It is common practice for people to seek assistance when they have received a physical injury. Strained muscles, worn joints, broken bones, dislocations – the list goes on but about the strain, weariness and exhaustion that our minds are constantly juggling?
If we look at the human body as a computer then the physical body would be the hardware and the brain would be the software. Neglecting either for an extended duration can lead to severe problems that can take a life time to fix.
Just like how a computer left on for too long without a reboot starts to lag, the human brain cannot function properly without sleep. The knowledge we gain and the experiences we have are all processed when we achieve the REM state of sleep. Not reaching REM will leave you feeling physically exhausted but will also start to mess with your memory and cognitive ability. Research has also shown that a lack of sleep can lead to weight gain regardless of exercise and healthy eating.
Depression and anxiety can have a sudden onset but generally takes a little bit of time to develop. Of course it is important to note that it is normal to have days where we feel down or times when we feel anxious, these only become problematic if they are frequent, long lasting and (in the case of anxiety) unmanageable (panic attacks).
With the advent of self isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic, many people are starting to experience cabin fever. It is a feeling of irritation, claustrophobia and listlessness and can lead to further issues if left unaddressed. This is not something that should be left on a wait and see basis – many front line practitioners are present and available to assist.
There was (and still may) be a stigma in society about seeking out help for mental health but realistically a healthy body is linked to a healthy mind and vice verse. A computer cannot work with hardware or software alone – it is a combination of the two that creates functionality and purpose.
Trying to deal with mental health issues alone is the same as having a broken arm and leaving it to heal by itself – yes, it may eventually heal but the bone may be out of place and it will definitely lead to further complications.
In summary – it is just as important, if not more so, to take care of your software (mental health) just as you would your hardware (physical body) as leaving mental health issues unaddressed is akin to letting a broken bone heal without medical intervention – it may heal but it will not heal properly and will definitely lead to more complications in the future.