The Importance of Monitoring Mental Health

A person’s mental health can impact their life in many different ways. And being aware of how mental health can affect a person’s day-to-day life and overall well-being is an important part of maintaining good mental health. Learn more about mental health, its impacts on overall health, and maintenance strategies in the Q&A with Brandon Abbott, D.O.

Who is most commonly affected by mental health issues?

Mental health issues can affect anyone. People of different ages, races, and from different backgrounds can at one point or another be affected by mental health issues.

Can mental health issues be caused by different factors?

There are a number of different things that influence a person’s mental health. Certain aspects of mental health are influenced by genetic factors. Additionally, mental health is influenced by a number of different external factors, such as an individual’s upbringing, social and economic influences, physical health, as well as many other things.

What are the symptoms of mental health issues?

Symptoms of mental health issues can range from very mild, almost unnoticeable, to severe symptoms that have major impacts on a person’s overall health. Sometimes symptoms look like a mild decrease in enjoyment in the things a person normally loves doing or an increase in a person’s level of anxiety. Sometimes symptoms can cause a change in personality and a person may not seem to be acting like themselves at times.

When is it time to go seek treatment if you notice signs or symptoms?

If there is any concern about the development of signs or symptoms of any mental health issues, screening and evaluation should be sought out immediately. Typically, even at routine wellness exams, we do mental health screens, so it is always something we are trying to monitor and catch, sometimes even before symptoms are appreciated.

Does mental health affect any other things besides emotional health?

Outside of emotions, mental health can affect many other things. It can affect a person’s physical health, leading to changes in vitals, physical appearance, etc. It can affect personal relationships, professional performance, or finances. Overall, a person’s mental health can affect all different aspects of a person’s life, which is why it is so vital to take it seriously and manage it appropriately.

Are there different types or categories of mental health?

Mental health comes in a variety of different categories and severities. It can range from mild depression and anxiety to personality or mood disorders, all of which have different subcategories and types. Mental health is a broad topic with many different aspects.

What does normal or healthy mental health look like?

“Healthy” mental health can look like several different things. In general, it looks like balance across a person’s personal and professional life. Typically, people in good mental health manage and balance their physical, financial, and social health. They take pleasure in doing things that they enjoy doing. They will usually follow a regular, well-balanced diet, sleep well, and will have appropriate balance in their life. Good mental health can look a variety of different ways.

What are the most frequent mental health problems you treat?

The most common mental health issues, without a doubt, are depression and anxiety. These can even be present without the patient realizing it or coming in for the issue, which is why it is so important to have routine screening completed.

What do treatment options look like?

Treatment options generally vary from person to person. Sometimes, all a person may need is cognitive-behavioral therapy. This is completed through working with a therapist, counselor, or psychiatrist. This can also be done through group sessions, support groups, etc. In addition to this, medications are often used to improve and balance mental health. Sometimes a combination of these things is used. In general, each person’s mental health treatment regimen is personalized to what will be most effective for them.

What other resources are helpful when being diagnosed with a mental health problem?

There are a number of mental health support groups, church or other religious belief groups, counselors, therapists, etc., that can be helpful resources to help cope with and manage various mental health issues.

If one thinks they have a mental health issue, what should the steps look like next?

If someone is concerned with a possible mental health issue, they should contact their primary care physician who can answer their questions, run screenings and diagnostics, and determine if there is an issue and help with initiating an appropriate treatment plan.

Overall, mental health is a huge component of a person’s health, and its maintenance is crucial to a person’s overall health and is not something that should be neglected if there is any level of concern. Don’t hesitate to reach out to your primary care provider if you have any questions or concerns about yours, and be open with your primary care provider during routine wellness exams.