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How Mental Health Affects Your Physical Health?

It’s a common notion that the mind and the body are entirely separate from each other. However, many don’t know that mental health is closely related to physical health and vice-versa. Physical health issues lead to increased mental health problems, and mental health issues take a toll on one’s physical health. One in three people suffering from physical health conditions for a long period of time tend to develop mental health problems, such as anxiety and depression. If you are in a state of good mental health, your physical health will automatically improve while the deteriorating mental health will hurt your physical condition. Below is a detailed discussion on the effects of mental health on your physical health.

Chronic Diseases

Depression leads to a host of chronic diseases such as cancer, asthma, diabetes, arthritis, and cardiovascular disease. An individual suffering from a chronic mental health condition like schizophrenia can develop a higher risk of respiratory and heart diseases, and dealing with any kind of chronic disease becomes an uphill task. The mortality rate from diseases like cancer is comparatively higher among those who suffer from mental health issues like depression.

Sleep Issues

Those who suffer from mental health issues are more prone to sleep disorders such as sleep apnea or insomnia. If you are dealing with insomnia, falling or staying asleep is pretty hard for you. If you have sleep apnea, you are more likely to experience breathing problems, owing to which you will keep waking up frequently. Research has revealed that 50% to 80% of people suffering from mental health conditions will experience sleeping issues. Out of the general population, around 105% to 118% have similar issues. Anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, and many other mental issues may cause sleep problems, which in turn will lead to deteriorating physical health.


Smoking is a more common thing in people who have mental health conditions than in those without them. Among smokers, people going through some mental illness tend to smoke more cigarettes in all probability. People who are going through a state of depression have lower levels of dopamine, a chemical that positively influences your brain. Cigarettes contain nicotine that boosts dopamine production. Therefore, smoking is usually considered to relieve depression. With that being said, nicotine gives you temporary relief, the reason why you feel the urge to smoke again and again. This turns into addiction, later on, affecting your physical health adversely.

Getting Adequate Healthcare

The probability of people enduring a mental health issue receiving sufficient healthcare is low. Those who are trying to cope with mental health issues will have difficulties in dealing with their physical health as well. When someone has a mental disease, getting healthcare, taking the prescribed medicines regularly, or doing workouts becomes an arduous task.

The Effect of Physical Heath on Mental Health

Having good physical health is necessary to stay in a positive frame of mind. If you have issues with your physical health, your mental health is more likely to deteriorate. You might have heard of psoriasis. It is a dermatological condition that is identified by red sores on your skin. They are considered to be a result of excessive stress and depression, and are quite painful. Those who have psoriasis, go through psychological and emotional affliction which leads to a decline in overall health and quality of life. Anxiety, rejection, and stigma – all lead to acute depression. Nearly one-third of those who are fighting against a grave medical condition will experience depression leading to problems, like sleep issues, lack of interest, and low or bad mood.

Ways to Focus on Your Mental and Physical Health

The most effective ways to improve your mental and physical health are exercising regularly, eating a diet laden with nutrition, and avoiding drugs and alcohol at all costs. Some other helpful habits include getting adequate sleep, practicing relaxation techniques, keeping away from negative emotions and focusing on positive ones, and seeking help from loved ones to release stress.

Remember, if you are not in a good state of mind, your physical health will get affected. You will lose interest in everything that keeps you in a good physical state. It also works the other way round. A decline in your physical health will prevent you from being mentally positive.

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