Mental health and wellness: a necessity for productive living

Man as a social being needs to live and interact with other components in his environment. This ability to live in harmony, unity, and productive life with other men, animals, plants, and other resources in the environment defined the functionality and satisfaction of man in his environment. Hence, a man's health is beyond physiological measures; rather, the physical, psychological, financial, and socio-cultural components of a man's life are considered in determining every man's wellness. The ability of a man to maintain normalcy in all these areas determines the mental health of man.

Therefore, mental health can be described as the ability of a man to live as expected of him in a place, having the right thought pattern, good judgment and apprehension of things around him, ability to make decisions, and fully participate in the event of the society. Following this definition, mental health is beyond being hospitalized or taking a routine drug; it is more of a man's behavior as expected in society. Therefore, the culture of a society determines the behavior of people in the society. For instance, everybody in the United States is expected to put on clothes; if anyone steps out of his house naked, there might be a sudden call for emergency, and such a man might land in a psychiatric ward. Why? Because such behavior has gone contrary to the expectation of his society, such variation from the accepted and expected behavior of any man in his environment is called mental illness.

Mental illness can be defined as an angular shift in the behavior and thinking pattern of a man contrary to what is expected of him in society and relating with other men in his locality. Such deviation is without concern to the people in a place and it always calls for the attention of experts in the medical field. Stable mental health is essential for the activeness and productivity of a man in his society, while mental illness has a poor prognosis on a man’s functionality. However, mental illness is not a tornado nor a rocket science that occurs suddenly, and it always begins with some signs and symptoms such as:

  • Inability to sleep
  • Loss of appetite
  • Avolition: Loss of motivation
  • Anhedonia: loss of interest in activities
  • Loss of energy, zeal, or passion
  • Fatigue
  • Weight loss
  • Withdrawal or keeping away from others
  • Loss of hope and self-confidence
  • Feeling threatened or life in danger
  • Suicidal attempt
  • Hearing voices or seeing things not perceived by others.

For an accurate diagnosis of mental illness, at least five of the above signs and symptoms must be present in a man for three weeks. Thus, no diagnosis can be reached without a continuous watchfulness for these red flags in a man for three weeks. Examples of mental illness include schizophrenia, mood disorder, maniac, depression, Bipolar Affective Disorder (BAD), eating disorders, drug addictions, etc.

Causes: Many factors have been outlined to be probable causes of mental illness; many of these can be avoided if the necessary information is made available to them, which is what a Well tech company is helping to achieve. However, the major causes of mental illness include:

  • Positive family history of mental illness
  • Lifestyles: An individual who consumes hard drugs such as codeine, Indian hemp, etc., is at risk of having a mental illness.
  • Environment: This is a great factor in determining the mental health of any man; the environment one grows up in, the exposure, and behaviors prevailing in a place, etc., all have a role to play in determining the mental state of the man.
  • Stress: Life situations such as marriage, finance, peer pressure, and academic performance are one of the causes of mental illness. The ability to cope correctly is a determinant of good mental health.
  • Neurological: The brain and the spinal cord regulate man's activities by releasing chemical components known as neurotransmitters like dopamine, serotonin, etc. The inappropriate release of these chemicals is regarded as a cause of mental illness.

Treatment: Like other physical illnesses, there is medical help for the management of mental illness, and this intervention for mental illness is a multidisciplinary approach that involves the combined effort of a psychiatrist, nurse, occupational therapist, clinical psychologists, social workers, and family/caregivers. A couple of treatment given to such individual includes:

  • Medications: These drugs help suppress or regulate the function of neurotransmitters. They include antidepressants, antipsychotics, stimulants, etc.
  • Psychotherapy or talk therapy: Since mental illness presents with withdrawal from people and keeping to self, one counteractive way to avoid this is the use of psychotherapy by a clinical psychologist.
  • Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT): To adjust and correct the wrong behavior of an individual with mental illness, reverse therapy is initiated to readjust such a person's thought and behavioral patterns.
  • Exercise: Engaging a mental person in physical exercises such as sports, recreational activities, and games helps to positively engage his mind and body and aims to enable a right-thinking pattern.
  • Adequate food and Nutrition: Timely and regular intake of adequate diet helps restore energy, give strength, rebuild old tissues and help keep the body fit. All of which are lacking in a mentally ill patient, there can be a need for a dietician to be added to the medical team.
  • Sleep and rest: A mentally ill individual might need to sleep and rest; it helps the brain regulate his activities and bodily functions at large. Sleep at times may be induced through the use of drugs, music therapy, or other means.

In conclusion, a man's wellness is not unilaterally dependent on the inward feeling of such man as decided by his homeostasis function. But wellness is also facilitated by how a man sees, interacts, and participates in his society, this is called mental health, and it can either be good or bad. Many factors can be the cause of mental illness. All of these can be avoided before the onset and can also be treated if the affected individual or family calls for help from the medical team.

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