Self-care for Mental Health!

Your mental health influences how you think, feel, and behave in daily life. It also affects your ability to cope with stress, overcome challenges, build relationships, and recover from life’s setbacks and hardships. Whether you’re looking to cope with a specific mental health problem, handle your emotions better, or simply to feel more positive and energetic, there are plenty of things you can do to take control of your mental health—starting today.

Anyone can suffer from mental or emotional health problems—and over a lifetime most of us will. This year alone, about one in five of us will suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder. Yet, despite how common mental health problems are, many of us make no effort to improve our situation.

Make social connection a priority

No matter how much time you devote to improving your mental and emotional health, you will still need the company of others to feel and be your best. Humans are social creatures with emotional needs for relationships and positive connections to others. We’re not meant to survive, let alone thrive, in isolation. Our social brains crave companionship—even when experience has made us shy and distrustful of others.

Find purpose and meaning in life

Everyone derives meaning and purpose in different ways that involve doing things that benefit others, as well as yourself. You may think of it as a way to feel needed, feel good about yourself, a purpose that drives you on, or simply a reason to get out of bed in the morning. In biological terms, finding meaning and purpose is essential to brain health as it can help generate new cells and create new neural pathways in the brain. It can also strengthen your immune system, alleviate pain, relieve stress, and keep you motivated to pursue the other steps to better mental and emotional health. However, you derive meaning and purpose in life, it’s important to do those things every day.

The relationship between resilience and mental health

Being mentally healthy doesn’t mean never going through bad times or experiencing emotional problems. We all go through disappointments, loss, and change. And while these are normal parts of life, they can still cause sadness, anxiety, and stress. But just as physically healthy people are better able to bounce back from illness or injury, people with strong mental health are better able to bounce back from adversity, trauma, and stress. This ability is called resilience.

People who are emotionally and mentally resilient have the tools for coping with difficult situations and maintaining a positive outlook. They remain focused, flexible, and productive in bad times as well as good. Their resilience also makes them less afraid of new things or an uncertain future. Even when they don’t immediately know how a problem will get resolved, they feel hope that a solution will eventually be found.

Source – https://www.helpguide.org/articles/mental-health/building-better-mental-health.htm

The Characteristics of Dysfunctional Family

Imagine the mental condition of a child brought up in a dysfunctional family. When problems such as parental negligence, rigidity, alcoholism or abuse exist in the family, the smooth functioning of the family is disturbed, leading to constant conflicts, fights, arguments, and tension.  Dysfunctional family problems that last for years come to seem normal, many people from dysfunctional families don’t recognize what makes their family dysfunctional. The specific reasons for a significant dysfunctional family are as numerous as the families that experience it.

Characteristic #1 – Addiction

Characteristic #2 – Control

Characteristic #3 – Unpredictability and Fear

Characteristic #4 – Conflict

Characteristic #5 – Abuse

Characteristic #6 – Perfectionism

Characteristic #7 – Poor Communication

Characteristic #8 – Mental Illness

Characteristic #9 – Lack of Privacy and Independence

There is an overall climate of instability, unpredictability and fear. Home is supposed to be a safe place where one finds comfort and support, but in a dysfunctional family, home can often be a place of terror, intimidation, yelling, fighting, crying, chaos and craziness.

There are poor boundaries or no boundaries. Kids don’t have the security of limits. They don’t learn how to respect someone else’s personal space, or know when their own space is violated. They don’t learn what is appropriate and what isn’t. They don’t have a clear sense of what is expected of them. They can’t determine if their behavior (or someone else’s behavior) is “over the line” if there aren’t any lines. They have to guess at what “normal” is. There is no clear guidance or direction provided for them to help them successfully navigate their way through life.

There is a lack of structure or cohesiveness. Rules are inconsistently enforced or can change unpredictably.

If you were raised in a dysfunctional family the best thing you can do is to forgive, and realize that not all people are alike.  If however you find that it has a negative impact on your day to day living and you are not coping given the way or environment you were raised in, I strongly advise scheduling an appointment with me at cmaritz@webmail.co.za.

No person should endure nor forced to live with those haunting memories. Together we can explore healing methods for you or your family to regain trust and find ways to deal with the things you feel are impacting your life in a negative way on a daily basis.


Sources

http://fgbt.org/Leadership-Principles/the-eight-most-common-characteristics-of-a-dysfunctional-family.html

https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/family/dysfunctional-family-what-it-is-and-what-its-like-to-grow-up-in-one/

https://www.quora.com/What-are-the-signs-of-a-dysfunctional-family

Isolation and Mental Health

Most of us experience feelings of loneliness at some point in our lives. It might be because we live in isolation, or spend more time by ourselves than we want, or because we feel disconnected from the people around us.

Isolation is when we are separated (or feel separated) from the people and things around us. We may be isolated because we choose to be separated from others or because of a situation we can’t control (such as moving home or bereavement).

It is possible to feel lonely and isolated when surrounded by other people. All kinds of things can set you apart – your sex, your colour, your height, your weight, being serious about school, or just looking different. You can also feel isolated because of how you think and feel, if you believe others don’t feel or think the same.

Everyone feels lonely at some point in their lives. The novelist Thomas Wolfe called loneliness the “central and inevitable experience of every man”.

Stay connected

If you are struggling with isolation, you might feel like just giving up and cutting yourself off from other people. This is likely to make the lonliness and isolation worse. Try to stay connected with your community or to find activities where you can meet people who have the same interests as you. Doing things with others can really help – the more things you get involved with and the more people you get to know,  the less likely you are to feel less isolated and alone.

If you have no family or friends living nearby or have lost touch over the years, this can be a source of isolation and loneliness. Why not take action to get in touch, even if it’s been a long time. Pick up the phone, write a letter or send an email. The good news is that others may benefit from your call too!

Everyone feels a bit lonely at some stage or other – you can change this by making the first move. The key is to not wait on others to get in touch.

It’s an issue that many people find difficult to talk about. But, ironically, allowing others to see our vulnerability can be the root to finding deeper connections with others.

Source – http://www.yourmentalhealth.ie/about-mental-health/common-problems/impact-mental-health/loneliness/

Negative Effects of Loneliness on Physical and Mental Health

The feeling of loneliness or being detached from others is not just a human emotion; it is a complex emotional response to the lack of companionship. Although, days pass by with tremendous speed forcing each one of us to run with it at its pace. But if we take a moment to stand and think about our relations and friendships, how many of us enjoy true companionship? It is said that one in every five persons is lonely and a majority of people don’t have anyone to talk to or spend time with, and this rate is increasing rapidly. Loneliness has increased with modernization, since people are engrossed in virtual social communities and networks and don’t have the urge to attend social gathering or stay in touch with family and friends. But, with time, loneliness and lack of companionship makes people vulnerable which affects physical and mental health to increases the chances of mental health disorders.

Research shows that loneliness is connected to genetics but there are several external factors that lead to loneliness and social isolation in certain individuals in whom it works as a major depressive disorder that can even lead to suicide.

Abused or Rejected by Others

Loneliness and depression are closely related. It is a sense of isolation that can develop in an individual who has been repeatedly rejected or abused by family or friends. Abuse can come from being made fun of, being abandoned by family or friends, being tortured with abusive language.

Abused or Rejected by Others

All of these come under the heading of psychological assault that can be one of the main reasons for depression and induce the individual to alienate himself from the society, thereby shutting out people who can harm him or help him.

Inability to Fit In

Certain physical disability or excessive introvert nature can promote an individual to think that he does not fit into his group or is a misfit in the rest of the crowd. Although, these individuals try to be like everyone else and mix with the crowd rather than standing out, but their inability to break the ice and cross the barrier prevents them from being part of the group.

Cannot fit in

The desire might not only be to fit in, but also to be well-liked and popular. Such conditions give rise to fillings of anxiety and depression.

Heart Break

For people who are excessively emotional and sensitive, a broken heart due to break up or divorce can have serious effects on mental health. The feeling of intense loneliness after a break up and the feelings of missing a loved one might be difficult for some people to handle.

talk to a depressed friend

For most people these feelings are short-lived and they cope with it effectively. But for some, the feeling can continue for years pushing them towards loneliness which can also cause mental diseases and psychiatric disorders.

Death and Divorceloneliness

Divorce or death of a spouse pushes the other one into the darkness of loneliness and depression. Although, online dating is extremely popular among divorcees, but in most cases these meetings are not serious and cannot make up for the emotional trauma and depression an individual suffers due to the lack of his/her long-time companion. Sending a private message, scrolling through the feeds aimlessly and liking someone else’s posts and updates make people feel miserable about themselves.

Social Media

With the advancement of social media, people have become more engrossed in virtual communities and online friendships and are becoming less interested in maintaining real life social ties with family members, friends and neighbours. But research shows that spending too much time on social networking sites can backfire and actually make people feel lonelier.

Aging

Depression is a common part of aging and reduced physical strength, mobility and diseases are sure to affect the mental health of elderly people. But with change and reform in the social structure of the modern society the value and importance of elders have become more obscure.

aging

In traditional societies, the elders held a vital position of preserving and propagating community customs and history. But with modernization, the scenario has changed, pushing elder people into the zone of marginalized and rejected individuals both in families and neighbourhoods, making them lonely and miserable.

Negative Impact of Loneliness on Physical and Mental Health

Loneliness is hardly seen as a serious disorder, but in reality, chronic loneliness and feelings of alienation can be extremely detrimental to health. It can induce alcoholism, make a person suicidal and increase the risk of mental health disorders.

Loneliness can Affect the Brain Like Physical Pain

Loneliness is one of the major causes of mental diseases and the sense of isolation can have a similar effect on brain that is noted when an individual experiences physical pain. The sense of belonging to a group or community is important not only for companionship, but also for survival.

Source – https://www.thefitindian.com/negative-effects-of-loneliness-on-health/