Numerous studies and statistics have demonstrated that there is a clear connection between the mind and body. As such, whenever one thinks about physical and mental health, they should not be considered as being separate departments but rather two aspects of our lives that are intertwined with each other. Meaning, less than stellar physical health can lead to an increased chance of getting mental health related conditions. On the other hand, debilitating mental health can have a negative impact on your physical health by increasing your risk of getting physical related ailments.
In order for you to truly understand how online therapy can prove to be the best thing you can to as a preventive measure when you are healthy, is to understand how mental conditions can impact your health as well as to understand how therapy can improve your mental health and thus prevent the possibility of getting a disease further down the line. In this article we're going to take a look at how mental health affects your physical health as well as the importance of using therapy as a form of preventative health care.
One of the clearest links between mental health and physical health is demonstrated through longevity. An overwhelming amount of modern day studies have demonstrated that individuals with certain mental health conditions such as depression and schizophrenia typically live a shorter life than individuals who do not have mental health issues. As a matter of fact a report that was released by the Mental Health Foundation demonstrated that individuals who have schizophrenia have a tripled risk of suffering and ultimately dying from a respiratory related disease as well as a double risk of passing away from heart disease. Depression in particular increases an individual's risk of dying from cancer by 50% as well as a 67% increase of dying from heart disease.
As such, it should be noted that these types of mental health conditions can drastically reduce your life expectancy. Many experts theorize that even individuals who suffer from a mental condition who appear to be experiencing excellent physical health for the time being, are less likely to do routine medical checks such as to check their blood pressure, cholesterol and weight. It's also theorized that the mental condition an individual is facing may spark unhealthy coping mechanism such as smoking and drug use which also lowers life expectancy. For example, an individual who is in shape, may smoke a pack of cigarettes per day to relieve stress, which can have a negative impact on their life expectancy.
One of the primary purposes of therapy is to help an individual eliminate negative emotions and to replace them with positive emotions. While this may seem like it wouldn't have an impact on your physical health think again. When Harvard University analyzed over 200 research articles, they found that optimism may be linked to improved cardiovascular health as well as to decrease the growth of a disease's progression. Interestingly enough, they also found that the absence of negative emotions is just not the same has having positive emotions. They saw that certain emotions such as happiness, life satisfaction and optimism are linked to reduced chances of getting cardiovascular related diseases regardless of how old that individual way be, their smoking status, body weight or socioeconomic status. Meaning, even if an individual may have an increased risk of getting a disease as a result of their lifestyle or body weight, they can reduce their chances of getting said disease by eliminating negative emotions and replacing them with positive ones.
Another study that was conducted at the Harvard School of Public Health, also stated that individuals who are regarded as being the most optimistic, experienced a 50% less risk of getting a cardiovascular related disease compared to individuals who are pessimistic.
While positive emotions can improve a person's mental state, negative emotions can lead to deficits in an individual's physical well-being. In regards to this, stress is a prime example. The American Psychological Association reported that chronic stress can literally wear down the body and lead to sleeping for 10-12 hours a day, fatigue, headaches and the development of depression and anxiety. Short term stress on the other hand can also lead to heart attacks and other physical ailments which can lead to death.
What Is Therapy?
Psychotherapy or talk therapy for short, is defined as being a system that can be used to assist individuals who suffer from various mental illnesses as well as individuals who experience emotional difficulties. Therapy can help individuals to control and eliminate negative symptoms so that they are more capable of functioning better which leads to increased health and well-being. One of the most interesting things about therapy is that treatment may consist of the professional giving the patient healthy lifestyle improvement tips such as to get adequate nutrition, regular exercise as well as adequate sleep which are all things that can help an individual improve their mental health, physical well being and to reduce their chances of getting a physical disease further down the line.
Therapy Is Preventive Health Care
Whenever you are severely ill, you have no choice but to consider your health because it is right there for you to experience on a daily basis. As such, preventive health care is something that must be executed before this happens, even when illness is absent. It's very important that you develop healthy coping mechanisms to handle stress as well as to address any underlying mental issues you may have. One aspect of preventive health care is locating and fixing the diseases you may have as soon as possible. The same can be said about therapy in regards to it being a form of preventative health care. As discussed above, mental health can have an adverse impact on your physical health. One of the primary objectives of therapy is to identify any mental condition you may be suffering from as well as to educated you about the symptoms of various mental conditions you may not know you have.
Example Of How Mental Health Affects Physical Health
Many people with borderline personality disorder may go through life unaware that they are suffering from this disease because the symptoms are subtle, such as being antisocial, going through periods of euphoria and stress, poor eating habits and a pessimistic outlook on life. All those symptoms seem average, but they indicate an individual may have this mental disorder and it is linked to increased chances of suicide, higher chance of being arrested for conducting actions out of impulses and an increased risk of getting an STD because BPD suffers are known to partake in promiscuous sex more so than any other mental health condition. As such, by partaking in therapy, an individual with this condition would be made aware of their mental state as well as some tips on how they can combat some of this debilitating symptoms that can drastically reduce their life expectancy.
Many individuals never consider the possibility of getting therapy because of an inability to pay. While it may be true that offline therapy is expensive to say the least, the same can't be said about online therapy which is also referred to as being affordable therapy. Besides the fact that it's more affordable than its offline counterpart, it's also more convenient and faster as well. For instance, if you find your self in a depressive state of mind, when it comes to offline therapy you would have to schedule an appointment which could takes weeks or even months. By that time the depression may have progressed to a point where it starts to affect your work performance and physical health as you become more tired, agitated and miserable about things you loved to do. Alternatively, online therapy session can be conducted as soon as you require them without an abundance of money.