Mental health issues are often thought of as completely separate from physical health issues. Because of this, there is a stigma that mental illness is less valid than physical illness. However, the two are more related than you’d think. Here are a few ways that mental health can impact physical health.
1. Change in appetite
You might binge eat or not want to eat at all. Change in appetite is one of the most common signs of depression or a depression relapse. Feelings of sadness and worthlessness cause some people to overeat. Whereas lack of motivation keeps others from eating.
2. Extreme Weight Loss or Weight Gain
Due to the changes in appetite and exercise that come with mental illness, a person may gain or lose a lot of weight.
3. Upset Stomach
Have you ever gotten those butterflies in your stomach? That’s because anxiety can cause gastrointestinal discomfort. Symptoms can range from a weak stomach to nausea or even heartburn. Basically, anything for which you would take Pepto Bismol.
4. Increased Aches and Pain
Poor mental health can lead to bad moods. A bad mood can make pain, like back pain, feel worse.
5. High Blood Pressure
Doctors previously thought that the link between mental health and heart health was behavioral because people who experience poor mental health often turn to smoking and excessive amounts of food or alcohol. However, scientists and doctors are beginning to see poor mental health itself as a risk factor.
6. Sleep Changes and Tiredness
Changes in mental health can cause insomnia or a person to oversleep. If you’ve ever pulled an all-nighter or taken a nap that was too long then you know that both can cause tiredness. Mental health itself can cause a person to feel tired because mental fatigue is linked to physical fatigue.
7. Physical Fitness
Being mentally fit leads to being physically fit. People in a good mental headspace can have more endurance and actually have the motivation to work out.
It’s just as important to take care of yourself mentally as it is to take care of yourself physically. Just as you would if you were physically ill, you should go see a doctor about your mental health.