Corrigan PW, Watson AC (2002) The Paradox of Self-Stigma and Mental Illness. Clin Psychol Sci Pract 9(1):35-53 Care. Caring for an elderly parent, spouse with a disability, or child with a physical or mental illness is an act of kindness, love, and loyalty, and can be as rewarding and meaningful as it is challenging. Attitudes towards mental health are still not comparable to attitudes towards physical health. Stigma is seen as a significant barrier to early diagnosis and treatment of various mental illnesses . The World Health Organization has highlighted the important role of stigma in influencing mental health prognosis and has identified its reduction as a key objective in its 2013-2020 Action Plan . I think most experts would agree that consistent, high-quality sleep is the cornerstone of a healthy lifestyle. Sleep is restorative, which means it gives your body a chance to recover, heal, and fight viruses. Sleep is also important for healthy mental function, both from a mental health perspective and from a cognitive processing perspective. During sleep, our brains integrate the information we have acquired throughout the day, which is especially important for students as it is one of the most effective ways to form new memories and enhance learning. Several studies have shown that lack of sleep can affect our ability to make decisions, our ability to control our emotions, our ability to pay attention, and our ability to respond to a stimulus — like the one you may experience while driving. Chronic sleep deprivation has been linked to a number of mental disorders, including anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Good mental health is not just the absence of mental health problems.
Being mentally or emotionally healthy is much more than being free of depression, anxiety, or other psychological problems. Mental health does not refer to the absence of mental illness, but to the presence of positive qualities. Mental disorders can present themselves in different ways. The most common forms of mental illness likely include depression and anxiety. Less common forms include schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Substance use disorders are often the result of untreated underlying anxiety and/or depression and result in significant costs to our health care system. Choda, N., Wakai, K., Naito, M., Imaeda, N., Goto, C., Maruyama, K., Kadomatsu, Y., Tsukamoto, M., Sasakabe, T., Kubo, Y., Okada, R., Kawai, S., Tamura, T., Hishida, A., Takeuchi, K., Mori, A. & Hamajima, N.
(2020). Associations between diet and mental health using the 12-point general health questionnaire: cross-sectional and prospective analyses of the Japanese multi-institutional collaborative cohort study. Nutrition Journal, 19(1), 2 doi.org/10.1186/s12937-019-0515-6 Ustun TB (1999) The Global Burden of Mental Disorders. Am J Public Health 89(9): 1315-1318 Some ways to increase sleep or sleep quality would be to stick to a routine, choose a bedtime you can stick to, unplug at least 30 minutes before falling asleep, eat healthy foods – avoid processed foods – and go out at least 30 minutes a day (bonus points, if you add a walk or some kind of exercise). Most people reading this are probably aware of this information, so I think the most helpful thing I can bring would be to start with “microhabits.” Micro-habits are just a minute or two of commitments to yourself where you do something that makes you feel good. The idea is that you should always be able to commit for a minute or two. This can mean listening to relaxing music for a minute or two at the beginning of the day, meditating, journaling or stretching, or whenever you can insert it. From there, you can either increase the time of your microhabit or add another microhabit. Keep the ones that “work,” drop the ones that don`t. Sleep has always been a critical biological process that directly affects our functioning at all levels, be it physiological, psychological or neurological. Even a single night`s sleep can have quite dramatic effects in each of these areas, so if you prolong this sleep deficit for longer periods of time, the effects become greater. To make things even more complicated, lack of sleep increases the production of stress hormones, which affects sleep, so it`s very easy for things to develop in a vicious cycle.
In addition, stress and sleep are closely linked to immune function. A robust immune system depends on a healthy lifestyle, with one of the most critical factors being sleep. What does your research tell you so far about the link between sleep and mental clarity and/or cognition? Good mental health doesn`t mean you never go through bad times or have emotional problems. We all go through disappointments, losses and changes. 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 recover from illness or injury, people with good mental health are better able to recover from adversity, trauma and stress. This ability is called resilience. Two recent studies used Twitter to assess stigmatizing attitudes toward mental and physical illness. Reavley and Pilkington found that tweets containing #schizophrenia were significantly more stigmatized than those containing #depression.
Joseph et al. showed that schizophrenia was more stigmatized on social media than diabetes [24, 25]. These studies were limited by short sampling periods and sampling tweets with only two specific hashtags. Searching for larger phrases and keywords is likely to reflect the views people express in conversations, and this can be more representative of public opinion. Another limitation of these two studies is that only one mental health problem and one physical health problem were compared, reducing the possibility of observing trends both within and between mental and physical health problems. Sleep is a billion-dollar industry, but it`s hard for many to get a good night`s sleep, especially during these challenging times as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. Jennifer Robinson, a professor of psychology at Auburn University, and her team discovered a variety of side effects of sleep deprivation. In addition to motor impairment, sleep deprivation also negatively affects emotions, decision-making, and overall health. The good news is that you don`t have to feel bad. There are practices you can use to improve your mood, become more resilient, and enjoy life more.
But just as it takes effort to build and maintain physical health, so does mental health. We need to work harder these days to ensure good mental health, simply because there are so many ways life affects our emotional well-being. The World Health Organization defines mental health as “a state of well-being in which the person recognizes their own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to contribute to their own community.” The very definition of mental health clearly shows why society can greatly benefit from effective diagnosis and treatment of mental illness. The World Health Organization estimates that one-third of the population in most countries suffers from some form of mental illness. Can you say something about the importance of sleep for our overall well-being and especially for the mental and physical aspects of health? Make free time a priority. Participate in your favorite activities for no other reason than to make you feel good. Go see a funny movie, take a walk on the beach, listen to music, read a good book or talk to a friend. Doing things just because they`re fun is not a pleasure. Play is an emotional and psychological necessity. Stress has a heavy impact on mental and emotional health, so it`s important to keep it under control.
While not all stressors can be avoided, stress management strategies can help you restore balance. Ms. Robinson is the founder and director of an organization called the Mothers of Incarcerated Sons Society, Inc. (M.I.S.S.) This is an online support group that helps families endure the fear of having a loved one imprisoned. The organization currently has more than three thousand members nationally and in Europe.