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Mental Illnesses and The Causes
Depression and other mental illnesses are sadly becoming increasingly common and studies have determined it could be avoidable or made lessened. Depression and other mental illnesses can be associated with eating healthy, household and personal income of salary, and the amount of sleep an individual is receiving. These factors I believe can cause and even prevent depression and other mental illnesses if done properly and I believe learning more about the cause and effects of these variables is the first step to fighting against mental illnesses.
What is depression and what mental illnesses are affected? Depression (major depressive disorder) is a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how one feels, the way they think and how they act (American Psychiatric Association). There are many other common mental illnesses that can be benefitted by eating healthy. Anxiety can be reduced when the brain and body are getting the nutrients it requires. The bipolar affective disorder can be reduced from eating foods like fruits and vegetables, this will reduce the seriousness of their "highs", and "lows".
Eating healthy can provide many benefits which in turn will help fight against depression. When someone is feeling down over a breakup or grieving over a death, the last thing someone would think to do is eat healthy to make the process a bit easier. People are noticeably in a better mood and seem happier when they eat healthy for prolonged periods of time. Eating healthy will keep a balanced weight for the body which can help fight against Sociophobe or what the individual fears others might think of them in the society which can boost the user's self-esteem and raise their confidence. Eating healthy can provide chemicals the brain needs to feel "better" or more accomplished. Some of the mental chemicals or "feel good" chemicals are endorphin, oxytocin, serotonin, and dopamine (Psychologies). When carbohydrates are consumed they give off serotonin to the brain which gives a happy high, however that high doesn't last long and will make the user feeling worse overall. Foods with high amounts of Omega 3 like fish will give off serotonin for longer and doesn't have as bad of a low as carbohydrates. Foods rich in L-tryptophan are also good, healthy sources of serotonin such as chicken, eggs, turkey, salmon, dark green leafy vegetables. (BrainMD)
Income can affect the brain and body in positive and negative ways When someone has a low income, this can apply stress on to the person which can then raise blood pressure, increase substance abuse, and gives a feeling of insecurity for food, housing, and utilities. This stress can easily cause depression or feelings of not being good enough, worry, and insecurity which can all lead to depression and anxiety.
When someone has a high amount of income this can have many of the opposite effects such as assisting in mental illnesses. The individual can purchase more products such as medication and healthier foods that can assist in fighting against mental illnesses. The individual has higher self-esteem and confidence which can reduce the effects of depression and anxiety. They had a higher income also means individuals can seek help by visiting doctors, therapists, and other specialists if needed. Income is commonly one of the biggest factors of depression and anxiety. Income is also the biggest cause of divorce which is an example of how strong of an impact it can have on others. Like they say money is the root of all evil after all.
Getting 7-9 hours of sleep can affect depression and mental health in a positive way. The amount of energy that the individual has can also give off positive or negative affects toward depression. When someone has low energy, they do not feel motivated to perform tasks which they can build up over time and become increasingly more difficult to undo causing stress and wariness. Also, it can be difficult to receive higher amounts of energy depending on the lifestyle. When the brain doesn't get enough rest, it will have slower reaction speeds and numbness which can be like depression. When the body doesn't get enough sleep emotions and thoughts will be dulled down which can cause depression of heightened depression. People who do not get enough sleep normally are more likely to be in a poor mood, have lower performance at work or daily tasks and are at higher risk of having an accident.
What are some of the major mental illnesses that can be affected and how? ADHD is a common mental illness that stands for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. ADHD is one of the most common mental disorders affecting children. ADHD also affects many adults. Symptoms of ADHD include inattention (not being able to keep focus), hyperactivity (an excess movement that is not fitting to the setting) and impulsivity (hasty acts that occur at the moment without thought) (Parekh).
Having ADHD can affect many different aspects of someone's daily lives. "Children with ADHD typically have trouble sitting still, staying focused, and/or controlling their behavior and emotions, which can lead to lower social skills, isolation, dependence, and poor performance in school" (National Sleep Foundation). This tends to grow out normally when the person gets older, but ADHD individuals still tend to have less concentration and people skills than other people. This can cause feelings of loneliness and feeling left out.
Foods to avoid for people with ADHD would be foods high in sugar, artificial sweeteners, and artificial colors. These sugars and artificial ingredients can increase hyperactivity in the body. What foods can prevent this for ADHD individuals would be balanced meals, protein, zinc, iron, omega- 3 fatty acids. All these foods have shown effects that are not just good for the individual but also shows improved feedback from the ADHD individual where they are calmer and can concentrate better (ADDitude).
ADHD can be lessened if the individual is getting enough amounts of sleep, the problem is 25% to 50% of people with ADHD have sleeping disorders that prevent them from sleeping (National Sleep Foundation). This can sound counterintuitive that sleeps help prevents ADHD severity but having ADHD can prevent sleep, however, there are other ways to assist in lessening ADHD symptoms, so they are able to get a good night's rest. Some of these methods involve taking natural supplements of melatonin, eating healthy foods, creating a sleep and wake schedule.
Having a higher income can help treat ADHD because the individual then can get medication that will lessen the effects of ADHD. Also, if the individual has more money they can eat healthier foods and less processed, high sugary foods. These hopefully will help with other symptoms like depression, anxiety, stress, tirelessness, lack of concentration and hopefully of this can also lessen the Scopophobia If the person worries what others think of them.
Another mental illness that can be prevented or lessened from eating healthy, having a moderate to high income, and getting enough sleep would be bipolar disorder. "Bipolar disorders are brain disorders that cause changes in a person's mood, energy and ability to function" (American Psychiatric Association). With people who struggle with bipolar disorder they can fluctuate with mood and energy in an instant, they could be happy then crying in an instance for no apparent reason to a common person or full of energy then exhausted abruptly.
Income may not directly affect bipolar disorder however it can still be important in preventing the severity of bipolar disorder. The individual can afford to see a physiologist who can prescribe medication to help the effects of bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder unfortunately once diagnosed never truly goes away but symptoms can become dormant, however, the individual will have to continue to take medications for their entire life to prevent it from resurfacing. Income can help also just by lessening stress, when stress is high it can affect the psychology of the brain increasing mood swings and energy shifts.
Sleep is another determining factor of bipolar disorder and its severity. About 69% to 99% of people with bipolar disorder have shown signs of having insomnia (Harvard). Like the ADHD bipolar disorder prevents the individual from sleeping when sleep could prevent the severity of bipolar disorder. So, some ways of treating this would avoid alcohol and caffeine a few hours prior to sleeping. Keep the temperature of the room well maintained to fits one's preference. Keep the bedroom dark or use sleep masks. Exercise can also be a good habit close to bedtime because it will help your body grow tired and want to relax. Stay away from technology or distractions hour prior to sleeping (WebMD). If the individual can get roughly 7-9 hours of sleep a day they should see much improvement with how often they have mood swings and the severity. Can also make it easier to sleep as their body gets used to the new sleeping habits and schedules. This can increase depression, anxiety, stress, and help with bipolar disorder making it easier and more fulfilling to live their lives.
Anxiety disorder is another mental illness can be affected directly from a healthy diet, income, and amount of sleep one may be receiving. Anxiety and anxiety disorder are two separate things however they are similar. Anxiety is a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome (Dictionary.com). A regular amount of anxiety can be good because it can push people to do a task and be more productive. Anxiety disorder, on the other hand, is when a person has too much anxiety on a regular basis which can be difficult just performing normal tasks. Simple small responsibility can stress people out who have an anxiety disorder and sometimes cannot even find the source the stress. Also, with an anxiety disorder, the length and intensity of anxiety are different because someone could be stressed out about an event week in advance compared to someone else who may be stressed out a day or two priors.
Eating healthy can help reduce the effects of anxiety disorder and anxiety in general. Eating a balance of healthy foods is important as well as avoiding caffeine and alcohol. Drinking plenty of water can also help because even having mild dehydration can affect one's mood (Sawchuk). This will help give the body the nutrients it requires to function properly, concentrate, have more energy, and even prevent future anxiety if they stick to a diet.
Income is also important in treating anxiety and anxiety disorder because the individual can purchase medication, supplements of vitamins and minerals. The individual can also buy necessary ingredients to make healthy foods and see a specialist like physiologists or therapists to help provide mental support in coping with anxiety or lessening it. Also wondering how an expense is going to get paid or being in debt can take a large toll on the mind and mental state.
Lastly is ensuring the individual is getting at least 7-9 hours of sleep, sleep can heavily affect how one's performance of the day goes because if they are not prepared for the day or drowsy it can make one stressed, anxious or upset. With an anxiety disorder, these symptoms are heightened. I have had many days that are bad just because I stayed up late the night before and didn't receive the sleep my mind and body require and wasn't specifically due to anything bad happening on that specific day.
People with other mental illnesses like ADHD, Anxiety disorders, bipolar disorders tend to have higher chances of having sleep disorders. Just because the person has a mental illness doesn't mean there is no way to try and improve sleep. For instance, the individual can try creating a sleep schedule and wake schedule to help train the body to sleep at certain times of the day and night. Avoiding caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol near bedtime can help stay asleep longer. Keeping the bedroom dark and with few distractions can also help the mind rest. Also using the bedroom only for sleep and rest can help the mind calm down when you are in the bedroom (Harvard). Different mental illnesses affect how many people have sleep disorders. About 50% of people with an anxiety disorder has shown symptoms of having sleep problems (Harvard). "Various sleep problems affect 25% to 50% of children with ADHD" (Harvard). About 69% to 99% of people with bipolar disorder have shown signs of having insomnia (Harvard).
Depression and other mental illnesses can be associated with eating healthy, household and personal income of salary, and the amount of sleep an individual is receiving. I have provided information on how eating healthy can affect depression and mental illnesses in a positive way. The personal income of an individual is a major determining factor of whether someone will be depressed or not. If that person possesses money, they then can also purchase countermeasures to fight mental illnesses that poor people cannot. Getting a good amount of sleep can fight against depression and mental illnesses. Many studies have been performed on people with ADHD, bipolar disorder, and anxiety disorder that show how they have a high chance of having sleep disorders. Do you struggle with any of these issues? What are you going to do to prevent them?