What is Mental Health?

Our wellness goes beyond the physical form. Whenever we consider our overall well-being, it is important to take a close look at our mental health. Mental health has a bigger impact on our lives than most people understand. It is closely tied to our emotional, social, and psychological well-being, and our thoughts affect how we feel, act, and perceive the world around us. Despite its importance, however, mental health is something that oftentimes goes undetected and overlooked because many of us are unable to recognize a damaged mind during self-examination. It is important to remember that our thoughts have the ability to change our reality, and having poor mental health can make your life worse. Many people are too afraid to speak up about mental health. In addition to causing negative feelings, poor mental health can lead an individual to divulge in drugs to avoid the problems that they experience on a daily basis. Our mental state is also a major factor when it comes to stress management, and poor mental health can lead to stress-related problems that can give rise to a variety of other issues that can have a negative impact on our lives. Stress management is something that many people struggle within the United States, but understanding the importance of mental health can help people take control and seek assistance if needed to ensure that these problems do not develop out of their control.


There are dozens of factors that determine the state of our mental well-being. Although everyone at some point experiences poor mental health, others are more susceptible to the problem. Biological factors may be a big contributor that can cause you to experience poor mental well-being. In fact, chemical imbalances in the brain are to blame for several mental illnesses. Other factors that can lead to mental health issues include severe trauma. People who have experienced traumatic events are more susceptible to poor mental health, and those who have experienced abuse oftentimes show telltale signs of mental problems as well. Finally, family genetics can become a predetermining factor affecting whether or not you experience issues related to your mental wellness.

How Common Are Mental Health Problems?

In the United States, there is an overwhelming number of people who suffer from problems with mental wellness, but the issue is not limited to the U.S. In fact, studies have shown that mental disorders affect one in four people throughout the world. This means that one-quarter of the people you come into contact with each day may be suffering from some sort of mental illness. Unfortunately, many people will never seek treatment due to the stigma of mental disorders. While it can be difficult to detect whether or not someone is showcasing signs without the proper diagnosis by a professional, there are subtle cues that you can use to assess whether or not someone you know is dealing with mental health problems.

Early Warning Signs

It is important for people who live with family or a significant other to be able to identify whether or not someone has a mental illness. Some early warning signs may include a loss or an increase in appetite, poor sleeping habits, and difficulty socializing. Those dealing with mental struggles may also experience constant fatigue and/or unexplained aches and pains. Recommending help is important if you wish to improve the well-being of someone you care for deeply. They oftentimes do not want to seek treatment out of shame or ridicule, so it is important that you help them understand that mental health is just as crucial as physical health. Seeking regular checkups with a therapist is key to ensuring that they get the help they need to maintain a healthy outlook on life.

Mental Illness and Drug Abuse

The unfortunate reality of poor mental health is that there are dozens of risk factors associated with it. However, drug abuse is one of the most prevalent conditions that cause people suffering and misery. The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) reports that there is a strong connection between mental illnesses and drug abuse. People who are suffering from mental illnesses may take drugs to help cope with whatever situation they are suffering from. This can lead to long-term health problems that could cause lasting mental and physical damage if not remedied.


One of the most common connections between mental illness and drug abuse is self-medication. Many people will not be able to seek professional help whenever their problems flare up. They will instead turn to drug abuse to help them cope with whatever is causing them suffering at the time. For instance, someone who is dealing with depression may use drugs to escape the emotional pain that they feel. They may also use drugs to help them come out of their shell whenever they are in social settings. Of course, the problem with this type of behavior relates to the fact that substance use is an incredibly damaging activity that can lead a person down a destructive path. The short-term fix from the drugs will only provide a temporary solution for a larger problem that is not being addressed.

Signs of a Drug Abuse Problem

People who take drugs to help them cope with their mental illness problems may exhibit various personality changes. Here are some of the common signs that you should look out for if you suspect that someone you know is struggling with drug abuse:

Personality changes

Have you noticed that one of your upbeat friends is now acting stoic? What about more aggressive than normal? Night-and-day changes in an individual may be a serious indication that they are abusing drugs. While they may be dishonest and lie about any potential problem, you should monitor their personality changes over time and try to talk to them about their issues.

Health problems

Some of the biggest problems that come from drug abuse are related to physical health. Drugs can give people a high that is incredibly euphoric, but this comes at a physical cost. Over time, users develop a tolerance that quickly leads to an addiction that can eventually cause a variety of health issues.

Financial hardships

Drug use can be an incredibly expensive habit to keep up with, and many people go to great lengths in order to purchase drugs and experience a high. This can be incredibly dangerous if they are lacking necessary funds to pay for basic human needs such as food and rent. In extreme cases, drug abuse problems can potentially lead a person to lose their job and become homeless. Solving the Root of the Problem As we have been discussing, mental illness can lead to drug abuse, which can cause many problems in a person’s life if they do not receive the help that they need. While you can send a person to a rehabilitation facility, you must first address the root of the problem. Treating mental illness is the key to preventing relapses from happening after a person has recovered from an issue with drug abuse.

Promotion of Mental Health

In addition to seeking the assistance of a qualified professional, there are many things that a person can do to help improve their mental well-being. In fact, there are dozens of methods that one can utilize to remain mentally positive, sharp, and focused. Here are just a few examples of things that you can practice daily in order to improve and maintain your mental state:


One of the most important things that our bodies need regularly is exercise. Regular physical activity can keep us feeling healthy while improving our mental well-being. It is important that you exercise at least three times a week to help improve your body and mind.


There are countless reports that show how meditation can help improve your mental well-being. This ancient technique is performed daily by some of the most successful people in the world. For those just beginning, it’s important to remember that meditation is a practice that requires patience to perform. Our minds are always wandering, but meditative practices can slow our thoughts down and help us focus on the positive. This, in turn, can help many people overcome negative mental issues.

Keeping a positive attitude

People oftentimes fall back into bad habits whenever they think negatively of themselves. Their state of mind will dictate what direction they will head into whenever they are trying to change their lives. While people who are struggling with mental health and/or recovering from drug addiction may find it difficult, it’s necessary to keep a positive attitude when you have hit rock bottom. There have been multiple studies that have shown how important it is to stay positive. Practicing positive thinking and developing positive coping mechanisms can help you with recovery and the new life that is waiting for you.

A good diet

Did you know that eating a balanced diet can help you improve your mental state of mind? Making sure that you are avoiding fatty foods and eating healthy foods that are in rich in nutrients can ensure that your mind and body are healthy as can be.

Keeping a good support group around you

Many people fall victim to drug abuse because of the people they surround themselves with. Because of this, it is important that you keep yourself surrounded by positive people who will uplift you whenever you need it the most. Family and friends often provide the support structure that many people need to maintain their mental health and avoid the dangers that can come from drug abuse.

The Importance of Mental Health in Treating Addiction

Drug addiction is a problem that is often difficult to overcome, but help is available. While a person may continuously use drugs to help them overcome the hardships that they are facing in their lives, experienced professionals know what it takes to treat and change this type of behavior. For many people dealing with drug abuse issues, the root of the problem is poor mental health. Fortunately, addiction specialists understand this and will work to address the underlying causes through various treatment methods. In fact, many rehab programs focus heavily on evaluating and treating underlying mental issues that may be contributing to addiction. If you or someone you know is struggling with unhealthy mental well-being and/or issues with drug abuse, it is important to seek the professional help that is available. Seeking treatment and support can be the first step toward a better outlook and a brighter future.

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