The Best Strategies for Parents to Boost Their Mental Health?
Stress seems to be a part of our lives in the modern world. It has never been so easy to feel stressed and anxious with all the problems we have in our society, from an unstable economy to uncertain political climates across the globe.
More than ever before, parents are struggling with depression and anxiety disorders that were once only associated with adults. Many children today are showing symptoms of mental health conditions such as bipolar disorder, ADHD, and autism spectrum disorder at young ages.
This is a huge reason for concern because children who do not receive proper treatment often grow up with a persistent mental illness that might affect them through life. There is no cure for this sort of mental illness, but there are ways to cope with it better and make it less of a burden daily.
One of the first ways to help children with mental illness is through therapy. Although therapy can be expensive at first, it has been found to make a huge difference in helping children and parents cope with their stress.
A great way to cut costs would be to look for group therapy where several families come together as a community and talk about their problems as a whole rather than as individuals walking into separate rooms with therapists by themselves.
Talking openly about what they are going through not only helps them understand each other, but also helps the children become more comfortable talking about their feelings and experiences so that they might begin treatment earlier if needed.
Therapy is effective not only for adults for children too because it allows them to realize that they are not the only ones dealing with mental illness. This realization empowers them and allows them to overcome what they once thought was difficult in their lives.
In addition to therapy, one of the best strategies for boosting mental health is through exercise. Physical activity has been proven time and time again that it can benefit both physical and mental well-being by helping patients become less stressed and anxious while also giving them a stronger sense of self-esteem.
Research suggests that people who suffer from depression and anxiety disorders often lack Vitamin D because they spend too much time indoors rather than outside exploring nature and getting some fresh air. Spending at least an hour or two each day exercising will boost children’s energy levels, enhance brain function and improve their overall health.
Not only can exercise help boost mental health but so can diet. Junk food that is high in carbohydrates and sugar is not the best option for people suffering from mental illness because it builds up insulin resistance that makes it difficult to regulate mood levels.
Instead, most patients are better off eating whole-grain foods with lots of fiber because they release positive energy slowly throughout the day instead of giving someone an immediate rush like carbs do which often leads them crashing down soon after feeling energetic.
Role of parents in promoting mental health:
The role of parents in promoting the mental health of their children is both important and complex. The present paper pleads for a return to some key ethical principles as a basis for strategies designed to ensure the provision of services that are effective, efficient, and equitable.
The first principle is that parents have duties towards their children which differ from those they owe to other family members or society more generally. This point is recognized by Mental Health professionals but not always accepted by policymakers who often speak on behalf of ‘the child’ rather than focusing primarily on the interests of specific individuals.
The second principle is that parents have parental rights which should be respected as far as possible without jeopardizing service users’ right to make decisions for themselves where they are capable of doing so.
It is argued that the private sphere of parental responsibility should be preserved except where this has or may result in neglect or harm to the child. To some extent, this would limit the tasks which Mental Health services could undertake since it might discourage them from taking an educative role with parents (e.g. helping with homework) and support for parents during times of crisis at home (e.g. caring for other children).
On the other hand, professionals should consider how they could share some of their existing responsibilities with families without undermining other service users’ rights and responsibilities. Finally, there is no reason why such a model should exclude screening programs for mental health problems among groups at high risk, especially young people who are themselves parents or likely to become parents shortly.
Causes of depression:
Depression is typically an episodic disorder, with acute episodes often resolving to sub-threshold symptoms between episodes. The life course of depression shows that it is most common in women aged 30–50 years and men aged 40–60 years. Risk factors for major depressive disorder include family history, genetic mutations (e.g. abnormal serotonin transporter gene), stressful life events, lack of social support and loss, obesity, smoking, medical illness (e.g. hypothyroidism or cardiovascular disease), and sleep disturbance.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy has been shown effective as a first-line treatment for mild to moderate depression, but antidepressants plus cognitive-behavioral therapy have a greater effect than either intervention alone. New pharmacological agents for the treatment of depression are being developed to make acute episodes shorter and less severe, though there is little evidence so far that their effects are any better than existing antidepressants.
How to overcome depression:
Acute episodes of depression often resolve spontaneously, with 75% of cases showing complete resolution within one year and only 16% of cases leading to a chronic course. In those with moderate to severe major depressive disorder, the number of hospitalizations ranges from 20–50%, while suicide accounts for 20–30% of deaths in these age groups.
The cause is believed to be a combination of genetic vulnerability, stressful life events, and “allostatic load” which is the accumulated wear and tear on the body resulting from stress hormones activating fight-or-flight pathways.
These allostatic pathways can be activated even in normal conditions and serve biological functions such as enabling short-term regulation in extreme circumstances, but when they are chronically engaged they can contribute to depression.