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Mental health may impact physical fitness

November 8, 2017

Your mental conditioncan make you physically sick. Maybe low immunity isn’t the reason why you get fever more than twice a year. Or exposure to radiation not solely responsible for the growth of cancer cells in your body. An underlying reason for these conditions can be an unhealthy mental condition.

Mental health refers to how people think, feel and act as they face different situations. Our mental health affects how we deal with stress, decision making and relationships. Most importantly, it influences the way individuals look at themselves, their lives and others in their lives.

Overwhelming stress levels can cause mutations at a genetic level which can lead to the improper formation of a gene, thus, affecting the functioning of a cell. Abnormal functioning of an individual cell can further impact the working of other cells, eventually, affecting the entire genome mechanism. The result of which can be seen on a physical level, cancer being the example of an extreme phenotype.

Therefore, it is important to realize that mental and physical health are inseparable. Unfortunately, mental disorders account for a large proportion of the disease burden in young people in all societies. According to U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, 1 out of 5 people are victims of mental illness. Studies conclude that most of these conditions begin during youth (12–24 years of age), although they are often first detected later in life (Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, London).

Late identification of such disorders stems from multiple reasons. The stigma revolving around mental treatments and illnesses. the shortage of mental health professionals and the fairly low capacity to provide quality mental health services, are a few key challenges to name. However, statistics reveal that when proper facilities are provided and availed for treatment, there is a tremendous improvement in the conditions.

After psychological treatment, the number of medical visits decreased by 90 percent, laboratory costs decreased by 50 percent, and overall treatment cost dropped by 35 percent (Rhode Island Psychological Association). Other findings by Rhode Island Psychological Association prove that people with untreated mental health problems visit a doctor twice as often as people who receive mental health care. Moreover, anxiety conditions can lead to heart diseases, low immunity, ulcers, and colitis.

As college students, we fall under the vulnerable age group (12-24 years) prone to mental illness and thus, often find ourselves as victims of anxiety and depression. All such conditions have revealing symptoms and an awareness towards them is important for identifying the need for treatment.

Conditions like anger management, anxiety, depression, sexual assault trauma, suicide prevention and time management are treated at the Ohlone Health Center. Licensed marriage, family therapist, and professional certified life coach, Rosemary O’Neill, offers her services at the Ohlone Health Centre and welcomes all students to come and seek help.

In case needed, appointments can be arranged via phone at (510) 659-6258 or you can visit the Health Center located in Building 7 in Room 7302.

1 Comment

One Response to “Mental health may impact physical fitness”

  1. Harold A. Maio on November 9th, 2017 10:36 am

    —The stigma revolving around mental treatments and illnesses

    Is widely taught. It is time we stopped teaching it.

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