When hearing about a health checkup, most individuals do not immediately associate it with a mental health checkup. Commonly, we go to the doctor for a yearly check to make sure our body is in good health. However, mental health is just as important as physical health. Our minds are the control center of the body. If the mind isn’t healthy, the body suffers with it.
Much like a standard health screening, mental health checkups are the perfect time to identify early warning signs. Common ailments like depression and anxiety do not manifest into devastating issues unless left untreated. A yearly inventory of your mental health is a good way to check in on yourself. It can be hard to think critically about how you’re feeling, but important to do.
Better Sense of Self
As mentioned above, checking in on yourself has a lot of benefits. Continuing the analogy of a standard check up, there are occasions where you identify that something is off. Generally, pain and discomfort draw attention the problem. When it comes to mental health, it’s more difficult to get a sense of self. Having open discussions, even on a yearly basis, will help you understand what to look for, the “pain” signs, and how to understand the things you’re experiencing and feeling.
There are quite a few options out there for self-screening. Most commonly used are patient health questionnaire – P.H.Q. for short. Each one differs in length and in the type of questions, but they are a great place to start. These are not tools for self-diagnosis, but rather an exercise to help identify symptoms and develop talking points with a doctor.
Much like a physical illness, mental illnesses have warning signs. Familiarizing yourself with the warning signs and what they feel like can make a huge difference. If something seems off, check in with your doctor to see what the best course of action is. Early detection is the key to leading a healthy life.