Can Mental Health Issues Be Prevented?

Avoiding The Mind’s Obstacles

Mental health issues can certainly be prevented with the proper care since childhood. But it is important to keep in mind that many people are genetically predisposed to developing a mental illness. It’s based on the two-hit hypothesis: the first hit are the faulty genes and the second hit is an environmental stressor that makes your mind go overboard, resulting in the development of an illness.

Genetic predisposition towards developing a mental illness is not uncommon, because genes spread from older generations onto newer ones. But even with the genes present, it doesn’t mean that you will necessarily develop the illness that your grandmother or mother had. It depends on how impactful the faulty genes are and what kind of environment you are raised in.

The environment is just as important as your genetic makeup. For instance, a teenager may be genetically predisposed to developing schizophrenia. At 16, he also starts smoking marijuana on a consistent basis: this may very well be the tipping point into schizophrenic territory.

The same may apply with depression, anxiety and many others. That’s why it’s very important to minimize the stressors in your life and maintain a healthy lifestyle, such as adopting a good diet and consistent exercise routine. These things aren’t stressed just for the sake of maintaining your physical health; mental health is just as important.

Everyday stressors add up and can really affect your mental health over time. That’s why it’s important to incorporate healthy outlets in your life such as mindfulness, exercise, healthy relationships and a good sleep hygiene. These methods of relaxation help you to prevent the development of a mental illness; especially depression and anxiety.

Unfortunately, there are times in peoples’ lives when preventing a mental illness becomes extremely difficult. This applies to people who have experienced a traumatic event, resulting in acute stress disorder or PTSD. For them, these stressors were so impactful that the development of these trauma-based illnesses were almost inevitable.

Overall, for the most part, mental health issues can be prevented with a consistently healthy lifestyle in place. Keep in mind that just because your father or mother had an illness, does not mean that you will too! Minimize your stressors and maintain a positive outlook on life.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

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