Mental Health vs Physical Health

These days, there seems to be a very distinct line drawn in the sand between physical and mental illness. People like to believe that since a mental illness is not as visible as a physical illness, you can just “get over it” with happy thoughts and some walks in the wilderness. On the contrary, if someone were to say that they have mood swings due to a thyroid issue, the general populace would be far more understanding. There is this weird stance, that physical illness is far more serious than mental illness because of the comprehension of one versus the other. There is a vast misunderstanding that surrounds mental illness, that I believe leads heavily to the stigma that also is attached to discussing mental health.

The thing that I don’t understand, is the why behind this misunderstanding. If you really think about it, mental health and physical health are not that different. Both are parts of your body that are not functioning normally. In the case of mental health, it’s your brain. Which is kind of the most important part of the body if you ask me, or any other scientist, doctor, medical professional, but hey, I’m not bitter. Another reason as to why they are not as different as they seem, is because mental health can affect your physical health, and vice versa. The two are actually intertwined in this clunky dance that is life. Having physical problems can actually lead to mental problems. Especially when those physical problems relate to hormones or chemical management.

There is a belief that mental illness is caused by chemical or anatomical changes in the brain, I don’t know if the validity of these beliefs still stand, but let’s say that they do. The brain is a part of your body, meaning that it is a physical problem if you had, let’s say a tumor. It suddenly becomes a mental problem when you have a deformed frontal lobe that causes your mental illness. That I don’t understand one bit. If you have a chemical imbalance due to a thyroid problem, it’s physical. If you have a mental illness due to a chemical imbalance, it’s a mental problem. Even if the two of them have the same symptoms, there is still that line drawn in the sand between the two.

If you take anything from this article, know that the difference between physical health and mental health is much smaller than you think. Whether it’s a heart attack, or a panic attack, they both can feel eerily similar to someone who has no experience with either. Make sure that you don’t treat those with mental illness any differently than those with physical illness. As it turns out, there are a lot of crossovers between the two.

Yours,

Wolfgang

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