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Mental Health Is Just as Important as Physical Health: Here's Why

By HERWriter
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October 10 is World Mental Health Day. Why should that matter to you?

Somebody dies by taking their own life every 40 seconds, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Approximately one in four adults deal with mental health issues at some point in their lives, but many receive little to no help during emergency situations.2

When people experience physical health difficulties, they will generally go for help, and be offered physical care. But things are not so straightforward in the area of mental health.2

Here is why you should care that October 10 is World Mental Health Day:

1) Being mentally healthy is good for your physical health.

The Rhode Island Psychological Association notes a connection between anxiety and the immune system. Stress can decrease the immune system’s strength, which makes us more vulnerable to a variety of sicknesses, from the flu to cancer.4

According to the Mental Health Foundation, depression has been linked with a 67 percent increased risk of death from heart disease and 50 percent increased risk of death from cancer. Schizophrenia is linked to a doubled risk of death from heart disease and tripled risk of death from respiratory disease.5 Excessive anxiety can also lead to heart disease, ulcers and colitis.4

2) Strong relationships are founded on strong mental health.

People dealing with depression often experience dissatisfaction with family, work and being social.9 Furthermore, depression can lead to a loss of the desire for successful relationships and the ability to maintain them.9

Making sure our brains are under control is key for healthy relationships. It allows us to make good life choices, handle life’s curve balls, and go after our life goals.4 You can’t be there for others if you aren’t there for yourself first. Life is hard. Let’s make sure our brains are prepared.

3) Expressing and being in touch with your emotions are essential to mental health.

Read more in Being HER

1) World Mental Health Day. World Federation for Mental Health. Retrieved October 4, 2016.

2) Dignity in Mental Health: Psychological & Mental Health First Aid for All. World Federation for Mental Health. Retrieved October 4, 2016.

3) The Relationship Between Mental and Physical health. Psych Central. Retrieved October 4, 2016.

4) Useful Psychology Information: Importance of Mental Health. Rhode Island Psychological Association. Retrieved October 4, 2016.

5) Physical health and mental health. Mental Health Foundation. Retrieved October 4, 2016.

6) What Is Mental Health? Mentalhealth.gov. Retrieved October 4, 2016.

7) The cost of repression: A meta-analysis on the relation between repressive coping and somatic diseases. Health Psychology. Retrieved October 4, 2016.

8) 11 Fact About Suicide. DoSomething.org. Retrieved October 4, 2016.

9) Overcoming depression- counseling and therapy. Clinical-depression.co.uk. Retrieved October 4, 2016.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.