Day 201 of 365 Complications from mental illness

Mental illness is a leading cause of disability. Untreated mental illness can cause severe emotional, behavioral and physical health problems. Complications sometimes linked to mental illness include:

Unhappiness and decreased enjoyment of life
Family conflicts
Relationship difficulties
Social isolation
Problems with tobacco, alcohol and other drugs
Missed work or school, or other problems related to work or school
Legal and financial problems
Poverty and homelessness
Self-harm and harm to others, including suicide or homicide
Weakened immune system, so your body has a hard time resisting infections
Heart disease and other medical conditions.


Day 202 of 365 Treatment of mental illness

There are various methods for managing mental health problems. Treatment is highly individual, and what works for one person may not work for another.

Treatments can include:

Psychotherapy, or talking therapies
This type of treatment takes a psychological approach to treating mental illness.
Psychiatrists, psychologists, psychotherapists, and some primary care physicians carry out this type of treatment.

It can help people understand the root of their mental illness and start to work on more healthful thought patterns that support everyday living and reduce the risk of isolation and self-harm

Some people take prescribed medications, such as antidepressants, antipsychotics, and anxiolytic drugs.

Although these cannot cure mental disorders, some medications can improve symptoms and help a person resume social interaction and a normal routine while they work on their mental health.


Day 203 of 365 Self help treatment to mental illness

A person coping with mental health difficulties will usually need to make changes to their lifestyle to facilitate wellness.

Such changes might include reducing alcohol intake, sleeping more, and eating a balanced, nutritious diet. People may need to take time away from work or resolve issues with personal relationships that may be causing damage to their mental health.

People with conditions such as an anxiety or depressive disorder may benefit from relaxation techniques, which include deep breathing, meditation, and mindfulness.

Having a support network, whether via self-help groups or close friends and family, can also be essential to recovery from mental illness.


Day 204 of 365 Prevention of mental disorders is a public health priority

About 450 million people suffer from mental and behavioural disorders worldwide. One person in four will develop one or more of these disorders during their lifetime. Neuropsychiatric conditions account for 13% of the total Disability Adjusted Life Years (DALYs) lost due to all diseases and inju-
ries in the world and are estimated to increase to 15% by the year 2020. Five of the ten leading
causes of disability and premature death worldwide are psychiatric conditions. Mental disorders represent not only an immense psychological, social and economic burden to society, but also
increase the risk of physical illnesses. Given the current limitations in effectiveness of treatment modalities for decreasing disability due to mental and behavioural disorders, the only sustainable
method for reducing the burden caused by these disorders is prevention.



Primary prevention: stopping mental health problems before they start

Stopping mental health problems before they occur and promoting good mental health for all. Often primary prevention work is ‘universal’ in that it targets and benefits everyone in a community, for example anti-stigma campaigns such as Mental Health Awareness Week or mental health literacy programmes.

Secondary prevention: supporting those at higher risk of experiencing mental health problems
Supporting those at higher risk of mental health problems (either because of biological characteristics they are born with or experiences they have had) by providing targeted help and support. This type of prevention is often called “selective” or “targeted” prevention. Examples include programmes which support those who have experienced trauma or been victims of hate crime.


Day 206 of 365 Tertiary prevention of mental illness

Tertiary prevention: helping people living with mental health problems to stay well
Supporting those with mental health problems to stay well and have a good quality of life. These types of programmes often focus on those already affected by mental health problems and can aim to reduce symptoms that can be disabling, limit complications, and empower people experiencing problems to manage their own symptoms as much as possible. Tertiary prevention is seen as distinct, but complementary to treatment for mental health problems and is often carried out in community, rather than clinical, settings.


Day 207 Mental health Tips:Take care of you

Value yourself:
Treat yourself with kindness and respect, and avoid self-criticism. Make time for your hobbies and favorite projects, or broaden your horizons.

Take care of your body:
Taking care of yourself physically can improve your mental health. Be sure to:

Eat nutritious meals
Avoid cigarettes
Drink plenty of water
Exercise, which helps decrease depression and anxiety and improve moods
Get enough sleep.



Published by Stephen Ogweno

a global health practitioner, NCD advocate and mHealth Innovator

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