Mental and Physical Health Go Hand-In-Hand

Detecting the warning signs of poor mental health.
May 1, 2016
Lisa Smith
Mental and Physical Health Go Hand-In-Hand

Just as you take care of your body by eating right and exercising, you can do the same things to maintain good mental health. A small adjustment in your lifestyle can do wonders to keep your mind balanced.

To keep your mind and body healthy, remember to: 

  • Eat a well-balanced diet and drink plenty of water
  • Don’t skip meals and look for nutritious meals and snacks
  • Get plenty of sleep each night to restore the body’s physical and mental energy
  • Exercise daily and find fun ways to manage stress
  • See your doctor before starting an exercise program
  • Contact Mental Health America to find out about local support groups

Detecting Mental Illness

Often times, the difference between mental health and mental illness isn’t so obvious. A mental health provider will need to work with you and your loved ones to determine if you have a mental health condition.

The mental health provider will ask about your symptoms, when they began and how they’ve affected your life. Do you feel sad, hopeless or discouraged? If your feelings of sadness are situational, your feelings could be a normal and a temporary reaction to a major life event (i.e., divorce, loss of job, death of family member, etc.). However, if your symptoms are severe or don’t go away, you could be suffering from depression. Also, you may want to see your doctor to rule out any underlying health conditions.

When is an Evaluation or Treatment Needed?

Each mental health condition has its own set of signs and symptoms. Consult a mental health professional or psychiatrist for an evaluation if you or a loved one experiences one or more of these warning signs:

  • Marked change in personality, eating or sleeping patterns
  • Inability to cope with problems
  • Extreme mood swings or excessive anger, hostility or violent behavior
  • Strange or grandiose ideas
  • Excessive anxiety
  • Panic attacks
  • Chronic depression
  • Thinking or talking about suicide
  • Substance abuse

Many people avoid treatment out of stigma, shame or fear. Don’t hesitate to seek advice if you are concerned about your mental health or a loved one’s mental health. Consult your family doctor or make an appointment with a counselor or psychologist.

About the Author


Lisa Smith, MS, Executive Director
Mental Health America of Northeast Indiana 
(260) 422-6441

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