World Mental Health Day – ‘Health’ & Individuality

“Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity” (World Health Organization)

We all have ‘Mental Health’, it is literally impossible to be ‘healthy’ without looking after your mental health as well as your physical health. Health of all kinds is on a spectrum, some people have good physical health and poor mental health, others are the opposite. None of us is 100% fine both physically and mentally all the time.

A lot of the time health care and society in general places more emphasis on physical health, but I fundamentally disagree with the division between physical and mental health since all human beings have both! You simply cannot separate the mind from the body or vice versa. We need to learn to look holistically at human beings, I have physical disabilities, these are hard to live with and have at times affected my mental health. This is normal. Living with chronic pain is not exactly easy. For many people it is their mental health that causes the initial ‘issue’ but that doesn’t mean their physical health is not affected. Physical and Mental health are not separate entities, one is not more important than the other.

Human beings are individuals and we need to stop putting them into boxes. I recently listened to an Occupational Therapist (working in military rehabilitation) talk about her job, she said something along the lines of…

“I am not a Physical OT or a Mental Health OT, I am just an OT. I do what my patients need me to”

Isn’t that brilliant?

Personally, some of the best advice I’ve ever had on managing anxiety came from a physiotherapist?! He didn’t just see me as a collection of wonky joints, he saw me as a person. At that specific moment in time, my joints were not the biggest issue so we dealt with the anxiety instead.

What if we, as people, simply accepted everyone else as individuals and just treated them accordingly. No more labels or box ticking. Afterall variety is supposed to be the spice of life isn’t it?!

As always any comments are welcome, I’d love to hear what you all think!

Ciao for now

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