How Mental Illness Can Be a Risk Factor for Other Health Problems

You are probably aware that an increasing number of people are experiencing mental illness and mental health problems. But did you know that mental illnesses can actually be a risk factor for other health problems? Here are a few additional health problems that can be aggravated by continuous mental health issues.

Cardiovascular Disease

If you experience mental illness, such as depression and anxiety, you might have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. While this isn’t a direct correlation for every person that experiences mental illness, it is a common occurrence. When you experience serious mental health problems, such as deep depression, manic episodes, or anxiety attacks, these issues can manifest in your body. For example, you might have changes in your metabolism, your heart rate, your circulation and breathing, among other things.


Another health problem that some people experience when they have mental illness is that they’re prone to developing an addiction. This might be a substance addiction, like an addiction to alcohol or drugs. Or it could also be an addiction to eating or to dieting. A common addiction that mental health professionals have seen in teens and young adults that experience mental illness is an addiction to technology and social media. No matter what addiction an individual might be experiencing, it is a sign that they need additional help. Addiction is often the symptom of a deeper issue.

Chronic Conditions

Studies have also shown links between mental illness and chronic physical conditions such as diabetes, cancer, asthma, and more. Other issues that you might have on top of your mental illness, such as addictions, can also contribute to the development of chronic conditions. Your living conditions and daily habits that result from the struggles of mental illness can bring about chronic pain and illness that can be frustrating and difficult. Luckily, many of these conditions can be treated and combated, especially if they are discovered in the early stages.

So, if you or someone you love has been experiencing mental illness, make sure that you keep this article in mind to be able to prevent further health problems. Remember to be patient with yourself as you’re in the healing process. If you talk to a medical professional to find help and get treatments for your mental health symptoms, your risk for these other health problems could be decreased.

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