When we have the flu, we usually don’t hesitate to see a doctor so we can get treated and feel better again. But the interesting is that even when we can’t get rid of our anxiety or that nagging sense of hopelessness, we don’t really perceive it as something serious enough to require treatment. Psychologists in Montreal have shared several good reasons why you ought to take better care of your mental health.
A study conducted by the Health Services Research in 2012 found that individuals with physical health issues are 3x more likely to need mental health care compared to those who don’t. Mental health disorders also affect physical health by impairing immune function and causing sleep disturbances. This just proves that there is a connection between physical health and mental health.
When both physical and mental health issues occur at the same time, doctors usually focus on the physical complaint. This explains why in many cases, the illness remains even after medical intervention. But one study conducted in 2003 found that when arthritis patients suffering from depression were treated (for depression), they experienced reduced pain and improved overall health.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness conducted a study back in 2003 and found that over 70 percent of patients suffering from mental illness made $20,000 or less annually, with some even living on $5,000 per year. Another study conducted by the American Journal of Psychiatry found that people diagnosed with severe mental illness earned 40% less than those with sound mental health.
According to the World Health Organization, depression leads to 200 million missed workdays each year. People struggling with depression and anxiety are more likely to take sick leaves of over 90 days per year.
When a family member suffers from mental illness, everyone’s he cares about is affected. Children of patients with mental illness are also susceptible to neglect and abuse, and since they can’t count on their own parents to help them; they end up isolating themselves from society.
Many studies have found that individuals with untreated mental illness are at higher risk of committing crimes and/or become victims of crime/violence. When this individual uses alcohol or drugs, the risk becomes considerably higher.
The British Medical Journal published a study in 2012 showing that people diagnosed with mental health problems often have a lower life expectancy. Those with severe anxiety or depression had an increased risk of death, often due to heart disease or suicide.
The reality is that many people with mild mental health issues are often undiagnosed because physicians do not realize that the problem exists until it gets worse.
Extensive research has shown that when individuals get proper mental health care, it results in a lesser need for medical services. One particular study which focused on people with anxiety disorders found that after treatment, their lab costs dropped by half, the number of medical visits went down by as much as 90% and the overall treatment costs went down by 35%.
In other studies, it was also found that those with untreated mental health disorders visit their doctors twice as those who are receiving proper medical care.
Excessive stress and anxiety can lead to physical health problems such as ulcers, heart disease, and colitis. It also weakens the immune system, making people more vulnerable to all sorts of ailments. Not only that, but psychological problems also lead to drug/alcohol use, reckless behavior and poor eating habits.