Psychological health refers to our cognitive, behavioural, and emotional wellbeing – it is all about how we think, feel, and behave.
A state of mind is created by the concert of a triad working together – brain waves, brain structure and neurochemicals (happy chemicals like dopamine, serotonin, endorphins and oxytocin). A balance of neurochemicals is something that we can work upon, by focusing on lifestyle choices. We have the power to make ourselves happier through daily physicality. One of the side effects of living in a digital age is that we are getting detached from physical activity and each other!
Anxiety and depression are most commonly seen around; there are also certain types of disorders that are unique to women. For example, some women may experience symptoms of mental disorders at times of hormonal change, such as perinatal depression, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, and perimenopause-related depression.
Our daily experiences govern the type of thoughts that come by, which in turn decide our emotions. Hence emotion is a part of a person’s character that consists of feelings. It is said that there are about 70 thousand thoughts in a day. Sadly 80% of these thoughts are about past and future.
In our upbringing, ‘crying’ is considered normal for women. On the other hand she cannot get ‘angry’. The matter of fact is every emotion needs to be expressed in a right way or else it gets piled up to some kind of negative feeling.
The mere awareness about self, to identify which shade of emotion we are into, itself is enough for an upward lift! Our relationship with self is a reflection of our body. In fact, your thoughts precipitate changes all the way down to your cells and genes.
PEARLS OF WISDOM – TRY TO LIVE IN THE PRESENT!
Various types of psychological concerns commonly seen around are-
- Anxiety Disorders-Anxiety disorders are the most common types of mental illness. The individual has a severe fear or anxiety, which is linked to certain objects or situations. Most people with an anxiety disorder will try to avoid exposure to whatever triggers their anxiety.
Examples- Panic disorder, Phobias, Obsessive compulsive disorder, Post traumatic stress disorder.
- Mood Disorders-These are also known as affective disorders or depressive disorders. People with these conditions have significant changes in mood, generally involving either mania (elation) or depression.
Examples – Major Depression, Bipolar disorder, Persistent depressive disorder, Seasonal Affective Disorder.
- Schizophrenia DisordersIt is a highly complex condition with negative and positive symptoms. Schizophrenia normally begins between the ages of 15 and 25. The individual has thoughts that appear fragmented; they also find it hard to process information.
Some symptoms of psychological disorders include:
- Persistent sadness or feelings of hopelessness
- Misuse of alcohol and/or drugs
- Dramatic changes in eating or sleeping habits
- Appetite and/or weight changes
- Decreased energy or fatigue
- Excessive fear or worry
- Seeing or hearing things that are not there
- Extremely high and low moods
- Aches, headaches, or digestive problems without a clear cause
- Social withdrawal
- Suicidal thoughts
Treatment options- Expert health practitioners and medical advice helps in most cases. There are a combination of other treatments like talking therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy and medicines.
Adjunctive treatments- include acupuncture, mindfulness meditation and acceptance based interventions.
Botanical supplements – St. John’s Wort, Kava, Passion flower and Chamomile have promising effects due to their calming, carminative and spasmolytic properties. Saffron and turmeric provide anti-inflammatory effects on the body.
Evidence based use of Omega-3, N-acetylcysteine and folic acid supplements for various types of psychological concerns.
Self help- Lifestyle modification with regular exercise, abstinence of alcohol and including raw foods especially dark coloured seasonal fruits and vegetables has added benefits.
Suggested readings (books on wellbeing)-
- Ask and it is given by Esther and Jerry Hicks
- Don’t sweat the small stuff for women by Richard Carlson