in the past few years. People worldwide now know that disturbed or poor mental health has a massive negative impact on a person’s life outcomes. Mental health is a vast arena that includes anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, depression, and more. Their effects on your life include lack of concentration, health, unhealthy relationships, career, and education. It is also seen that people with mental illnesses have comorbid disorders that feature various types of addiction problems. All these can highly affect the overall productivity of an individual.
When such illnesses are left untreated, they can result in more complications in an individual’s professional and personal life. Again and again, science has proven that mental disorders can cause havoc to the mind and body that will affect your daily life. Here are some common examples of how your daily life is affected by your poor mental health.
Immune System and Depression
One of the primary physical symptoms of depression is the immune system of the body. Medical professionals have stated that depression can cause malfunction to the immune system. They have also stated that malfunctions in the immune system can also cause depression. Hence, both factors can affect one another. This can be easily explained with the following example.
Social factors, diet, stress, and sleep can highly affect the immune system’s functional ability. Moreover, social isolation, appetite changes, sleep changes, and excess sleep are classic symptoms of depression. Therefore, any changes in these elements can affect your daily life (1).
A recent study has stated that repeated exposure to stress can result in an immune response which releases inflammatory proteins in the body. The inflammation causes impaired and atrophy responses in the brain that leads to depressive behaviors. In other words, this cause-and-effect relationship like depression, immune function, and stress. Other than that, a weak immune system caused by depression also leads to common health conditions like infections, autoimmune diseases, heart diseases, and more that would affect your day-to-day activities.
Poor Memory and Stress
It may happen that sometimes you try to remember a specific event or something you have read, but you just cannot. This is because minor stress has a significant impact on the memory that can make you forget minor events like where you have kept your car keys as well as major events like what was your previous meal.
A study conducted in 2012 stated that chronic stress negatively impacts spatial memory, information recall, and spatial orientation. Another study conducted in 2014 also noted that high cortisol levels, a stress hormone, are linked to short-term memory decline. It has also demonstrated that when students encounter stress immediately before or after learning, their memory becomes ineffective in retaining the new information (2).
Low memory can affect your daily life as you would tend to forget little details of your daily tasks that cause a lot of hindrances. Low memory can lead to loss of self-confidence among people that can prevent them from engaging in activities they like.
Social Withdrawal and Anxiety
People with anxiety and clinical depression have a strong urge always to pull away from both their immediate and overall surroundings to shut themselves down. Studies have also stated that individuals with any mental disorder are more likely to isolate themselves that further worsens their symptoms.
Limited social relationships and interactions can have a detrimental effect on both the psychological and physical health of an individual. The risk of mortality, stroke, and coronary heart disease increases when people with anxiety or other mental disorders isolate themselves socially.
Depressive people have more dysfunctional and less rewarding social relationships that affect their educational institutions and workplaces’ performance (3). They often suffer from mood swings and find it difficult to function in a social setting that can hamper their personal and work lives. For instance, a socially awkward child will find it challenging to work in a group project and show poor performance than his/her peers.
What can you do to keep yourself afloat?
When you are diagnosed with a mental disorder, you have to bring specific changes to your life. These changes will help you to cope with the symptoms and even get better with time. Research has proven that the mental health of individuals changes with time. Hence, if you adopt appropriate coping mechanisms, you would improve your mental health and thereby lead an active, healthy life.
While you can book an appointment with the nearest psychologist or psychiatrist to treat your mental illness, there are other methods that you can adopt too. For instance, people suffering from anxiety or panic attacks often get themselves service dogs. These dogs specialize in providing holistic medical care that helps reduce and sometimes even curing certain mental health symptoms.
Michael is a health blogger with 8 years of experience in counseling and helping people around the world, offering effective and efficient solutions for a healthy lifestyle. He started blogging in 2010 and also uses C4H recently as a platform to exchange views, thoughts, and questions about parenting, family, self-improvement, relationship, health, lifestyle, blogging, and other related aspects of life.