Have you ever considered the mind-body connection? Have you ever noticed how your mental health affects your physical health, or vice versa? The mind and body are often treated separately. But they are indeed connected.
“Mental health and physical health go hand in hand. Poor mental health has been shown to have negative effects on physical health,” Sue Hillegass, behavioral home health coordinator and community integration specialist, said. Hillegass has worked for Aroostook Mental Health Center for three years. She has observed the physical impact on people who struggle with mental health. “Someone with poor mental health may make unhealthy decisions. Which leads to poor physical health. People with mental health disorders like anxiety and depression are more prone to diabetes, heart conditions, sleep issues, cancer and even arthritis.”
Similar to how the mind affects the body, the body affects the mind. Physical therapy aide Ashley Gwirtz has noted how one’s physical state alters mental well-being. “Physical health has a lot to do with mental health. Mental and physical health work together. When one goes up, the other follows,” Gwirtz said. Gwirtz works for County Physical Therapy in Madawaska. She has also had experience working in the mental health field. “When someone is struggling with physical health, the most common mental health symptoms I see are low self-esteem, lack of communication and low energy.”