Never has mental health awareness been more prevalent than it is today. The Coronavirus pandemic has certainly highlighted what can be a very debilitating illness.
Mental illness has always been with us, but in years gone by, oftentimes it was misdiagnosed and/or misunderstood. The workings of the mind is still quite an enigma, although extensive progress has been made into how and why some people suffer with the effects of an unhealthy mind, and others do not.
There have been many terms used to describe mental health, and centuries ago some of the practices to remedy mental health would be seen as horrific in today's society.
Trephination, (not a word used broadly today, in fact some may never of heard the term), was once a favoured mental health treatment. This procedure entailed removing a small part of the skull by drilling into it, and removing the suspected area that was causing the problem. This practice would relieve pressure from the skull, and in ancient times it was believed it released the demon that was inside the skull causing the problem!
Lobotomy is a term used for removing specific brain areas, it is also known as psychosurgery. Fortunately, it's now a very rare procedure, but it was only as recent as the mid-1950's this operation lost it's appeal. This was mainly due to the poor results the procedure gave, but coincidently the first ripple of psychotherapeutic drugs were being introduced with favourable results.
There have been many developments around mental health issues, but research and studies are ongoing because of the complexity they present.
For example, after World War I many soldiers experienced mental issues. The term 'Shell Shock' or 'War Neuroses' was given to those who returned from war and displayed out-of-character behaviour. This could range from severe nightmares/terrors, paranoia, severe anxiety, stress and many other behaviours. The soldiers who had experienced similar types of trauma displayed these behaviours, and to those who knew the soldiers personally, it became difficult to understand unusual behavioural patterns that emerged.
Medical professionals were trying hard at this time to understand what was going on, and tried to determine the state of mind presented, but didn't really know the entire condition. It became apparent that there were many facets and complexities to investigate.
By World War II the term 'Combat Stress' was more widely used and identified as the diagnoses of the emotional and mental state the subject had experienced. In operations of war the brain experiences demanding and constant stressful mindsets. How an individual interprets these experiences can have a powerfully devastating effect on the brain. Left untreated the condition is on a downward spiral as chemicals in the brain are affected and begin to change.
Today the term PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) is commonly used to describe the effects of trauma experienced in battle. Although we associate PTSD with soldiers, it can affect anyone who has suffered a traumatic, stressful or horrific experience. It is simply how an individual interprets a situation, how the brain perceives what has happened.
Mental illness issues can manifest in so many different ways. Depression is a term used loosely by some. It is not just a case of being 'really' fed up'!, real depression is a severe mood disorder. It can make person feel a variety of symptoms. The overall feeling of sadness, despair, emptiness, loss of interest in things normally enjoyed, can be termed as depression. Long term depression can be termed as clinical depression, it can have severe emotional and physical effects for the sufferer.
In today's world the Coronavirus pandemic has proved very challenging for mental health. With 1/2 of adults suffering, and a further 2/3 of children, it is unfortunately a pandemic within a pandemic!
The 'Lockdown' procedures the world has had to endure to contain the virus has proved very difficult for many. We as a society have taken our freedoms for granted, and to be restricted, sometimes indefinitely, from doing the things we like/love or seeing the people we like/love, has had a devastating effect on an untold number of people.
It is a basic human need to interact with others. We sometimes don't realise the affect physical and emotional contact can impact our lives, both positively and negatively.
Being isolated from others can really affect our mental wellbeing. It is natural to want to connect with others. However, when we are denied this basic need, mental health can be at risk.
Our brain is an amazing organ that controls mind, body and soul. We need to nurture our cerebrum and listen to what it needs.
Improving mental health can be difficult when there is no motivation, especially when alone. Just by carrying out small tasks and exercises for the brain that can be done consistently, can improve mental well being immensely.
Physical exercise is also very important, so adopting an achievable regime can make the world of difference. Changing mundane daily activities can result in empowerment, and can give way to better outcomes.
Diet also plays a massive part in mental health. Eating foods that make us feel sluggish, or we know are bad for us, can give way to feelings of guilt. There are so many healthy options to not only improve general health, but can specifically improve brain function.
If our bad health choices are repeated daily this can be life-altering, not only for mind, but also body and soul. However, adopting a healthy lifestyle on a daily basis can have the reverse effect.
Medication is often prescribed to treat many mental issues. Sometimes a course of mind-altering drugs can have the desired effect, but long term use of these can cause their own issues within the physical body.
Other options for treatment of mental health can include a wide range of supplements and vitamins. With proven results, there are many mood boosting, chemical releasing, mind enhancing alternatives, which are preferred.
Recent years have brought CBD (cannabidiol) to the forefront of alternative treatments. CBD is derived from the humble hemp plant. However, not to be confused with THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which does have psychoactive effects on the brain. It can give a feeling of being 'high', but long term use of THC can also cause paranoia and other mind-altering conditions.
CBD is widely available in flower or oil form. It legally contains <0.2% THC, (although in some countries <0.3% is allowed). It is not psychoactive.
CBD is completely safe to use and non-addictive. In fact, EU Regulations and Guidelines are stringent, and ensure it's safe use.
CBD flowers and oil are now widely available on our high street or online. Both forms of CBD are a versatile way to use this amazing supplement.
Extensive research and studies into the benefits of CBD have been carried out and are still ongoing. The power and positive results on health and well being cannot be underestimated. CBD is a natural compound and contains over one hundred cannabinoids that work with our own natural built-in cannabinoid system.
It is now recognised that CBD is also a great immune booster. It relieves stress, anxiety, poor sleep, and depression, all of which are associated with mental health. There are also other physical and mental conditions that benefit from taking CBD.
CBD flowers and oil can be incorporated into a daily diet. Consumed with food or drink, it can become part of a healthy routine.
Alternatively CBD oil can be administered under the tongue. This is the quickest way into the bloodstream. A couple of drops is suffice to have the desired effect and gives encouraging results.
CBD is a great alternative remedy worth giving a try for an organic, natural experience.
Recognising your own mental health symptoms can be difficult. Even a diagnosis of mental health issues can be hard to manage or understand. However, the first step to recovery is reaching out to someone for help. This can be a friend, neighbour, someone you trust, or a medical practitioner. A phone call or visit for advice can be excruciatingly tough, but can literally be a matter of life or death. Never has the phrase 'it's good to talk' been more apt.