October 10th is World Mental Health Day, a day dedicated to raising awareness of all mental disorders, including Anxiety, Depression.
This day must be recognized because it will help people understand the different types of disorders, and spread information about mental health care.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on people’s mental health. Some groups, including health and other frontline workers, students, people living alone, and those with pre-existing mental health conditions, have been particularly affected. And services for mental, neurological and substance use disorders have been significantly disrupted.
Our emotional, psychological, and social well-being all add value to our mental health. It has as impact on how we think, feel, and act. It also has an impact on how we deal with stress, interacts with others, and make healthy decisions. In all life stages, from childhood to adolescence to adult life, mental health is essential.
Primary Neurological Complications that have Secondary Mental Health Manifestations
Delirium is a state of acute onset altered consciousness marked by anxiety, incoherent or disorganized speech, disorientation and hallucinations.
The distinguishing features include drowsiness, lethargy, and changing level of alertness. The person has difficulties with attention, focus, and judgement, and there may be perceptual disturbance such as seeing or hearing things that are not there(hallucinations).All these symptoms usually develop over hours or days, and the presentation fluctuates.
Importance: Delirium is a medical emergency and may be life-threatening; hence requires immediate medical attention.
It often occurs in patients with severe medical illness, pre-existing dementia, substance use intoxication/withdrawal, and acute head injury.
Delayed diagnosis and management of delirium can be fatal. When assessing children and adolescents, family members can be very helpful in alerting the clinical staff to the unusual nature.
Risk Factors: Risk factors for developing delirium include:
- Advanced stages of immune suppression
- Substance use/intoxication
- Head/brain injuries
- Previous episodes of delirium
- HIV- associated dementia or infections and malignancies of the CNS
- Drug interactions in AIDS patients taking multiple medications
- Drug overdose (accidental or deliberate)
- High fever from any cause
- Intoxication from any cause.
Importance of mental health:
- Both mental and physical health is critical components of overall health. Depression raises the risk of a wide range physical health issues, particularly long-term conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.
- Mental disorders also affect individuals with sensitive health care, such as eating sensibly, exercising regularly, sleeping adequately, alcohol and tobacco use.
- Mental health also leads to social problems such as unemployment, family breakdown, poverty, drug abuse, and related criminal activity.
- Poor mental health plays a major role in decreased functioning of immune systems.
Physical exercise for mental health:
Outdoor exercise like running and walking can be especially beneficial, it can be effective as antidepressants in treating mild to moderate depression.
Yoga has been shown to lower heart rate, respiratory rate, blood pressure, and cardiac output while also increasing serotonin levels. As a result, it may aid in the reduction of depression and anxiety.
Resistance training is an exercise in which you push or pull against a force, such as free weights, weight machines, or even your own body weight.
It also benefits your mental health like enhanced memory, lower anxiety, better sleep, enhanced cognition, and risk of chronic fatigue and depression.
Foods that improve your mental health:
- Probiotics can be found in yogurt and other products containing active cultures. Probiotics, which are often associated with digestive health, were shown to aid in the reduction of stress and anxiety.
- Yogurt also contains potassium and magnesium, which aid in the delivery of oxygen to the brain, enhancing its ability to function.
Flavonoids, a type of antioxidant, are rich in dark chocolate. It has been shown to improve attention and memory, improve mood, and help older adults fight cognitive decline.
- Tasty and colourful berries like strawberries, blueberries, etc are really good for improving mental health.
- Berries helps in getting rid of symptoms related to anxiety and depression.