factors that can affect mental health1

Factors That Can Affect Your Mental Health

by Chinyere Nwosu

August 15, 2021

Why Mental Health?

Several factors can impact your mental health. This impact is why we advocate that you take care of your mental health. For tips on how you may take care of your mental health, please read our previous post on taking care of your mental health.

Everyone is different. Our responses to life circumstances vary. Therefore, things impact us differently and at different degrees. The implication is that the risk and protective factors differ for everyone. As you grow older, your experiences change, and your understanding of things also improves. As you evolve, risk factors and protective factors will also change over your lifespan. Mental health experts advise that you improve the protective factors and reduce risk factors to improve your mental health.

Read Also:

Words Can Affect Your Health

Motivation for a Healthy Mind

Factors that can affect your mental health

Factors That Can Affect Your Mental Health are listed below. Each of these factors can pose a longtime risk to your mental health if not handled properly.

1.      Grief and loss

Examples of losses that may result in grief include

  • Loss of valuable relationship
  • Loss of job
  • Loss of loved ones
  • Loss of status or a particular way of life that you cherish a lot
  • Infertility
  • Separation from family or friends. Divorce can also cause this.
  • Children leaving home
  • Death of loved ones

2.      Domestic violence

The following constitute domestic violence. If you are experiencing any, please seek some healthy coping strategies or professional assistance.

  • Sexual assault and rape
  • Verbal abuse
  • Emotional and psychological abuse like neglect
  • Physical abuse
  • Controlling attitudes that may restrict where you go or who you see in an unhealthy manner
  • Harassment

3.      Bullying

Bullying is common, and many have accepted it as a way of life. However, bullying may cause different levels of damages to the bullied. Bullying can happen anywhere – home, school, workplace, market, social gatherings, or the internet and social media.

Workplace bullying is common. It is the misuse of power and directing unreasonable behaviour towards a worker or a group of workers. These behaviours can cause them health risks and infringe on their safety.

Identify the different forms of bullying around you and do something about it. Bullying does not only affect the bullied – but it also affects bystanders, cooperators, and the bully himself.

4.      Loneliness and social isolation

Loneliness is known as the feeling sad about being alone, especially over a long period. Some people do feel lonely even when surrounded by people. It may be due to isolation – separation from other people or your environment. Some causes of loneliness include –

  • Living alone
  • Social ostracizing – resulting from bullying, abuse, lack of social skills, or lack of a sense of belonging.
  • Family dysfunction – including a poor connection between members of a family.
  • Grief and loss

5.      Stages in life and life associated events like – childhood, teen years, pregnancy, adulthood, old age, becoming a father, taking care of a loved one who is ill, etc

At different stages in life, we respond to things in different ways. Your resiliency may vary at some points as you go through life. The change may be due to knowledge, understanding, environment, etc. People are most vulnerable to experiencing mental health issues when there is a significant change in their life or during a transition period – going from one stage to another. Some of such events come with complications, hormonal changes, etc. You may need extra support to pull through.

6.      Use of alcohol and drugs

Alcohol and hard drugs may help you feel calm, but the effects of using these as a coping strategy are enormous and include mental health issues. Examples include – addiction, anxiety, depression, paranoia, and psychosis. The use of alcohol and drugs may also affect the way you behave. Think, feel, and make decisions, thereby leading to social issues. The social may further impact your mental wellbeing.

7.      Sleeping problems

It may sound off when someone mentions sleep as being important in mental health. However, it is just as relevant to your mental health as it is to your physical wellbeing. See lifestyle factors that may affect mental and physical health.

Lack of sleep affects concentration, memory, and mood

8.      Unemployment or loss of business or investment

Being unable to earn a living may take a hard toll on one’s mental health. When people lose their jobs, businesses, or a large amount of investment, they experience grief and may develop risk symptoms like insomnia, anxiety, and shock. The feeling of loss, powerlessness, worry, guilt, and anxiety manifest in their anger and frustration. For most people, the feelings will disappear over time.

9.      Abuse – physical, verbal, sexual, cyber, psychological, emotional.

We all want to feel safe, loved, and accepted. Abuse takes this away from individuals. Abuse may come in different forms, but the effects are the same – loss of self-esteem, feeling unsafe, dejectedness, isolation, and sometimes physical ill-health. Abuse should be identified on time, stopped, or reported before it begins to impact the receiver’s mental health.

 

Comments (9)

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