2022 has been a rough year for mental health. While the restrictions and stresses of lockdowns may be behind us, many people are still dealing with the devastating aftermath of illness in the family and the stacked-on financial stress of rising prices and costly loans. It’s no surprise that mental health resources are being stretched to their limits, and there are still millions who are suffering that do not reach out for help.
As we enter 2023, it’s time to prioritize mental health as a real issue, individually and as a population. It’s important to pay attention to your own wellbeing and also consider the mental health conditions of people around you. Let’s take a closer look at the state of mental health at the cusp of 2023 with an eye toward a healthier future.
Key Stress Factors That Impact Mental Health
Mental health can arise from various factors. Some are present, while others may have happened in your past. It’s essential to recognize the key contributors to your mental health problem in order to apply the appropriate solution. Common mental health stressors in your life may be:
- Abuse or physical trauma (past or present)
- Physical illness, for example, a terminal condition or permanent disability
- Financial constraints (unemployment or job loss)
- Severe stress (family, relationships, etc.)
- Alcohol and substance abuse
- Social isolation
Other lifestyle factors, such as diet, and sleep patterns, could also affect your mental health.
Common Physical Symptoms of Poor Mental Health
Mental health may manifest in several ways. It depends on the severity of your mental health condition. With that said, some signs that you may have poor mental health include the following:
- Sleep problems
- Appetite changes
- Muscle soreness or tension
- Mood swings (emotional outbursts)
- These signs may vary from person to person. Seek help if you show any signs of poor mental health.
How Mental Health Can Affect your Physical Health
Being in a state of constant mental anguish causes a series of reactions inside your body that can harm your physical health. Examples of physical ailments that may be experienced as a result of depression, stress, or other mental conditions include:
- Back pain
- Digestive problems
- Eye problems
Trauma and extreme stress have also been linked, but not proven, to trigger autoimmune disorders such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.
Common Mental Health Conditions on the Rise in 2022
A report by the United Nations showed a staggering one billion people suffer from some form of mental health condition in 2022. Below are the top two common mental health conditions affecting many people today:
Depression: Depression cases have gone up by 25% since 2020, with about 300 million people affected by it, according to the UN report. The main causes of depression include life events, genetics, medical problems, and some medications.
Anxiety: Anxiety disorders have also gone through the roof, with about 40 million adults suffering from severe anxiety. Primary causes are similar to depression – life events, genetics, and medical illnesses.
Other fast-growing mental health conditions in 2022 include dementia, schizophrenia, and other psychotic conditions.
Treatments Available for Depression
Depression is best addressed with a multi faceted approach. Depending on your symptoms and type of mood disorder, there are several treatment options available.
- Lifestyle changes: Always start with lifestyle changes to address any mood disorder. Make sure you are prioritizing sleep, adequate nutrition, and regular exercise. Also make sure to engage in social activity and maintain relationships with family and friends.
- Therapy: If possible, it is almost always a good idea to include therapy in your treatment plan. While this can take some time and commitment on your end, the results can be positive and life long.
- Medications: For moderate to severe depression, medications may be beneficial. Most medications are safe and effective but can take four weeks to be effective. Also some medications work better than others and response to medication varies greatly between individuals.
You will need a good relationship with your primary care clinician to address depression or other psychiatric conditions effectively .
Prioritize Your Mental Health and Well-Being in 2023
Mental health can be challenging to tackle on your own. We’re here to help you through any condition, whether depression or anxiety, that may be affecting your quality of life. Contact SADPC today for an appointment.