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Connection between mental and physical health

Connection between mental and physical health

24 October | 0 Comments | By Rachael

Physical and mental health of an individual are inter-linked and any change in one affects the other. A decline in mental health condition can cause chronic physical health problems and people with physical ailments are known to be more prone to mental illnesses like depression and anxiety, as compared to the general population.

As much as we’d like to think that mind and body are two separate entities, both are affected by the physiological and emotional state of the individual. A mental illness may act directly, where it affects the person’s social and cognitive condition, leaving a negative impact on his/her ability to maintain healthy habits, or indirectly in the form of medication side effects resulting in chronic physical conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, arthritis and asthma.

Cause and effect relationship

A British study, published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology in February 2017 found an association between psoriasis (a persistent skin disorder), major depressive disorder (MDD) and psoriasis arthritis (PsA). Involving 73,447 individuals in the age group of 20 to 90 years suffering from psoriasis, the study determined that MDD increases the risk of developing PsA among patients with psoriasis by as much as 37 percent. The findings highlighted that care needs to be taken by clinicians while treating MDD patients with psoriasis.

During the 2017 annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association (APA), a team of researchers conducted a study on 246 patients, among whom 53 had PTSD. They observed that the patients with cardiac inflammatory profiles run a higher risk of major cardiovascular conditions when they are also diagnosed with PTSD. These patients showed higher vascular dysfunction when measured by the coronary distensibility index (CDI) and also had lesser brown epicardial adipose tissue (BEAT), known to be anti-inflammatory.

They also recorded higher white epicardial adipose tissue (WEAT), which has inflammatory functions. The decrease in BEAT and increase in WEAT indicates multiple markers of inflammation, vascular dysfunction and oxidative stress as well as major cardiovascular events. The findings highlighted the role of neurovascular and neuroendocrine responses of inflammation on the mental disorder and its role in identifying patients with PTSD at risk for major adverse cardiac events (MACE).

Holistic treatment for overall well-being

PTSD is a mental disorder arising out of traumatic experiences that an individual may experience at some point in his or her life, ranging from near death experiences to physical or sexual abuse, exposure to natural calamities or critical illness. The patient experiences nightmares and flashbacks, and finds it extremely difficult to mingle with the society. It affects the individual’s ability to grow and can take complete control of his or her social, personal and professional lives. However, treatments are available through holistic recovery programs that include medication, therapies or a combination of both.

If you know someone who suffers from a mental health condition, the Arizona Mental Health Helpline can help you find evidence-based treatment programs and connect you to the finest mental health treatment centers in Arizona. Call us on our 24/7 helpline (866) 606-7791 or chat with a representative if you wish to get details about state-of-the-art mental health disorder treatment centers in Arizona where programs are tailored to individuals’ needs to help them regain control of their lives.