Before medical school, it never really dawned on me how important one’s mental health is; in fact, if you would’ve asked me at the start of college, I would’ve said, “is that even a thing? Doesn’t physical health trump all? Your frame of mind determines your mental health, and you can change that for yourself—doesn’t seem so difficult.” Well, guess what? I was totally wrong, but that’s the thought process I grew up around.
Fast forward quite a few years of life experience and graduate medical education—turns out, my thought process has changed. I truly believe that mental health is just as important as physical health, if not more important.
Typically, I have found that there’s a clear distinction often made between “mind” and “body.” However, our culture is changing. Let’s work together to de-stigmatize mental health. Poor physical health can lead to an increased risk of developing mental health problems, and vice versa. The mind and body are connected. If we don’t care for one, the other will suffer.
In fact, mental disorders account for a significant portion of the world’s diseases—FIFTEEN PERCENT actually. A mental health disorder isn’t something to be ashamed of; instead, I encourage individuals to seek help and treatment. It is critical that mental health is addressed with as much energy and insight as physical health; our overall health deserves nothing less. Protect your mind and body.
I would actually challenge everyone to have a mental health checkup similar to yearly physicals and seeing the dentist twice a year. Why not have a mental health checkup yearly or every 2 years? It makes sense to, right?
What are your thoughts on mental vs physical health?