May is National Prevention and Mental Health Awareness Week
During this time of COVID-19 anxiety is high and people are not getting enough sleep from worrying. Below are some tips to help cope during this time.
National Prevention Week
National Prevention Week (NPW) is a public education platform that promotes prevention year-round through providing ideas, capacity building, tools, and resources to help individuals and communities make substance use prevention happen every day.
NPW culminates in May recognizing the important work that has been done in communities throughout the year to inspire action and prevent substance use and mental disorders.
The SAMHSA-HRSA Center for Integrated Health Solutions (CIHS) promotes the development of integrated primary and behavioral health services to better address the needs of individuals with mental health and substance use conditions, whether seen in specialty behavioral health or primary care provider settings. CIHS is funded jointly by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration(SAMHSA) and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), and run by the National Council for Behavioral Health.
CIHS provides training and technical assistance to community behavioral health organizations, community health centers, and other primary care and behavioral health organizations.
Did You Know?
Anxiety affects 18% of the US population–about 40 million adults–making anxiety disorders the most common type of mental illness in the United States. With the number of cases so high, chances are you know someone who experiences severe anxiety. Maybe you too have anxious feelings that won’t go away…
If you or someone you know has persistent feelings of anxiety, it’s important to understand the signs of an anxiety disorder and the treatment options available. Here are 6 important facts you should know about anxiety disorders.
- Anxiety vs. Anxiety Disorder Does taking a test or giving a presentation make you sweat, feel nauseated or make your heart start pounding? If yes, don’t be alarmed. Experiencing anxiety is actually a normal reaction to a stressful event and a natural part of life. However, when anxious feelings do not go away and begin interfering with your daily activities, that’s a telling sign of an anxiety disorder, and it may be time to consult your doctor about what you’re going through.
- Learn the types of Anxiety Disorders There are three types of anxiety disorders: generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and social anxiety disorder. While all the above cause people to worry, there are subtle differences between the three. Those with generalized anxiety disorder cannot stop worrying or agonizing over something, even when there is little or no cause for stress. People who have panic disorders continuously suffer from panic attacks or periods of sudden, intense fear. Lastly, social anxiety disorder involves the fear of being judged or rejected by others and causes intense worry at the thought of social situations or going to crowded places.
- Learn the Symptoms
Symptoms may vary according to the type of disorder, but generally, people with anxiety disorders have one or a combination of the following symptoms:
• Shortness of breath
• Heart palpitations
• Shaking, trembling or twitching
• Frequently avoiding certain places or things
• Having difficulty concentrating
• Problems with sleeping
• Feelings of fear, panic or uneasiness
• Feeling angry or irritable
• Numbness or tingling in the hands or feet
- Learn the Risk Factors It’s difficult to pin down what factors cause an anxiety disorder. However, experts agree it’s most likely a combination of your biology, the stresses in your environment, and/or your upbringing. Here are several risk factors you should check if you are suffering from severe anxiety.
• Parental history of mental illness
• Being divorced or widowed
• Few economic resources
• Being female
• Exposure to stressful life events
Self-treatment: Self- care steps that may be helpful in some less- serious cases:
Maintain a positive attitude
Get enough sleep
Learn what triggers anxiety and alleviating it
Eat well- balanced diets
Practice relaxation techniques such as yoga
Stop smoking and consumption of caffeinated drinks
See a doctor if you notice:
The anxiety is interfering with daily tasks
It after a previous history of anxiety
The anxiety is accompanied by insomnia
Depression is evident
See a doctor immediately if you notice:
That you are having a panic attack
Mental Health Awareness Week
Hosted by the Mental Health Foundation, Mental Health Awareness Week will take place from 18-24 May 2020. The theme is ‘sleep’.
The week will focus on the connections between our sleep – or lack of it – and mental health.
Sleep deprivation can affect your mental health. Sleep and mental health are closely connected. Sleep deprivation affects your psychological state and mental health. And those with mental health problems are more likely to have insomnia or other sleep disorders
Sleep difficulties might be a contributory causal factor in the occurrence of mental health problems. If this is true, improving sleep should benefit psychological health. We aimed to determine whether treating insomnia leads to a reduction in paranoia and hallucinations.
The relationship between insomnia and mental illness is bidirectional: about 50 percent of adults with insomnia have a mental health problem, while up to 90 percent of adults with depression experience sleep problems. Sleep problems can also create a loop, slowing recovery from mental illness.
During manic episodes, people often sleep very little, and feel a diminished need for sleep. In depressive episodes, people with bipolar disorder may experience insomnia as well as hypersomnia — excessive tiredness during waking hours, which may be accompanied by prolonged periods of sleep.
Tips for Good Sleep Hygiene
Maintaining good sleep hygiene can help stabilize your mental health and make you more resilient to stress. Here are some ways to increase the quantity and improve the quality of your sleep:
• Exercise: Routine physical activity can help people fall asleep quicker, experience deeper sleep, and wake up fewer times during the night.
• Keep a routine sleep-and-wake schedule: Maintaining a consistent sleep/wake routine, even on the weekends, promotes better hormone balance and helps keep your circadian rhythms regular.
• Use the bedroom only for sleep and sex: Avoid using the bedroom for activities other than sleep or sex, as this can create a habit of wakefulness than can keep you up at night.
• Avoid or limit alcohol, caffeine, nicotine, and other mind-altering substances: These substances can all affect the body’s natural sleep/wake cycles and keep you awake when you need to be sleeping.
• Keep your bedroom dark and free of electronics: A study by the American Chemical Society revealed that smartphones and tablets may be affecting the quality and quantity of many people’s sleep. These devices put out blue light, which cues your brain that it’s daylight and not time to sleep. Rather than checking your texts and scrolling through social media in bed, consider putting the smartphones and tablets away at least an hour prior to bedtime.
• Use a red night light if needed: Red light has been shown to increase drowsiness and encourage restful sleep.
• Wear a sleep mask: If you must sleep in a bright or well-lit space, consider using a sleep mask to block out the light.
• Get daylight exposure bright and early: Waking up early in the morning and exposing yourself to natural light can help regulate your body’s circadian rhythms.
• Use relaxation techniques: Meditation, deep breathing exercises, guided imagery, and muscle relaxation exercises can all help calm the body and quiet the mind when trying to induce sleep.
• Clear your mind with therapy: Many kinds of therapy, including cognitive behavioral therapy, can be used to change negative thoughts about sleep and build confidence in the ability to achieve adequate rest.