According to World Health Organization, mental health is “a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.” (1)
Keeping the balance
The old Latin phrase “mens sana in corpore sano” (“a healthy mind in a healthy body”) emphasizes the importance of the physical exercise in keeping the mental well-being. There are studies that show how a healthy eating habit and regular exercise can help to maintain the balance of mental and physical health.
Regular and healthy meals, proper exercises, getting enough sleep, finding a vocation, and a fulfilling relationship, seeing a movie, listening to the music, reading a book, hanging out with friends, taking a trip, getting a massage, or getting a hug, stroking a pet, having a hobby remain the basic methods to cope with stress, but sometimes is not enough, or may seem hard to achieve.
In our world full with stressors of all kinds, school or work responsibilities, unemployment, financial problems, family duties, family troubles, divorce, the search for a partner, the break-ups, losing a loved one, or a physical illness can prevent us from doing regular exercises, due to lack of time, lack of motivation, lack of physical strength.
Signs you may need to talk to a physician or a therapist
If you often find yourself not feeling in the mood to get out, or you don’t want to be part of social activities, if your mood swings are frequent, and the feelings of sadness, fear, worry are persistent, if you experience memory loss and confusion, delusions, or hallucinations, these might be signs of a mental condition. Other symptoms may include: eating or sleeping disorders, a decrease of school or work performances, inability to cope with daily activities, substance abuse, unexplained physical ailments, defiance of authority, truancy, theft, or vandalism. (2)
Mental health therapists
The first step is to see your general practitioner, he or she might give you a referral to a mental health therapist: a psychologist, a clinical counselor, a psychoanalyst, or a psychiatrist.
The psychiatrists diagnose and treat condition like schizophrenia, dementia, depression, anxiety, sleeping disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, bipolar disorder. They prescribe medication, but do not offer counseling, generally they work with a psychologist or a counselor.
The psychologists diagnose and treat conditions like relationship problems, anxiety, depression, eating disorders, substance abuse, learning difficulties. They are allowed to prescribe medication only in a few states, but they usually work with a psychiatrist.
There are all kind of counselors: marital and family therapists, career counselors, relationship counselor, drama therapist, or speech therapist, or counselors who work with social care to help people with disabilities.
If you have a mild mental condition, a counselor can help you to cope with it, offering guidance for you to explore your feelings, thoughts, and behaviors. If you suffer from a mental disorder, you will be referred to a psychologist or to a psychiatrist. At BetterHelp you can find therapists from many states and with a wide range of specializations. Also you can find a lot of useful information about mental health.
Be careful, if you are in a crisis, if you want to hurt yourself or to hurt other people, or someone else shows these symptoms, do not use the internet, call 911 for urgent help.