Why Mental Health Should be Taken as Seriously as Physical Health

Alex Jaramillo Goicoechea , Staff Reporter

Psychology was not taken seriously as a science for what seemed like forever. People still argue whether it is or is not. There are still people who believe psychology is a joke and people who do not believe that your mental and emotional well-being is important or can affect your physical state of being. There have been multiple creditable studies that have proven these beliefs are not true. Humans are emotional creatures. We are not machines, and some forget that people are still classified as animals. We are meant to feel a wide spectrum of emotions and not be anything close to automated.  

Just like every other animal in the animal kingdom, our mind directs and gives our body instructions. Therefore, if someone has a chemical imbalance in their brain, or if they are stressed and feel overwhelmed, the instruction they receive from their brain will not be as clear and strong and might come across differently. This will then affect their body because of the fogged communication from the brain. If the signal is unclear from the mind to the body, the body is not performing correctly. This can lead to the body feeling the repercussions of the stress the mind is under and failure to function in general.  

In my Psychology 1100 class, we learned about a man named Phineas Gage. Gage’s skull was penetrated by an iron rod. The rod destroyed much of his brain’s left frontal lobe function. Due to this frontal lobe damage, Gage’s linguistic, emotional, and motor skills were greatly hindered and altered. Gage would yell, scream gibberish, and not know why. This is an extreme example of how the “fogged” communication from the brain will lead to improper functioning of the body. 

The analogy I used in the paragraph prior, I have found, is one of the clearest ways to communicate to people that the mind really is important and can affect the body, and it is not far from the truth. However, the mind being the root of some physical illnesses and being affected by physical illness, should be seen as a priority to care for. People should tend to their minds just as they would see a broken foot or arm. Broken arms and feet heal incorrectly and can become a larger problem if not handled quickly and efficiently. The same goes for mental health and taking care of your emotions.  

Certain steps should be taken when you start to feel that something does not feel right mentally or emotionally. Take note of your feelings, moods, thoughts, and how long you appear present. No matter how long they last, you should still find a way to express and communicate your feelings healthily to a trusted individual. However, if these thoughts last for days and weeks, a professional should be sought after to receive proper and professional care. Suppose you feel that there is still little to no improvement. In that case, the professional you are seeing will probably recommend you to a psychiatrist to evaluate whether medication will be needed in aiding you to conquer this. There is no shame in requiring medication to regulate the chemistry in your mind.    

Once all is squared away and regulated regarding the mind, you will see improvements in the function and spryness of your body. You will feel less drained and unmotivated. A weight will be lifted off your shoulders metaphorically and mentally as well if taken seriously. For those who wish to disprove psychology being a benefit to both the mind and body, I encourage you to try these methods. Go into it, leaving biases behind and with the willingness to change and adapt.  Listen to what your body and mind tell you about what you need help with, and seek that help. I promise that you will come out feeling better all around. Why Mental Health Should be Taken as Seriously as Physical Health