In today’s day and society, mental health has been heavily emphasized; however, care for mental health is lacking and is not taken as seriously as it should be. Deteriorating mental health is unfortunately quite common, but a lot of people ignore the symptoms and keep on carrying on with their days. Some symptoms include sadness, confusion, tiredness, and more (1). In 2019, even before the pandemic, around 50 million Americans suffered from some sort of mental illness. Back then, around 27.4% of adults with these illnesses said that treatment was unmet (2). A decrease in mental health affects many people, and a lot of people do not get the essential treatment they require. It is important to be aware of symptoms of deteriorating mental health in order to get the proper help one needs. Now, what exactly causes a decrease in mental health? There is no one cause of this as it can range from trauma, discrimination, unemployment, bereavement, drug misuse, and a plethora of other factors (3). A lot of these elements could cause stress, which makes people prone to progressively worsening mental health. Unfortunately, stress is quite common in people of all ages. Stress can take a toll on one’s overall health, and it is important to take care of oneself. Stress can lead to a multitude of physical effects like headaches, diseases, high blood pressure, and overall pains. Not only does stress cause physical deterioration, but it can also do some real damage mentally and emotionally as stress can be a factor for depression and anxiety. Stress is becoming increasingly prevalent, with 44% of Americans claiming that their stress levels have heightened over five years. Only 40% of Americans believe that their health is excellent or at a peak, showing how a lack of prioritizing oneself is prominent. Additionally, ⅓ of children are also suffering from stress, preventing them from sleeping at night or experiencing aches, despite their young age (4). Clearly, something must be done in order to stop this endless cycle, and because of all of these symptoms, it is imperative to care for one’s own mental health.
There is a multitude of activities people can do as self-care. These activities will be able to increase energy and lower stress, which will help one’s mental health. Exercise, eating healthily, maintaining a regular sleep schedule, meditating, and affirming can positively change one’s life. Although these acts might seem simple, these pursuits can actually make a big difference. However, if a situation gets more severe and professional help is needed, please call a hotline during a crisis (5). Linked below are some articles that lead to more examples of more activities. One’s mental health comes first!
“Mental illness - Symptoms and causes.” Mayo Clinic, 8 June 2019, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/mental-illness/symptoms-causes/syc-20374968. Accessed 28 June 2022.
“The State of Mental Health in America.” Mental Health America, https://www.mhanational.org/issues/state-mental-health-america. Accessed 28 June 2022.
“What causes mental health problems?” Mind, https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/mental-health-problems-introduction/causes/. Accessed 28 June 2022.
“Stressed in America.” American Psychological Association, https://www.apa.org/monitor/2011/01/stressed-america. Accessed 28 June 2022.
“NIMH » Caring for Your Mental Health.” National Institute of Mental Health, https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/caring-for-your-mental-health. Accessed 28 June 2022.