What is mental health and why is this important?
Mental health is one of the silence disorders that can hit everyone, especially in a fast pace environment like Hong Kong. A statistical survey done shows that between 16-75-year-old. The most common mental health disorder in Hong Kong are mixed of anxiety and depression of 6.9%, while general anxiety is 4.2%, depression 2.9% and lastly obsessive-compulsive disorder 1.5%.
Interestingly, mental health in Hong Kong is stigmatised and there is not a lot of awareness. Often many people suffer in silence. Why is that?
Sign that you may suffer and what can you do?
The most common sign of depression or anxiety are:
- Brain fog
- Memory loss
- Low motivation
- Mood swings
Yet, these symptoms cannot alone be associated with mental health and should not alone be used a self-diagnosis. As different events can be triggered by circumstances – trauma, financial worries, problem at work, ill health etc.
Hormone that influence your brain
The hormone plays an important role in bodily function. From metabolising to motivation signalling etc. If levels of our hormones are low or high it influences our overall mental wellbeing.
The most common hormone that is associated with mental health is cortisol, which kicks starts the adrenaline and allows us to focus during a stressful time. However, when an increase of cortisol level is in our blood. This can cause for stress-eating that leads to fat storage and high blood pressure.
Dopamine is the neurotransmitter and a hormone that belongs to the catecholamine and phenethylamine. This neurotransmitter is responsible for the motivational component of reward-motivated behaviour. When the dopamine is decreased it can cause lack of motivation, difficulties eating, and weight loss and weight gain etc.
Serotonin is responsible for feelings of well-being and happiness and an imbalance amount of serotonin can cause a problem with sleeping, depression and anxiety. While GABA hormone inhibitory effect in the brain. In other words, it has a calming effect and is also responsible to regulate the action of few other neurotransmitters. An imbalance of these neurotransmitters can cause a disturbance and leave to depression and anxiety.
Your lifestyles matter
So, we know a bit about that imbalance in some of our hormone can cause problem and lead to depression. Furthermore, it is important we listen to your body, when we notice that start to change in our mood. So, what can we do about it? So, we know a bit about that imbalance in some of our hormone can cause problem and lead to depression. Furthermore, it is important we listen to your body, when we notice that start to change in our mood. So, what can we do about it?
Healthy eating and improve on your mental health, exercise and movement can help on the mood A study from Raju 2017 stated the importance of nutrition and mental health. Lim et al., 2016 notice a strong correlation about a diet full of fresh fruit, vegetables and fish and limited amount of red meat was an ideal brain food and saw strong correlation with low level of vitamin B and depression.
Various type of food can help to get a stronger brain.:
- Eggs – choline, protein, B vits, magnesium, zinc
- Oats, brown rice, quinoa – B vits, fibre
- Turkey – tryptophan, B vits, zinc, protein
- Dark chocolate magnesium and antioxidants
- Seeds chia & walnut (omega 3’s), almonds (magnesium), brazil nuts (selenium)
However, when someone is a more severe stage, these advices become very difficult to do. Even getting up from the bed and even eating the right food. Despite that various study about diet and mental health are tightly connected. Nevertheless, we cannot avoid that people who suffer often have a hard time to do all these things. So, the most important is to have a network of people in once life. Reach out to people who you can see has a change of mood and try your best to be there and encourage them to either go to therapy or have some activities and eat healthy.
So, to round everything up. It is important to listen to yourself, eat health and reach out to help or to get help.