How Can Mental Health Affect Physical Health?

Does mental health count as a disability?

A mental health can class as a disability if it is severe and lasts over a year or is predicted to last over a year. For example, some people can’t work due to mental health issues.

More than 15 million people in England have one or more long-term physical conditions. They’re more common in older people (58% of people over 60 compared to 14% of people under 40) and in more deprived groups, but anyone can be affected.

Depression has been linked to many chronic illnesses such as diabetes, asthma, cancer, arthritis and cardiovascular issues.

Research shows that physical health problems significantly increase the risk of developing mental health problems, and vice versa. Nearly 1/3 of people with a long-term physical health condition also has a mental health problem, most often anxiety or depression.

This can be for several reasons:

·         Low motivation. This can be caused by either mental health issues or medication. This can result in declining physical health and have a knock-on effect on your mental health.

·         Difficulty with memory and concentration. Mental health issues can cause us to struggle with memory or planning, making it harder to organise medical appointments or stay on top of our general well-being.

·         Lack of support can also result in poorer physical and mental health. When we don’t have a support system encouraging us to change unhealthy behaviours, it an be a lot harder to do it alone.

·         If you have notable mental health issues, some medical professionals can be less inclined to investigate your symptoms further. People with mental health issues are less likely to receive routine checks like blood pressure and cholesterol.

Additionally, mental health issues can affect us physically & emotionally. Independent therapy for both parties may also benefit to understand how individually we have something going on that we are bringing into the relationship that’s why you should visit relationship counseling services near me. Your mental illness may affect other aspects of your relationship with your partner.  For example, depression symptoms can leave you disinterested in relationships, under or overeating in minor arguments, headaches, sometimes even insomnia, and difficulty concentrating.

If you’re an older adult struggling with your mental health, or know someone else who is, it may be worth seeking some help and support. Home care services and personal care services are particularly beneficial. Receiving personal care services can give you a bit of extra support with your well-being from the comfort of your home.

For example, if you’re struggling with depression and this has led you to avoid leaving the house or engaging in activities you previously loved, and your physical health is declining. A home care service can visit your home and accompany you on trips or encourage you to go out and take a walk or socialise with friends.

Alternatively, if you’re struggling your physical health and cannot stay on top of your personal well-being tasks, such as hygiene, a home care professional can assist you with these things, taking off some of that pressure.

If you or a loved one need further care that a home care service may not be able to provide, a care agency may be a better solution. Some care agencies will run classes or group sessions you can attend to receive some emotional support. Additionally, if you are experiencing serious mental/physical issues as a result of a prior condition, care agencies may be more equipped to help you get through it.

If you or a loved one are particularly struggling and need urgent care you can contact some care agencies and inquire about a mental health home treatment team, but this may be unlikely. In these cases, you should contact your GP immediately and try make some appointments to get on top of the problem. To reiterate, if you are struggling long term, care agencies and personal home care services should be considered to give you some additional support with coping and recovery.

What can I do to help myself?


Exercise produces a lot of endorphins, beneficial for our mental health and general mood. It’s no surprise that exercising has countless benefits for our mental and physical health, but it can be hard to motivate ourselves to exercise when we feel low. If you are struggling, you can try some low impact exercise such as seated yoga or even just a daily walk.

Contact your GP

No matter your health concerns you should consult a GP if you’re worried. They can provide therapy, counselling, or medication to help ease the pressures. If you’re worried about asserting yourself, you can bring someone along with you to stress your worries.

Eat well

Diet has amazing effects on our mood and well-being. A balanced diet can help us stay on top of low moods and influence our development mentally and physically. Taking additional vitamins can help boost mood and well-being, as well as potentially improve motivation to change eating habits.

Stop smoking

Smoking can have detrimental effects on both physical and mental health. Some people state that their mental health issues relieve once they give up smoking.

Seek support

Speaking to a support group or just friends and loved ones about your problems can massively improve your mental wellbeing. Lightening the burden can ease mental stresses and help you evaluate your problems with a new perspective.

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