Mental and physical health are fundamentally linked – that is why someone can feel physically sick if they have anxiety, or why you may get a headache if you’re extremely stressed and overwhelmed. Many people neglect their mental health and thus experience pain that could be prevented if the mind was more at ease. Conversely, chronic physical conditions can easily lead to the development of a mental illness if concerns aren’t addressed. Dr. Charles Goodstein, M.D., a clinical professor of psychology at New York University stated that the brain is intimately connected to the endocrine system, which can have a powerful influence of our health. He stated for Everyday Health,
“Thoughts and feelings that are generated within the mind [can influence] the outpouring of hormones from the endocrine system, which in effect control much of what goes on within the body.”
The endocrine system is made up of glands that produce and secrete hormones which then get carried out through the circulatory system to regulate the body’s growth, metabolism, and sexual development and function. This explains why someone with depression may have lack of sex drive. Additionally, a 2013 study published in the Primary Care Companion for CNS Disorders found that depression can increase your chances of developing a chronic illness by 41% – illnesses such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, and diabetes. Furthermore, poor physical health can cause emotional stress and chronic pain, further exacerbating both physical and mental symptoms.
After learning of the ways in which your mental and physical state can affect one another, you may be wondering how you can work to prevent some of these occurrences. Put simply, place your mental and physical health as equal importance. Get plenty of sleep each night, eat nutritious food, exercise weekly if you can, engage in healthy activities, develop and maintain a positive support system, and seek preventative care if you notice your health starting to decline. Catching these issues early on could save you a lot of future distress.
If you’ve been struggling with mental illness and/or addiction, make the decision to seek out treatment today. It’s never too late, and the sooner you seek help, the sooner you can renew your mind, body, and spirit.
Therapy is a primary component of treatment for rehabilitation from a substance use disorder and/or mental health disorder. Attending treatment with certified clinicians and counselors is critical for a full recovery. At one of New Vista Behavioral Health’s treatment providers, you are receiving exceptional care, held to a higher standard. Our programs result in better outcomes, ensuring a better recovery. For information call us today: 888-316-3665.