Recognize and Act in Regards to Mental Illness Symptoms

Everyone in life has something mentally not balanced or perfect.  Neurotransmitters can be slightly off for a period of time or someone may even have a life time of imbalance and require medication to rectify it.  Some suffer minor issues without need of medication but only require counseling and better coping strategies.  Many have minor mental diagnosis with things such as ADHD, OCD, depression, or anxiety.  Depending on the severity will determine the strength and duration of the care.

Many mental illness symptoms are minor such as ADHD, OCD or anxiety but they can become severe unless treated

 

Others may have suffered trauma in life and require more intensive care and treatment.  Those with PTSD may require more intense care to help manage symptoms and triggers, while others may experience issues later in life from early childhood trauma, such as Bi-Polar Disorders, Borderline Personality Disorders and Attachment Disorders.  In addition, some individuals may experience deeper rooted mental illness within family history and due to genetic issues.  Psychosis and delusions can result from Schizophrenia or other mental maladies.  Others may inherit through lack of discipline or consequences behavioral mental illnesses that are anti-social in nature.  These individuals will manifest little care or regard for others, norms or values.

With this in mind, it is obvious that mental illness is a broad spectrum term.  Like all health, it is important to identify and not neglect.  Many feel stigma and shame associated with it because most of society labels mental health as one thing. Instead mental health can be tied to very minor and everyday disorders to severe issues.  Some cases can be minor, while some very serious.  Hence it is important to not neglect one’s mental health, feel stigmatized by it, or ignore the symptoms that may arise.

Some mental illnesses have their own types of symptoms, but for everyday individuals not suffering from severe past trauma, dealing with delusions, or possessing an anti-social personality, most can find cope and medicate if necessary and find balance in daily life.  Many with bi-polar depression, clinical depression, anxiety, ADHD, or OCD are able to function at high levels with the proper counseling and guidance.

The article, “Warning Signs of Mental Illness” from the APA lists a variety of symptoms of mental illness symptoms that if persist need assistance from a mental health care professionals.  While many of these issues may be temporary or minor and not related to a serious mental issue, it is important to find help to better cope and heal.  The article states,

“Major mental illnesses such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder rarely appear “out of the blue.” Most often family, friends, teachers or individuals themselves begin to recognize small changes or a feeling that “something is not quite right” about their thinking, feelings or behavior before a illness appears in its full-blown form. Learning about developing symptoms, or early warning signs, and taking action can help  ensure prompt treatment. Early intervention CAN help reduce the severity of an illness and interruptions in quality of life and functions. It may even be possible to delay or prevent a major mental illness altogether.”

“Warning Signs of Mental Illness”. APA.

To read the entire article, please access here

Most mental illness usually manifest in the teen age years or grows as result of trauma, especially if left untreated.  Many individuals ignore their mental health and later in early adulthood can face multiple issues they may not understand.  Those with attachment issues, or borderline personality disorders, or even bi-polar may find it very hard to function and maintain relationships and jobs.  It is hence important to track one’s moods seriously to see if anything unhealthy may be manifesting.  Most experts agree that one should not permit a mental or emotional symptom to persist longer than 2 weeks without seeking mental health assistance.

Symptoms of mental illness can be mental, emotional and physical. Please also review AIHCP’s Healthcare Certification programs

 

Some of the more common mental health changes are in mood.  Some common changes include anxiety, lack of interest, sudden and dramatic mood shifts, apathy, suicidal ideation, and withdraw from life.  Mental health also affects physical health.  Hormones and neurotransmitters can become imbalanced leading to mood shifts, but also affect physical energy levels, sensory perception,  increase fatigue or even cause the opposite and prevent one from sleeping.   It can also negatively effect appetite. In addition, individuals habits may change.  One may enter into a manic state, or withdraw, while others may turn to substance abuse, or abrupt sexual encounters.  Sudden changes like this in personality are signs of a problem.    Other changes can include negative effects on logical thinking processes.  Individuals may contemplate ridiculous and over exaggerated thoughts about self, or even become delusional and enter into states of psychosis in regards to reality.  Confusion, loss of time, worry, or fear can be signs of a pending problem.

All of these signs can vary in severity, frequency, or intensity, but if persistent over time represent some type of mental change that needs to be addressed.  Something may be resurfacing from the past, or something may be developing that needs addressed.  Sometimes it may even be physiological and connected to a physical issue.  Tumors on the brain are an example.

Like physical symptoms telling oneself our body has a cold or the flu, we need to also notice these symptoms and not merely displace them or move on.  With physical symptoms, one makes an appointment with a doctor.  If something does not seem right, one finds the help they need to correct it.  Mental health requires the same focus and care.  Symptoms are a result of an issue that needs addressed.  While many may be minor, some may not be and looking into it and finding the help one needs can be a the difference between life and death.

Conclusion

Mental health is as important as physical health.  They are actually very much interconnected.  Ignoring it due to shame or stigma can lead to greater issues.  Usually most mental health issues are minor and require temporary medication and learning ways to cope, but sometimes they can be more serious pointing to one’s past, a serious emerging problem, or something that is related to physical health.  It is important to find help to reduce the possibility of more severe illness.

Never put aside mental illness for feelings of shame or stigma. Instead treat it like any physical health issue and see a professional.

 

Please also review AIHCP’s multiple mental health certifications for mental health care professionals and those in ministry and human services.  The certifications are online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification.  AIHCP offers certifications for mental health care professionals and those in human services in Grief Counseling, Anger Management, Stress Management, Substance Abuse Counseling, ADHD Consulting and Crisis Intervention Consulting.  Please review any of AIHCP’s healthcare certifications

Remember certified and pastoral counselors can only help with non pathological issues.  Licensed professional counselors can help with deeper issues regarding pathology, but many licensed counselors also enhance their resume with certifications.

Additional Resources

“Signs of Mental Illness”. Frysh, P.  (2022). WebMD.  Access here

“Warning Signs and Symptoms”. NAMI. Access here

“Mental health: What’s normal, what’s not”. Mayo Clinic.  Access here

“Mental Health Diagnosis: Symptoms, Types, and Treatments”. Morin, A. (2023). VeryWellMind.  Access here

Tips for Healthcare Workers Wishing to Hone their Fitness

woman exercising By Lucy Peters

Compared to other professions, staff in some healthcare professions (for instance, nurses) have a six times higher prevalence of back pain. Tasks such as transferring patients and operating in awkward postures can cause lumbar tissue damage and back pain, but this is only one of many health risks associated with the health profession. Employees working in healthcare can also face high rates of stress and tiredness owing to factors such as long working hours, shift work, and working in times of risk (as is the case during the global health crisis). How can physical activity help quell stress and pain and reduce injury and how can healthcare workers ensure they get the recommended number of minutes of exercise per week?

Exercise Reduces Pain and Stress

As stated in a study by Ann-Kathrin Otto and colleagues, published in the journal BMJ, the efficiency of ergonomic training and exercise when it comes to reducing pain, is well-documented. Previous studies have shown that moderate exercises (including cardiovascular and stretching exercises) reduce musculoskeletal problems, boost muscular strength, and enhance cardiovascular fitness among nursing staff. Research published by the Mayo Clinic shows that employees in medical centers report high levels of stress. Of the many natural modes of quelling this stress, just a few found to be particularly effective include general physical activity, mindfulness-based activities such as yoga, and time spent in nature.

Exercise and the Immunity

A 2020 study by researchers at the University of Bath found that regular, daily exercise benefits one’s immunity, even during tough times. It helps the immune system “find and deal with pathogens, slowing down changes that happen to the immune system with aging.” Equally important is diet. Certain foods strengthen the immune system. These include healthy Omega-3 fats, fiber-rich fruits and vegetables, and probiotic and fermented foods. When you eat is equally important; the gut has a memory and when it is expecting food, it ramps up the activity of immune cells to attack incoming ‘bad bacteria’. Sticking to regular meal times ensures these cells are able to exercise their function.

Exercise at Work

Over 50% of employees report that they have little time to exercise because of their busy work and home lives. As stated in a recent study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, one solution is to include more activity at work. In one study, ‘treadmill workstations’ – in which employees were made to work while walking, significantly increased fitness levels and BMI measurements. Another study assigned participants a mandatory activity of middle-to-high intensity workouts for around 2.5 hours a week during work hours. These incentives clearly need to be offered and organized by work organizations, but what can you do if your place of work does not adopt programs that boost employee fitness?

Individual Efforts

The key to making the most of the little time you may have is to do as much as you can. Did you know that running for just 15 minutes a day can reduce the risk of major depression by 26%? Official recommended guidelines stipulate that all individuals should complete at least half an hour of moderate intensity exercise every day. The good news is that these 30 minutes do not need to be continuous. That is, you can complete 10 minutes on your way to work, 10 minutes at lunchtime, and 10 minutes at the end of the day. You can also embrace activity in small but significant ways – including taking the stairs instead of the lift when you can. For extra health benefits, engage in vigorous activity (think cycling, jogging, or interval training) for half an hour at least three times a week. Vigorous exercise is particularly effective because it improves the efficiency of your heart and lungs, and more oxygen is delivered to your muscles.

Even if you are very inactive, becoming slightly more active can help you reap big benefits in terms of fitness and pain reduction. At the very least, aiming for around 30 minutes of moderate activity per day can help strengthen your cardiovascular system. So, too, can finding practical ways to be more active – including walking while working when possible, stretching throughout the day, and taking advantage of work breaks to be more active instead of taking a sedentary pause.

 

 

 

Please also review AIHCP’s Stress Management Consultant Certification and see if it matches your academic and professional goals.  The program in online and independent study and open to qualified professionals.

Their Death Will Never Be In Vain

AIHCP Takes Today To Remember Our Fallen On 911

AIHCP would like to offer its prayers and love to the families who lost loved ones in the 911 attack over ten years ago.  We pray for those who suffered from the crash in PA, the assault in NYC and the strike upon DC.
On this solemn anniversary, we pray for the living and the dead who experienced this assault on our country.   We also would like to give thanks to those who offered their lives in defense of our country after this assault.  Your efforts and sacrifices will not be in vain.
May God bless America
AIHCP
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