14 Surprising Mental Health Facts You Should Know
Mental health is an important topic to discuss, and it’s one that many people are afraid to bring up. But the more we talk about mental health, the more we’ll understand it—and the more we’ll be able to help each other. Mental illness affects all of us in some way, whether we’re diagnosed with a disorder or not. So let’s start by debunking some common myths about mental illness and therapy with these 14 surprising mental health facts.
1. It’s Normal to Feel Occasional Anxiety
Anxiety is a normal part of life, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to deal with. Anxiety can be a response to a stressful situation or event. It can also be caused by a medical condition, such as an overactive thyroid gland or an anxiety disorder. If you feel anxious all the time, there are many treatments available to help you cope with your symptoms better and manage them long-term: medication and therapy are two common methods used by mental health professionals that may help ease your mind.
2. Your Diet Impacts Your Mental Health
Many people fail to see the connection between their physical and mental health. It all starts with eating the right foods that will nourish you rather than harm you. If you are new to eating healthy foods, then start slow and find a few that you enjoy while building your momentum.
Of course, there are other nutritional factors that can impact your mental health. It’s a surprising mental health fact, but if you have a food allergy or dietary restriction, for example, this may make it harder to see progress. Try to visit a gluten allergy doctor or a similar nutritionist to help you solve your allergies and get your diet on track.
3. Depression Can Be Treated
Despite what you may believe about struggles with depression, depression is a treatable illness. The next time someone tells you to ‘snap out of it,’ remember: depression isn’t something that can be cured by willpower alone. It’s quite a surprising mental health fact, but depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain, so it makes sense that there are some treatments available (such as medication) that help restore balance and relieve symptoms.
There are several ways to approach treatment. Getting more physical activity is often a major weapon in the battle against depression. If you have back pain, seek the right spinal care so that you can exercise regularly. There are now more options than ever when it comes to both exercise and recovery. Experiment with workout routines, cryotherapy treatments, and other modern tools to get started on your journey of treating your depression.
4. Not Getting Enough Sleep Can Do More Harm Than You Think
While we all know that sleep is essential for our bodies to recuperate, it’s not often that we’re aware of just how much damage not getting enough sleep can do. These effects can go beyond the obvious scenarios like feeling tired or yawning all the time. Similar to neglecting back treatment and other necessary health services, getting too little sleep can contribute to anxiety and depression, as well as impairments in memory and cognition.
In fact, even one night of missing out on those precious hours of rest can have significant consequences. Lack of sleep has been shown to cause weight gain by causing a drop in leptin (a hormone that tells us when we’ve had enough food) and an increase in ghrelin (a hormone that tells us when we’re hungry), which makes you more likely to overeat at meals later on in the day. Learning more about these kinds of surprising mental health facts can help you to correct your course.
5. Your Personality Can Also Affect Your Mental Health
Your personality is a combination of the way you think, feel, and act. Your personality can affect how you relate to others, how you cope with stress, and what kind of problems you face in life. It’s one of the most surprising mental health facts, but personality is influenced by genetics, as well as by your environment and experiences. It can also change over time depending on how you respond to your environment and experiences.
6. Mental Illness Is Not Contagious
Mental illness is not contagious. You can’t catch it from someone else. It’s a brain disorder that results from a chemical imbalance in your brain, and it has nothing to do with weakness or moral failures. Don’t be afraid to seek help for your mental health if you need it. It’s nothing to be ashamed of.
The first step toward recovery is recognizing that you have an illness and seeking help from a doctor or therapist who specializes in mental health care (or both). Many insurance plans such as Medicare insurance can even help you seek the right treatment.
7. Childhood Experiences Matter When It Comes to Depression
You may have heard that mental illness or depression is a brain disease. That’s true. But what you might not know is that childhood experiences can also affect your mental health later in life.
If you have someone in your family who experienced depression, there’s a good chance that you will too. On the other hand, if there are people in your family who haven’t struggled with it and are very happy and healthy, then you might be less likely to experience depression yourself later on in life. It’s all about genetics!
The point is that if someone has battled with this illness before (or even tried to commit suicide), they should get help right away so they don’t end up needing medication or therapy later on down the road. In the same way, you shouldn’t ignore visiting eye doctors if you have a vision problem, you should also take care of your mental health to maintain your well-being.
8. Talking Is a Powerful Tool for Supporting Mental Health
If you notice that a loved one is showing signs of mental illness, talk to them. A good place to start is by empathizing with how they may be feeling. It’s important not to jump to conclusions or offer solutions without knowing what they are going through, but it is okay if they want some advice once they open up about their feelings.
You can also support them by listening and encouraging them to seek treatment for mental illness if necessary. When someone is going through treatment for a disorder like depression or anxiety, it can be difficult work and sometimes even frustrating at times. Be patient with this process as well as any recovery process after treatment ends.
9. Most People Will Experience Mental Health Problems At Some Point
Some of the most surprising mental health facts show that you may be more familiar with the term ‘mental illness’ than you think. 1 in 5 Americans will experience a mental illness during their lifetime, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).
While it’s true that some people are more likely to develop certain kinds of mental health conditions than others—for example, women and people from certain ethnic backgrounds may be more susceptible to depression or anxiety. No one is immune to mental illness.
It’s also important to know that there are effective treatments available for most forms of mental illness and ways you can manage your symptoms at home (without having to resort to calling 911). And while being diagnosed with a psychological condition doesn’t often correlate directly with increased happiness or success in life, research has shown that those who seek treatment are just as happy as those without any history of mental illness whatsoever.
10. Mental Health Is Just as Important as Physical Health
Mental health is just as important as physical health. Mental illness can lead to physical problems and vice versa, but both are equally important to your overall well-being. This is especially important if you have a high-stress job like a lawyer.
Remember, mental health isn’t just a personal issue, it’s a social problem that affects the lives of everyone around you. If you don’t have good mental health, it can negatively impact your relationships, work performance, and financial success. Setting the most surprising mental health facts aside, it also makes it difficult for you to be an active member of society if you’re unable to get out and enjoy yourself or go on vacation with friends because of depression or anxiety issues.
11. Therapeutic Counseling Is One of the Best Ways To Treat Mental Illness
When it comes to mental health, there is often a stigma associated with therapy and counseling. People tend to think of it as a magic cure that will fix your problems overnight. However, therapy is actually a process, and it’s a process that takes time and effort. What you should know about therapy is that it requires patience, practice, and perseverance to work effectively.
If you’re considering seeking help for a mental illness but are afraid of going through the process of therapy/counseling because you feel like it’s going to be too slow or tedious, don’t give up. Therapy isn’t easy at first, as many of the most surprising mental health facts show. However, if you stick with it consistently (even if weekly sessions seem overwhelming), over time things will become easier for you mentally and emotionally as well as physically (people who suffer from severe anxiety often say their symptoms go away after a few months).
12. You Don’t Have To Be Suffering From a Mental Health Disorder To See a Counselor or Therapist
You don’t have to be suffering from a mental health disorder to see a counselor or therapist. In fact, many people see counselors simply because they want someone to talk with about something that’s bothering them. Other reasons include:
- To work on personal growth and development
- To learn new skills
- To get help with specific problems
Sometimes mental health issues are merely a product of life circumstances, while other cases have deeper causes. Looking at your insurance services and seeing what kind of help may be covered under your plan is a great way to get started on treating mental health issues. This surprising mental health fact is one that many people overlook when addressing mental problems.
13. You Need Emotional and Mental Rest During Difficult Times
Just like with colds or flu, you need emotional and mental rest during difficult times. If you are feeling stressed, take some time off from work to recover. Get away from the office by taking a vacation or going on a weekend trip with friends. It’s important to do something fun that will help relax your mind (and body). It’s also important that you take care of yourself during this time by eating healthy foods, getting plenty of sleep, and staying hydrated.
14. Therapists and Counselors Are More Available Now
People often think of therapy as something for people who have severe mental health problems, but that’s not true. Therapy and counselors can help you with emotional and mental rest. People go to therapists for many reasons: they want to get through a tough time in their life, they want to improve their relationship with someone else, or they just want someone who understands what it’s like to be human. It’s one of the more surprising mental health facts, but many people are unaware that their employee healthcare plan may even cover these treatments.
There are many different types of therapy (talk therapy), which is when you talk with a counselor about your experiences and feelings. Counselors can also help by connecting you with other resources, such as support groups or community organizations that offer classes on topics like mindfulness meditation or healthy habits. Whatever your reason for seeking help from a therapist, there are plenty of resources available today.
In the end, all we can do is encourage you to get educated about mental health and look for ways to support your loved ones who are dealing with it. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, seek out resources, and talk openly about what’s going on in your life. Mental illness affects everyone in some way or another, so don’t let it be a taboo subject.