Through Hills and Valleys: The Path to Mental Wellbeing

Through Hills and Valleys: The Path to Mental Wellbeing

These days, there has been more awareness on how mental health is a state of health beyond illness. It comprises our emotional, psychological, and social wellbeing. It influences how we reason, feel, and perform. It also factors in how we handle pressure, relate to others, and make choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.[1] It encompasses our happiness just as much as our troubles with it. This wider reframing has helped many come to terms that their difficulties should not be stigmatized; rather, it is treated as an enormous factor in the quality of our lives.


As much as it is important to keep our body fit and strong, it is also necessary for us to keep our mind robust and to equip it with an ability to cope with outside factors. Yet, most of us do not have enough ideas on how to keep the mind healthy and how to empathise with those with ongoing mental health struggles.


Factors and Early Signs[2],[3],[4]


As we go along with life, we experience some problems that might affect our mental health. Due to those problems, our thinking, mood, and behaviour are affected. Factors that might contribute to mental health problems include biological factors (genes or brain chemistry), life experiences (such as trauma or abuse), or family history of mental health problems. For many, mental health problems can be a complicated combination of factors, although some people may be affected on a different level compared to others.


It is normal for anyone to experience a range of negative emotions. But when certain behaviours or patterns of thought begin to interfere with everyday activities or normal life, it would do good to pay attention to those. Several of them could be changes to eating and sleeping patterns, decrease in energy, pulling away from people and typical activities, numbness, inexplicable aches and pains, increased confusion and forgetfulness, thoughts of harming oneself or others, to name a few. Some would find themselves unable to go through ordinary tasks. Others might not even express these externally, appearing to function normally, but may already be straining internally.


Stress and periods of emotional pain can lead to an episode of symptoms. Be it for yourself or for someone you know, encourage seeking help from trained medical professionals. It is important to seek help early rather than waiting for a critical point in someone’s mental state.


Diagnosis and Treatments[5],[6],[7]

While a plethora of information on diagnosis and treatments are accessible online, one should take note of the dangers of misdiagnosis. It is true that we know and see ourselves best, but we need a mirror to clearly and correctly see one’s self. A doctor, a therapist, or a psychiatrist can be that mirror. While reading up on certain conditions online might feel helpful, having the wrong conclusions and pursuing inappropriate methods for recovery might lead to more serious problems.


Determining the actual problem could entail psychological evaluations or, if needed, medical examinations if certain conditions are suspected or if the symptoms have taken a physical toll. Not all consultations lead to a disorder diagnosis, but all mental health professionals are equipped to provide one with a course of recovery for whatever struggle there is.


Treating mental health illness can vary: from taking medications, psychotherapy, hospital and residential treatment, to lifestyle treatments and home remedies. Depending on the individual case, one or multiple methods may be prescribed, to be followed over a specified period of time.


  • Medication might be given for sudden (acute) or persistent (chronic) symptoms or conditions, but is typically closely monitored by a physician for possible side effects.
  • For psychotherapy, a person learns how to deal with their symptoms through interactions with their therapist, who act as a neutral mediator and guide in the whole process.
  • Hospital or residential treatment may be given to individuals that require close medical attention for their mental and physical problems. The length of stay is as deemed necessary by the patient’s supervising doctor.



Lifestyle Adjustments and Home Remedies



In addition to the typical treatments, alternative treatments such as meditation, exercise, and supplements can be used. Though these might not address mental health issues as a whole, they can be helpful in regulating mood and restoring functionality.


The following is a list of safe and often effective natural supplements used to alleviate symptoms. Still, it is best to consult with a doctor, therapist, or psychiatrist first as there could be underlying conditions that might worsen. [8],[9]


  1. Folic Acid

Folic acid is a synthetic form of folate, a B vitamin present in green leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, beans, and fortified breads and cereals. When combined with an antidepressant, folic acid supplements like Now Foods Folic Acid with Vitamin B-12 can improve symptom relief — especially in women. The safe upper limit for folic acid is 1,000 mcg per day.


  1. SAMe

S-adenosyl-L-methionine (SAMe) is a substance produced by the body that improves mood regulation. Used on its own, SAMe performs the same function as older antidepressants. Combining SAMe like Now Foods SAMe with an antidepressant is safe for the most part. 400 to 1,600 mg per day may be helpful for adults, although some people will need to take 3,000 mg per day to ease the symptoms.


  1. Omega-3 fatty acids

The abundance of these naturally occurring fatty acids are found mostly in cold-water fish such as salmon, sardines, and anchovies. People who can't eat fish can also find them in fish oil capsules. Supplements like Now Foods Omega-3 may alleviate symptoms of depression. These may benefit those people concerned with the side effects of antidepressants.


  1. Melatonin

This naturally occurring substance normalises circadian rhythms in the body, such as the sleep/wake cycle. Melatonin, which is also present in Now Foods Melatonin, boosts sleep quality and encourages regular sleep patterns. Adequate sleep improves certain cognitive functions, like managing one’s emotions. Start with low doses of 0.25 to 0.3 mg per day, as ingesting too much can cause daytime sleepiness or confusion.


  1. Zinc[10],[11]

Studies reveal that zinc supplementation combined with antidepressant therapy can be beneficial in the treatment of patients with major depression. Taking a 25-milligram zinc supplement daily, like Now Foods Zinc Picolinate, for 12 weeks can help lessen depression symptoms. Taking these supplements can also increase the amount of Omega-3 fatty acids present in the body.


  1. Magnesium[12],[13]

Research shows that magnesium plays a significant role in regulating neurotransmitters, which is responsible in sending messages throughout the brain and body. This is what magnesium does in the neurological health. Studies have also mentioned that magnesium may aid with brain functions that decrease stress and anxiety. When taking magnesium as a supplement like Now Foods Magnesium Transporters, magnesium was shown to have anti-anxiety effects if dosages taken are between 75 and 360 mg a day.


Things You Can Do for Your Mental Health (As Well As for Others)[14],[15]


As there are things happening right now that are out of our control, keeping our mind in good shape is something we are responsible for. The following are some of the things that you can do for yourself, or for others’ mental wellbeing.



  1. Valuing one’s self – Treat yourself with gentleness and respect, and be conscious of self-criticism. Make time for your hobbies and favorite projects.
  2. Taking care of the body – This can range from eating nutritious food to keeping the body fit. Getting adequate sleep has been shown to greatly improve our decision-making and coping abilities.
  3. Learning how to deal with stress – As stress is part of life, try learn several coping techniques. Identify the source of the stress and, if possible, address it or temporarily distance yourself to process your emotions. If you can, find lighthearted moments in the day. Talk to your counselor for techniques that can work with your personality.
  4. Talking about mental health – Break the stigma and discrimination on mental health issues as these can make it worse. Setting aside a time with no distractions and being available to listen can be helpful in supporting the struggle of others. When you talk with others about it, let yourself share as much or as little as you want. It is also best to seek professional help and provide additional information or ways on how to do it. It is also a good thing to take note of local emergency numbers in the event that someone has thoughts or actions of self-harm.



Remember that you are not alone in your inner struggles. In fact, everyone, at some point in their lives, will go through some form of mental health problem, though some may have it more seriously or find recovery more difficult. Not everyone is the same, but acknowledging that it’s everywhere can help us empathise with one another when suddenly life suddenly seems like an impossible burden. Yes, it can be scary, but remember that help is always available and we all can help each other.





















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