If you’re like most people, you visit the doctor regularly for a checkup, see the dentist twice a year for cleanings, and schedule regular eye exams to check your vision. But what about your mental health? Unfortunately, mental wellness is often overlooked as a part of preventive healthcare. However, it is incredibly important to your overall wellbeing. Even if you’re not feeling like you are in crisis or experiencing any type of mental illness, you can still benefit from a check-in with a therapist or other mental health specialist. During Mental Health Awareness Month this May, take the time to assess your mental health either through a conversation with your primary care provider or with a therapy session.
Your mental health is part of your total health.
Mental illness doesn’t just affect your mood. Common issues like anxiety and depression can manifest physical symptoms and affect other behaviors that contribute to your overall health. For example, sleeplessness is associated with many different emotional and mental triggers. But our bodies need plenty of sleep to function well. Delaying the mental healthcare that could get your sleep back on track may then pave the way for hormonal imbalances, cardiovascular issues, and chronic pain.
You may not recognize every mental health red flag.
Struggling with a mental illness can skew your perspective on your own wellness. As you begin to find coping mechanisms (many of which may not be so healthy), you may not see the bigger picture of what’s going on with your health. For example, you may begin to lean more on alcohol to cope with stress and anxiety. Checking in with a professional offers an outside perspective followed up with the support and resources you need to get better.
Even without being formally diagnosed with a mental illness, you may find benefits with mental healthcare. Anyone and everyone will face stress in daily life, and therapy may help you work through that stress to limit the impact it has on your total health. If you’re ready to check in on your mental health, connect with MeMD to speak with a therapist from the comfort and privacy of your own home.