How Mental health and Physical Health are Intertwined


According to the World Health Organization, a person’s overall health is a state of complete mental, physical and social well-being.

Most often the link between physical health and mental health are misunderstood as they’re usually thought of as independent entities but in actually they are intertwined.

There are people who perceive ‘body’ and ‘mind’ to be disconnected and this leads to a misconception that mental illness isn’t a part of physical disease. Ideally, mental health always has a direct effect on physical health.

Too many people, all over the world, are not even aware of the prevalence of mental health disorders and they don’t know how common they are.

Did you know that 1 among 5 adults suffer from some kind of mental health disorder in a year?

If you believe that staying depressed is the kind of mental health disorder that you know of, you’re wrong as there’s more to it than just depression.

There are ones that affect your behavior to your mood and your thought process. Few examples are anxiety disorders, depression, eating disorders, schizophrenia, bipolar depression and addictive behaviors.

How the Body and Mind is Connected

You might be wondering by now how your mental health might have an impact on your physical health. Poor mental health can have an adverse impact on your capability of making quick decisions about your health and also make you incapable of combating against chronic diseases.

That which you need to understand is that not concentrating on your mental health can lead to grave complications in your health like the following:

  • High blood pressure
  • Heart issues
  • Weak immune system
  • Obesity
  • Asthma
  • Gastro disorders
  • Premature death

Only depression can lead to chronic tiredness, enhanced sensitivity to pains and aches and insomnia due to the improper functioning of the neurotransmitters that lie inside the brain.

Mental Health and its Impact on Physical Health

There are several ways by which imperfect mental health can have a detrimental impact on a person’s physical health.

Reports reveal that people with increased levels of distress related to personal issues are 35% more likely to have died from fatal diseases from cancer.

In fact, depression is associated with heightened risk of cardiovascular diseases. Schizophrenia is linked with a double risk of death that occur due to heart issues and thrice the risk of dying of respiratory diseases.

People who suffer from mental health issues are much less likely to obtain proper physical health care that they’re entitled to. The NDIS approved providers of mental health services are statistically less likely to obtain routine checks through which one can detect symptoms of physical health issues earlier.

On the other hand, they won’t get help from reducing their consumption of alcohol, smoking or making any dietary adjustments. So, if you’re wondering about the best ways in which you can receive help, you need to suffer from mental health disorders that affect your physical health.

How Depression and Heart Disease Go Hand in Hand

As per a study done on patients who were suffering from obstructive pulmonary disease in 2014, 25% of the patients were already suffering from mild depression (which was defined as score 14). 18% among them were having antidepressants and after taking into account the participants, the researchers said depression is one of the most independent determinants of whether or not someone is suffering from good quality life.

An eminent professor of the Institute of Psychiatry, London reports that the rate of depression among patients who suffer from chronic illnesses is 3 times higher than the normal. Chronic physical illness and depression are always in a reciprocal relation with each other. Not only are there several chronic diseases that lead to high depression rates but it is also seen to antedate chronic physical illnesses.

He even goes on to report that depression which occurs along with physical illness is not diagnosed properly as compared to depression that occurs alone. When a person suffers from several illnesses, it is most likely that the signs and symptoms of depression are missed by the health professionals who take care of the sick patients. This is only because the health professionals are more concerned regarding the occurrence of the physical disorder and during this process of treatment; they tend to forget that the person might also be affected by depression.

Why Mental Health Concerns Should be Treated Before It’s Too Late

Professors and medical researchers believe that untreated depression can lead to unnecessary suffering and if the patient gets proper treatment at the right time, he can revive his stability and also enhance the quality of life that he leads. As long as the appropriate treatment is concerned, it involves offering the most intrusive and good quality intervention. The primary healthcare provider should bear the responsibility of the patient but it is a mental health care provider or a psychologist or a psychiatrist who can offer further support.

On the contrary, if someone suffers from less-severe depression, few adjustments to his lifestyle like more physical activity and improved sleep time could cure the same. Moreover, there are other treatments like CBT or cognitive behavioral therapy or self-help programs that take care of both individuals and communities. There isn’t any antidepressant that can be considered as better than the other in the treatment of depression. The most vital consideration while choosing an antidepressant is the type of treatment that is offered to the patient.

There are few anti-depressants that work with beta-blockers and others don’t work well with serotonin receptor prescribed for migraine. Older antidepressants like St. John’s and tricyclics need to be kept away from patients with physical illness as they’re associated with several interactions with other medicines.

A review published in 2010 found that treating depression among patients suffering from arthritis led to improved intensity of arthritis-related pain and reduced interference with everyday activities due to the auto-immune disorder and better health status and improved quality of life. The weight of evidence shows that apart from reducing depressive symptoms, treatment of depression is pivotal in reducing symptoms of depression, reducing disability in functioning and treating depression.

Lifestyle Factors to Change in Order to Stay Fit Mentally and Physically

Dementia is one of the most common mental health disorders that affect the seniors and this is called the disease of forgetfulness.

Though, there are the best dementia care Sunshine Coast service providers who take care of patients suffering from the disease, yet there are several lifestyle changes that you can do in order to improve your physical health as well as mental health. Check them out:

Get active on a daily basis

By now, we all are aware of the fact that exercise releases chemicals like serotonin and endorphins which ease off anxiety and depression. Physical activity is one of the best ways in which you can stay physically healthy while improving your overall well-being. Even if you engage in a short burst of exercise of about 10 minutes everyday where you include brisk walking, this will increase your mental alertness, positive mood and energy. When we say physical activity, we mean any kind of movement of your body which utilizes your muscles and consumes energy. You can even tend your garden or even run a marathon or do gentle forms of exercise.

Quit smoking

Smoking has an adverse impact on both your physical health and mental health. People with mental health issues believe that smoking relieves you of several symptoms which are nothing but temporary effects of smoking. Research reveals that people with depression are twice more likely to smoke as compared to others. On the other hand, people with schizophrenia are thrice more likely to smoke as against others. The nicotine that is found in cigarettes has an impact on the chemicals found inside the brain. Dopamine triggers positive feelings which are usually lower among depressed people. Nicotine boosts levels of dopamine but also switches off the usual mechanism of the brain. This makes the person feel an urge to take more nicotine and keep repeating the process.

Get on a Normal Sleep Schedule

Did you know that not getting the right amount of sleep can be always linked with stress, anxiety or depression? Adults are recommended to get 7 or more hours of sleep every night. In case you don’t fall asleep right after going to bed, try to lower your intake of caffeine, try relaxation techniques before bed or set a strict timing for bedtime and follow it everyday.

Make Sure You Are on the Right Diet

You may not consider this but proper nutrition is one of the most crucial factors that have an influence on the way a person feels. When you get recommendations of taking a healthy diet that is balanced, it should have the right balance of essential fats, proteins, vitamins, carbohydrates, minerals and water. You can’t forget that the food you eat will influence the management, development and prevention of several mental health conditions like Alzheimer’s and depression. If needed, get in touch with a dietitian or a nutritionist to make sure you’re actually on a balanced diet.

Best Exercises to Boost Your Mental Health

Working out makes us powerful with regards to our physical strength but how many of you ever set goals for your mental health so that it improves with time?

The researchers at University College London found out that with the increased level of activity, there is a diminished risk of depression by 25%. An Australian research team in 2018 found out that 14% of depression cases could be prevented in case the sufferers took part in some kind of physical activity.

GPs throughout the nation prescribe exercise as the best treatment for depression and several other mental health disorders like dementia and Alzheimer’s. The general well-being gains are too much appealing for the consumers and this is why so many people are joining fitness club or gyms. Here are few forms of activities to try out for enhancing your mental health.


The most accessible, simple and affordable exercise is walking. You must have heard clinical hypnotherapists endorsing patients to put one foot in front of the other in order to enhance the mental well-being. Any kind of exercise is a great idea and exercising doesn’t always mean spending hours inside the gym. Even a small walking session of 10 minutes can be of huge benefit to the mental well-being of a person. Stay away from putting too many harsh goals in terms of health. Low intensity aerobic activity is the best form of exercise for improving alertness and building up pace.


If you would want to complement walking with one more thing that is more dynamic, you could add yoga, stretching as this is yet another way of making sure you keep your mental health on track. In case you’re someone who prefers doing gentle movements, yoga is best for you. In order to get in touch with yourself, yoga is definitely the best thing to do. You can connect your breath with the movements of your body as this is an extremely powerful gesture to follow. So, what are you waiting for? Schedule a yoga session and see how you feel on your mat!


One more non weight-bearing and low-impact option is swimming. Clients can experience a boost in mental health by just including 10-20 minutes of swimming in their everyday routine. Now, something that you can’t control is whether or not you’re enjoying the session of swimming. If you simply hate every minute that you spend inside the pool, you should immediately get out and try out something else. But if you find yourself enthused in this activity, you should continue with it as it will help you with physical benefits.


Your mental health and physical health are truly intertwined. Each one is fully dependent on the other so a balanced physical and mental state is necessary to improve quality of life in each direction.

Of course, there are many cases where you may still suffer even though you may engage in regular exercise and have perfect nutrition. This is when you should seek help of professionals.

Don’t delay in getting help as that may have a detrimental impact on your overall life. If you’ve been suffering from anxiety, depression or other mental health conditions, make sure you seek help and treat things as soon as possible.

About Shannon Clark

Shannon holds a degree in Exercise Science and is a certified personal trainer and fitness writer with over 10 years of industry experience.

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