Some of the most commonly associated factors that affect mental health include abuse, social isolation, family crisis, and more.
We all go through difficult times in our lives, and feeling emotional is normal. Emotions like sadness and anxiety help us understand situations and then react to them accordingly.
However, it is unhealthy when these sentiments are excessive, irrational, and ongoing for extended periods because they start interfering with our daily routine.
Just like physical health, our mental health fluctuates as well. There are days when you feel strong enough to deal with whatever life throws at you.
However, there are days when even the simplest of things feel overwhelming.
Everyone is genetically different. Our upbringing, environment, and experiences vary. Some people experience little or no mental health problems, while some deal with long-term and persistent difficulties.
But you should know mental health problems are manageable. There are several interventions and strategies to deal with it.
So if there is something that is worrying you and you are not functioning as you usually do, it is high time to seek help.
8 Factors That Affect Mental Health
Several factors can affect the mental health of a person; some of the most commonly associated factors are:
When a person lives in an insecure environment and feels powerless to change circumstances or is afraid of someone’s actions, they are more likely to develop mental illness. Abuse can be verbal, physical, sexual, or psychological.
Did you know that children are at a greater risk of developing mental illness as their minds are fragile and the coping mechanism is not that strong?
If discovered at an early stage, the chances of returning to a healthy state of mind are greatly enhanced.
So, just for the sake of help, what you can do is be empathetic towards such marginalized groups of people.
During difficult and trying times, mentally ill people require allyship. In retrospect, the typical allyship definition encompasses supporting victims of abuse, isolation, and family crisis — those who aren’t recognized and supported when they need it.
Therefore, being an ally will help abuse victims develop a healthier state of mind, help them escape traumatic experiences, and emerge emotionally stronger.
2. Social Isolation
Isolating yourself from the world often leads to depression which, in turn, leads to further isolation. So it’s a good idea to learn methods to diagnosis depression and address it as soon as possible.
Also, the social environment dramatically influences the person’s ability to cope with any stress.
Let’s suppose a person loses their job or gets divorced; it is vital to have their family members and friends around. If they’re not supportive, there are chances of that person collapsing.
But don’t give up on that quickly. Take care of yourself, eat healthily, and exercise regularly.
You can join different support groups where you can socialize and feel less isolated.
3. Health Problems
A common misconception is our mind and body are two separate entities. However, you will be amazed to know that there is a direct relation between the two.
Long-term illness or life-threatening conditions can have a detrimental effect on a person’s mental health.
Physical illness can make a person depressed and anxious. Their self-esteem is greatly affected as they cannot achieve their goals.
So the best possible treatment in such a scenario is treating both the physical problem and the psychological consequences to reach the optimal recovery to a healthy person.
4. Family Crisis
Family crises include parental separation, chronic illness or loss of a family member, financial situation, legal matters, or anything that troubles the family and disrupts their normal function.
Students who study close or away from home tend to experience homesickness and loneliness.
Their academic performance is affected as their attention is divided between family and education. If such children are facing difficulty in coping with the pressure, they should seek professional help.
5. Substance Abuse
When a person is going through difficult circumstances, there are greater chances of using alcohol or drug as a coping mechanism.
On a short-term basis, alcohol and drugs can make you feel better and relaxed. However, long-term usage can cause anxiety, depression, or psychosis and make the person vulnerable to mental illness.
It can alter your mood, disrupt your coping skills, and can undermine your self-esteem to the level a person becomes suicidal.
Substance abuse has now become common amongst youngsters. You might not be sure of the cause, but you may notice changes in students’ academic performance.
Such students may resist engaging with health services. So here comes the role of teachers and parents; they can counsel the kid and taper off the use.
It is the outward manifestation of not being fair and not evaluating an individual based on merit, capacity, and capability.
It causes the exclusion of some people from social, political, and economic activities and puts an undue burden on them.
Discrimination has a direct influence on mental and physical health. Such individuals are more likely to develop psychosis, anxiety, and depression.
But you can help mitigate discrimination. You can help those marginalized groups of people by creating a zero-tolerance policy on campus and in offices.
7. Money And Unemployment
Loss in business, unemployment, redundancy, investment losses, all affect mental health negatively. But during such situations, it is expected to feel those emotions rushing in.
If you are going through such challenging times, you might feel difficulty sleeping.
There might be a feeling of guilt and embarrassment. You may also distance yourself from your loved ones. Most people get over the situation after some time.
However, some people find it challenging to cope, and it starts affecting their lives. So it is helpful to talk about it with someone or, most preferably, your psychologist.
Research suggests that mental illness is hereditary and runs in families. Currently, no gene proves that it can predict the possibility of mental health illness.
Doctors recommend that mental illness occurs as a result of abnormalities in multiple genes rather than one.
So when such people interact with the environment, they develop the susceptibility to developing mental illness. That is why a person might be at risk but not necessarily develop mental illness.
Do you know that a healthy lifestyle requires a good balance between mental, physical, and spiritual well-being? Luckily the perception of mental illness has improved over the past decade.
Yet, the stigma against mental health is still strong due to the stereotypes and lack of education.
The resources for treatment are readily available. However, some people spread misconceptions, making it challenging for a struggling person to overcome mental illness.
So, as a responsible citizen, you can show respect and accept such individuals. You can ensure that their rights are not violated and get equal opportunities as other community members.