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When you are struggling with mental pain you would do anything to feel better. Learn about the good ways to manage mental pain, and the not-so-good ways.
It’s one thing to feel a bit out of sorts. Maybe you’re dealing with a bout of the blues or having a stressful day. It is quite another to feel tormented by mental anguish all the time. Mental pain, such as a severe anxiety or depressive disorder, can truly level you.
Too often, though, people begin to rely on meds, alcohol, or even illicit drugs to subdue the pain. Using a substance to manage or numb mental pain will often enhance the symptoms and make things much worse.
To learn how to access help from a mental health expert who can guide your treatment, keep on reading. Also, check out the lifestyle tweaks you can make that will greatly improve your mental health.
What is Mental Pain?
There are many ways to describe mental pain. Some of the terms used include psychache, disturbed, mental anguish, wounded, and inner turmoil, just to name a few. The bottom line is that mental pain hurts.
When someone is in a mental state that causes serious distress, the symptoms describe the distress are grouped into defined mental health disorders. The most common of these are anxiety and depression. To better understand mental suffering, we need to first learn about these mental health disorders.
Anxiety and Mental Pain
Anxiety disorders include panic disorder, GAD, phobia, OCD, PTSD, and social anxiety. Each of these types of anxiety has its own symptom profile. Even so, all anxiety disorders feature some common traits. These can become so distressing in daily life that the person may decide to avoid any place, person, or situation that will trigger them.
Anxiety symptoms include:
- Severe worry, fear, or sense of distress.
- Racing heart.
- Stomach distress.
- Chest pain.
- Rapid breathing.
Depression and Mental Pain
Depression can be debilitating. When someone has depression, they lose all desire to function in the world. They just feel like giving up. Their thoughts are clouded by feelings of despair, and don’t see how life will ever get better. When someone presents with at least 5 symptoms that have lasted more than two weeks, they likely have depression.
Depression symptoms include:
- Feelings sad, hopeless, and full of despair.
- Change in appetite, which results in sudden weight loss or gain.
- Loss of desire to do the things that were once enjoyed.
- Change in sleep habits, such as sleeping too much or too little.
- Feeling ashamed, guilty, or worthless.
- Slowed movements.
- Trouble paying attention or making decisions.
- Frequent thoughts of suicide.
Treatment for Mental Pain
When we suffer from mental pain we need expert help. These mental health pros will know how to make a diagnosis and prescribe the right meds to help reduce symptoms. There are many, many drugs designed to help people who struggle with mental health disorders.
Along with the meds, the provider will also refer you to therapy. In therapy, you will work with the therapist to learn how certain life events or thought patterns have affected you. They will then teach you new ways of dealing with triggers and also new ways of shaping your thoughts.
Together, meds plus therapy make up the backbone of mental health treatment. There are some other types of treatments, like TMS therapy, biofeedback, or EMDR, that can improve the treatment outcomes even more.
Lifestyle Changes to Reduce Mental Pain
It is widely known that the lifestyle choices we make can have a profound effect on health and wellbeing. This is because humans are made up of mind, body, and spirit. When one of these is out of sync, it impacts the others.
Making some changes in our daily habits and routines can reap huge rewards. These actions complement the treatments that are offered by a mental health expert, helping to enhance the results.
Think about adding some of these healthy habits into your routine:
- Drink more water. Staying hydrated is a simple action that can improve health. Drinking enough water is linked to feeling less fatigued, better focus, better mood state, aids in bowel regularity, and helps with weight loss. Try to drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water every day.
- Get regular exercise. There is no denying how much is gained from taking part in regular exercise. Physical fitness, can be protect against mood disorders like depression. The hormones that are released during a workout can improve mood, improve sleep, and reduce stress.
- Learn to relax. Using methods that train the body to destress can greatly improve your mental state. This is very helpful for those who suffer from anxiety. Practice yoga, deep breathing, and meditation when you feel your stress levels rise. These are easy access actions that can swiftly reduce mental pain.
- Eat a nutritious diet. Feed your brain with a healthy diet for better overall mental health. Center your diet around omega-3 fatty acids, lean proteins, complex carbs, and fresh veggies and fruits. Limit sugars, caffeine, and processed foods to help maintain a calm mental state.
- Get good sleep. To create a healthy sleep routine, keep a regular daily sleep schedule. This allows the body to adjust to a predictable sleep rhythm. This helps to set the circadian cycle. To enhance sleep quality, limit caffeine, avoid heavy late dinners, and shut down smartphones and laptops one hour before bedtime.
If you are struggling with mental pain, and it is impacting your quality of life, please reach out and get some support. There is help out there; you just need to ask for it.
Mental Health Hope Offers Guidance for Mental Health Disorders
Mental Health Hope is a free online resource for people in need of information about mental health disorders. We offer online assessments and guidance for people struggling with mental pain, like depression or anxiety. Give our caring team a call today at (877) 755-7624.