Drug Addiction: A treatable mental disorder (slippery journey to hell on earth)

WELCOME to this week’s “Mental Health Chat Room”, this is a chat room where we discuss the basics of our mental health in order to understand and have a full grasp of the rudiments of mental health and optimum mental well-being. 

This is an essential component of our mental health advocacy activities aimed at promoting our wholesome wellness, preventing mental illness, improving our awareness of mental disorders, and understanding that effective, qualitative and modern (technology-based) mental health care services are available in Nigeria and Globally.

This will enhance our collective quality of life, harmonious interpersonal relationships and peaceful coexistence within our communities.

Stress can serve an important purpose and can even help you survive. For our ancestors, stress was a helpful motivator for survival, allowing them to avoid real physical threats.

That is because it makes our body think it’s in danger, and triggers that “fight-or-flight” survival mode (“survival mode” is needed from time to time but not for everyday life!). However, when you have prolonged stress, your body stays alert, even though there is no danger. Over time, this puts you at risk for health problems, both physical and mental health problems. Common physical health problems due to stress include metabolic diseases like diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular diseases like hypertension, heart diseases, menstrual irregularity, sexual dysfunction and infertility. Common mental health problems include anxiety, depression, substance abuse disorder, suicidality, and precipitation of an existing mental health illness or even perpetuation of existing mental illness.

In fact, different people may feel stress in different ways. Some people experience digestive symptoms while others may have headaches, sleeplessness, depressed mood, anger, and irritability.

People under chronic stress get more frequent and severe viral infections, such as the flu or common cold.  Some people cope with stress more effectively than others. It’s important to know your limits when it comes to stress, so you can avoid more serious health effects. Studies have shown that one in five people will experience mental illness in any twelve months at work place. Poor work place mental health could result in absenteeism, particularly frequent short periods of absence or may be at work without performing, poor relationships at work, tension and conflicts between colleagues, poor relationships with clients and increase in disciplinary problems.

There is poor work performance due to reduction in productivity and output, increase in error rates, increased amount of accidents, poor decision-making, deterioration in planning and control of work; poor staff attitude and behavior, loss of motivation and commitment, working increasingly long hours but for diminishing returns, poor time keeping and high labour turnover (particularly expensive for companies at top levels of management).

To curb the menace of unhealthy work-life balance and poor work place mental health, it is essential to have a mental health-friendly workplace by creating a healthy and rewarding environment needed for positive mental health that values diversity and includes health care that incorporates mental illnesses, has programmes and practices that promote and support health and wellness of staff and family, provides training for supervisors in mental health workplace issues, safeguards employee confidentiality and supports employees who seek treatment or require hospitalisation or disability leave.

Employers can be agents of change in the workplace they should be aware of mental health issues, modify workplace risk factors for stress, develop an organizational climate that promotes wellbeing and creativity, facilitate access to healthcare for employees who may need it, be understanding and flexible to the needs of employees, understanding their personal situations and combat stigma, and encourage open discussion in the workplace on mental health.

Co-workers (colleagues) can offer support for each other, they show that they are ready to help by listening without judgment, encourage those not feeling well to seek professional help when they are ready, not to leave anyone who appears to be in danger alone and stay in touch to check how the person is doing. Encourage employers to offer mental health and stress management education and programmes that meet their needs and interests, if they are not already in place.

Participate in employer-sponsored programs and activities to learn skills and get the support they need to improve their mental health. Serve as dedicated wellness champions and participate in trainings on topics such as financial planning and how to manage unacceptable behaviours and attitudes in the workplace as a way to help others, when appropriate.

Share personal experiences with others to help reduce stigma, when appropriate. Be open-minded about the experiences and feelings of colleagues. Respond with empathy, offer peer support, and encourage others to seek help. Adopt behaviors that promote stress management and mental health. Eat healthy, well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, and get 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night. Take part in activities that promote stress management and relaxation, such as yoga, meditation, mindfulness, or tai chi.

Build and nurture real-life, face-to-face social connections. Take the time to reflect on positive experiences and express happiness and gratitude. Set and work toward personal, wellness, and work-related goals and ask for help when it is needed.

In conclusion, generally work is good for our mental health but many work factors can contribute to mental health problems or make existing problems worse. Unhealthy work-life is a recipe for stress (work place induced stress).

Stress is a feeling of emotional or physical tension, in order to curb the menace of unhealthy work-life balance and poor work place mental health, it is essential to have a mental health-friendly workplace by creating a healthy and rewarding environment needed for positive mental health; that values diversity and includes health care that incorporates mental illnesses, has programmes and practices that promote and support health and wellness of staff and family. It should also provide training for supervisors on mental health workplace issues, safeguard employee confidentiality and support employees who seek treatment or require hospitalisation or disability leave.

A healthy work-life balance and consequently optimum work place mental health is necessary for sustainable national development. I hope today’s conversation will improve our understanding work place mental health.

Note:  If you have comments, questions and  contributions, please reach out to us on: +2348037004611 or email us at [email protected].

Is there cure for mental health problems?

I am 29 years old.  My mother has been ill for some years now and has been on treatment for a mental health challenge.  Unfortunately, it seems that it is taking longer time to heal than we expected. Are there cures for mental health problems?

Musa, Abuja

Prof says,

It is often more realistic and helpful to find out what helps with the issues you face.

TALKING, COUNSELLING, MEDICATION, FRIENDSHIPS, EXERCISE, GOOD SLEEP AND NUTRITION, AND MEANINGFUL OCCUPATION CAN ALL HELP.

How can i know if i have a personality disorder?

My doctor recently told me that I have a personality disorder, what does this mean?   How can I know if I have a personality disorder?

Peter, Minna

Prof says                          

If you have been diagnosed with a personality disorder it doesn’t mean that you’re fundamentally different from anyone else, but at times you might need extra support.

The word ‘personality’ refers to the pattern of thoughts, feelings and behaviour that makes each of us the individuals that we are.

These affect the way we think, feel and behave towards others and ourselves.

We don’t always think, feel and behave in exactly the same way – it depends on the situation we are in, the people with us and many other things.

But we mostly tend to behave in fairly predictable ways.

Personality disorders are a type of mental health problem where your attitudes, beliefs and behaviours cause you longstanding problems in your life. Your experience of personality disorder is unique to you.

You may often experience difficulties in how you think about yourself and others. You may find it difficult to change these unwanted patterns.

Can we prevent mental health problems?

Good morning Sir, How can I prevent mental health problem?

Ekene, Imo

Prof  says,

WE CAN ALL SUFFER FROM MENTAL HEALTH CHALLENGES, BUT DEVELOPING OUR WELLBEING, RESILIENCE, AND SEEKING HELP EARLY CAN HELP PREVENT CHALLENGES BECOMING SERIOUS.

Disclaimer

Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.