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Show Your Mental Health Some Love

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Show Your Mental Health Some Love

Taking Better Care of Your Mental and Emotional Health

With February and Valentine’s Day upon us, feelings of love are in the air. Although many people focus on showing friends and family members how much they love and appreciate them this time of year, why not also do the same for yourself?

The health experts at Southwest General share some tips to help you show your mental health and wellness some tender loving care this Valentine’s Day and beyond!

Understanding and Identifying Signs of Depression

According to the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, major depressive disorder affects more than 27 million Americans, aged 18 years and older. With such shockingly high statistics, it is essential to recognize the signs and symptoms of this mental health issue in yourself and others. Once symptoms are caught, the necessary steps can be made to properly diagnose and treat depression and other concurrent mental health disorders.

Types of Depression

Depression is a serious mood disorder that affects the way you think and feel as well as your ability to perform everyday activities. While most people think of clinical depression, there also are actually several other types of depression.

Some of the most common forms of depression include:

  • Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Postpartum depression
  • Psychotic depression

Signs and Symptoms

Although symptoms and their severity may vary from person to person, some of the most commonly experienced and reported signs of depression include:

  • Feelings of hopelessness and helplessness
  • Increased irritability
  • A persistent sad, anxious or numb mood
  • Feeling worthless or guilty
  • Disinterest in everyday activities and interests
  • Restlessness
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Appetite and weight changes
  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Thoughts of suicide or self-harm
  • Digestion issues
  • Headaches
  • Body aches
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Speaking and moving slowly
  • Difficulty making decisions

Simple Ways to Support Your Health and Wellness

When it comes to looking after your mental health, developing healthy coping mechanisms is key. Some easy ways to handle and regulate your emotions include:

Keeping a Journal

Writing down your thoughts and feelings is an excellent way to keep up with your mental health. In fact, research has shown that writing out your thoughts in a journal can support your mental and emotional health by helping to regulate your mood and helping you to track your symptoms each day.

Practice Meditation

For those living with anxiety and other mental health issues, meditation is a great way to quiet your thoughts. This is because meditating helps you to stay in the present moment, making you focus on your immediate surroundings rather than your racing thoughts.

From reducing emotional reactivity to building self-confidence, meditation has plenty of evidence-based mental health benefits.

Prioritize Your Rest

While skipping out on your rest can seem relatively harmless, sleep deprivation can have a significant impact on your mental and emotional well-being. It is recommended that the average adult gets about seven to nine hours of good-quality rest each night to reduce your risk of experiencing symptoms associated with mental health issues. These include anxiety, depression and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). This is because there is a certain type of brain activity that happens when you rest that helps to regulate your mood.

Get Professional Treatment

Although struggling with your mental health can feel like an isolating experience and like no one can relate to you, know that help is available. Struggling with anxiety, depression and other mental health disorders is fairly common and, fortunately, you don't have to combat your symptoms and their underlying causes alone.

When you feel as though you’re suffering and at-home ways to cope aren't helping, seeking professional treatment can prove to be beneficial. Whether you choose to see a psychiatrist, psychologist or a therapist/counselor, he/she can work with you to help you meet your individual mental health goals.

Talking to Loved Ones About Mental Health

When you’re struggling with your mental health, it is important to seek support from your loved ones. However, it may seem difficult or even awkward to start that conversation with friends and family.

Here are some tips to help you to know where to start:

Pick a Private and Quiet Place to Talk

When you want to have a serious conversation surrounding your mental health, the first step is to pick a time and place to talk. It’s best to find a space that is quiet, private and free of external distractions. This can help to foster feelings of trust and comfort between you and your loved one.

Educate Them on Mental Illness

Although we live in the age of information and the internet, there is still plenty of misinformation and stigma surrounding mental health topics. If your loved ones have an inaccurate understanding of mental illness and what you’re struggling with, this can be your opportunity to set the record straight with accurate information.

Letting them know that you are willing and open to answering their questions and concerns, which can ensure a better flow of communication.

Remember to Look After Yourself

Whether your loved ones are open to supporting you in your time of need or not, it is important for you to prioritize your mental health and wellness. That means continuing your healthy coping mechanisms at home, going to therapy and engaging in wellness activities that help you to feel good.

Primary and Specialty Care in Ohio

The Southwest General Medical Group, Inc. includes both primary care and specialty care physicians who are committed to providing patients with high-quality medical care. Our team of board-certified specialists and skilled physicians work to raise the bar for excellence in health care service for our community. To learn more about our primary and specialty care services or schedule an appointment, visit our website.