Mental health. Whenever I encounter that phrase the first few things I think about, within the second of hearing it, is; the brain, mental disorders and quite frankly, sleep. Mental health however, is a very in-depth, unrecognized and crucial topic that every college student, adult and child should have at least basic knowledge of. The fact that mental health is such a hushed topic should frighten any institution that aims to focus on the well-being of its students. So, what is this critical and urgent matter of mental health? What makes it so important? And what happens if one doesn’t make mental health a priority?
Drawn from the Latin word ‘Mentalis’ meaning ‘of the mind’, the word mental means ‘pertaining to or dealing with the mind’. If you were introduced to the Placebo effect, you probably heard of the experiment where two groups of patients with the same issues were given two entirely different treatments. One group of patients received an F.D.A approved prescription drug, made to tackle that exact illness. While the other group was given sugar-pills, but were told that they were the same F.D.A pills. In the end, both groups of patients recovered even though one set of the medication was fake, all because of the mind. The Nocebo effect is quite the opposite; when the mind contributes to illness. Scientists have concluded, your mind operates approximately six trillion duties among your sixty trillion cells, every single second. The thing is, we often forget how valuable the mind really is. Whatever you believe in your mind will become a reality, because your subconscious mind controls your decisions 96-98% of the time. What you continue to hold in your mind is what you will be attracted to. In essence, what you feed grows.
So why exactly is all this of outmost importance? Imagine buying a car, with TwinPower turbo 8-cylinder petrol engine, language and gesture-activated controls, magneto-rheological front and rear shock absorbers with pushrod system, firm sports steering for maximum precision. It’s your dream car. After working tiresomely, you finally were able to purchase this car, but when you do, something is wrong with the steering rack. We all know that the engine is a vital aspect of a car, but, unless the steering problem is rectified immediately, the car is nevertheless rendered useless, simply because, if you attempt to drive it, it can’t actually guide you to your desired destination. The same thing can be said when coming to life and your mental health. Ambition, sacrifice, passion, and dedication are some of the most valued aspects in life, but at the end of the day, if you push too hard without proper balance, within years, months or even weeks you will be rendered useless, unable to perform as who you worked so tediously to become.
Assuming you are like me, a full-time college student with no actual income to purchase an entirely new BMW. The best option now would be to take your car back to the dealership, query the issue then leave it to be solved by their mechanic. Well, it is the exact process with your mental health. There was a point in my life when my steering rack was not adjusted to suit my lifestyle. Poor diet, illness and stress all contributed to my mental health wavering and giving way to nervousness, temper and other issues. In the end, I had to stop and make my steering rack the priority. Occasionally, is it advised that you check with your doctor about your mental health and if necessary counselling may be suggested or another form to verbalize your problems. You are required to eat healthy, exercise, relax and spend time with God in order to attain balance. However, if you do not, if you leave your steering rack uncharted and unrepaired, you can unintentionally drive yourself down a road load with mental health issues with very little hope of returning. Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia, Social Anxiety, Phobia, Binge Eating Disorder and many other illnesses can be the result of your delinquency when coming to your ‘steering’.
Mental disorders are dangerous. They can easily turn the most esteemed and intellectual individual to a threat to society or even oneself. Take Robin Williams for instance; comical, rich, successful, inspirational, but fell prey to the cruel hands of depression. All the money and fame did not matter to him once his mind was ill. Taking care of yourself mentally can shape your outcome in life for the best. Within the pursue for your degree, think of the little things like: every time you see the time drawing nearer and nearer to a.m., ask yourself, “does this benefit my mental health”? Before you select five core courses, one after the next, ponder, “am I mentally capable of such an overload”? If you feel unexplainably sad, alone, overly happy for no reason and have suicidal thoughts, question, “is everything ok with my mental health”? You can have an excellent engine, but without your steering, it is guaranteed that you would not be able to head in the direction you want or even handle any sudden changes in your direction in life. So consider checking your steering rack regularly. Get help if needs be, as control of your mind is key. Many persons who risk mental health for success, will tell you that in the end, your mental health is quite literally your greatest wealth.