Monday, 7 April 2014

Mental healthy state of mind.

Being mentally healthy doesn’t just mean that you don’t have a mental health problem.

Today will be focused on a general introduction to mental health and a little about eating disorders. This topic will be ongoing every week, and will soon  include people's stories, how they suffered, how they perceive difficult situations and also how they have overcome certain difficulties in order o gain some of their life back. As everyone suffers in different ways this article and future articles about mental health will not represent everyone. If you wish to add your story or your own experience please contact me. 

If you’re in good mental health, you can cope with what life throws at you easier,  you can manage to throw the negativities off quicker with a simple shrug. Sometimes it takes a big heave, but you don't dwell on it once your mind is  thinking and involving yourself in another project in that day. So you cope ok.
You play a full part in your family life, the workplace, socially and among friends, and you want to!
Your mental health is another way to say your ‘emotional health’ or ‘well-being’ and it’s just as important as having good physical health.
We like to show to the world we are fine, we are coping, and if anyone asks us 'are you well? ' or 'how are you?' we offer them an 'I'm good' or 'fine' even when we are not. We all do it.
So why is it we prefer to ignore it, shun it, pretend it isn't there like the proverbial elephant in the room?
Because if we ignore it, somehow we try to tell ourselves it will go away and cease to exist. Unfortunately it will not go away, sometimes it gets worse until it is dealt with and acknowledged.
Mental health affects us all at some point in our life or another and there will be no way to ignore it.
You cannot ignore it as mental health is as apparent as your physical health. It is your business, and everyone's business.
We are all made the same way, with similar thoguhts and feelings, and depending on your personality, some people with a more sensitive personality get more periods of feeling stressed, or low, or frightened. Some people with a sensitive personality are also creative and this can be turned into a positive outlet.
We can be creative in art, reading, writing, outdoor life, imagination, and so many life skills, and this can be acted upon in low times. For people who suffer mild to moderate mental health, starting or keeping an ongoing activity will help them relax and take their focus into a more positive light.
Most of the time low feelings pass. But sometimes they take a long time to pass and can develop into a more serious problem and that could happen to any one of us. 
Everyone is different. You may bounce back from a setback while someone else may feel weighed down by it for a long time. Your mental health doesn’t always stay the same. It can change as circumstances change and as you move through different stages of your life.
There’s a stigma attached to mental health problems. This means that people feel uncomfortable about them and don’t talk about them much. Many people don’t even feel comfortable talking about their feelings. But it’s healthy to do so. You will often find that people you talk to have experienced similar things, and this can be very helpful in overcoming a problem instead of letting it grow.

Why do young adults develop eating disorders?

Eating disorders, anorexia, and bulimia are complicated, and serious. They're caused by a combination
of complex factors. They can be genetic, biochemical,psychological,cultural and enviromental.
Researchers can identify certain factors that make individuals susceptible to an eating disorder but not the specifics.
Eating disorders are rarely about food and also rarely about wanting to be thin. Individuals who suffer actually use food and unhealthy behaviour like dieting, going without food, bingeing and purging to cope with overwhelming emotions and unpleasant situations. In the short term these behaviours can relief the stress. However, in the long term these anxieties increase, and create other complications, and many very serious. An eating disorder is an illness, people do not choose to have an eating disorder. It is very rare to tell if a person has one just by looking at them or even living with them. They can be any weight, under weight, average, or over weight. It is very hard to spot and diagnose, as many keep it hidden from everyone.

Genetics has a significant contribution and may predispose individuals to eating disorders. Researchers have found that eating disorders tend to run in families. Also, there seem to be higher rates of eating disorders in identical twins than in fraternal twins or other siblings. In addition, specific chromosomes have been linked to both bulimia and anorexia.
Individuals with eating disorders may have abnormal levels of certain chemicals that regulate such processes as appetite, mood, sleep and stress. For instance, both people with bulimia and anorexia have higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Some research also suggests that individuals with anorexia have too much serotonin, which keeps them in a constant state of stress.

Various psychological factors can contribute to eating disorders. In fact, eating disorders are common in individuals who struggle with clinical depression, anxiety disorders and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Other factors include:
• Low self-esteem
• Feelings of hopelessness and inadequacy
• Trouble coping with emotions or expressing your emotions
• Perfectionism
• Impulsivity
Dieting, body dissatisfaction and wanting to be thin are all factors that increase the risk for an eating disorder. Unfortunately, our society encourages all three. You can’t walk by a cash register without seeing a magazine that encourages rapid weight loss, calorie counting or feeling guilty after a meal. Here are some aspects of our culture that contribute to eating disorders:
• An over-emphasis on appearance, at the expense of more meaningful attributes
• Societal beauty standards that promote an unrealistically thin body shape
• Associating thinness with positive qualities like attractiveness, health, success and love
• Media’s focus on dieting and striving for a slim and toned silhouette
• Messages that perpetuate a fear of fat and food; viewing fat as undesirable or foods as “good,” “bad” or “sinful”
Your environment can also play a major role in developing an eating disorder. These factors include:
• Family or other relationship problems
• Difficult or turbulent childhood
• History of physical or sexual abuse
• Activities that encourage thinness or focus on weight, such as gymnastics, dancing, running, wrestling and modeling
• Peer pressure
• Being bullied because of weight or appearance in general

Why Do You Continue to Eat When You're Full?

The premise that hunger makes food look more appealing is a widely held belief.
Prior research studies have suggested that the hunger hormone ghrelin, which your body produces when it's hungry, might act in your brain to trigger this behavior.

New studies suggest that ghrelin might also work in your brain to make you keep eating "pleasurable" foods when you're already full.
Scientists previously have linked increased levels of ghrelin to intensifying the rewarding or pleasurable feelings that can be obtained from cocaine or alcohol.
Researchers observed how long mice would continue to poke their noses into a hole in order to receive a pellet of high-fat food. Animals that didn't receive ghrelin gave up much sooner than the ones that did receive ghrelin.
Humans and mice share the same type of brain-cell connections and hormones, as well as similar architectures in the "pleasure centers" of the brain.

Isn't this really the million-dollar question? Why do people continue to eat, even after their stomachs are full or even stuffed? If there was a simple answer, I’d gladly share it with you, but the reality is that people overeat for a variety of reasons -- and many of them are rather complex.
As this new study suggests, one of the forces driving you to eat a second helping or an extra dessert even though you’re full is the hormone ghrelin. Ghrelin (pronounced GRELL-in) is produced mainly by your stomach, although it is also made in other organs, such as your intestines and your kidneys.
Ghrelin has been dubbed the “hunger hormone” because in previous studies people given the hormone became so ravenous, they ate markedly more than their usual food intake. Ghrelin, it appears, may also act on your brain’s “pleasure centers,” driving you to reach for another slice of cheesecake simply because you remember how good the first one tasted and made you feel (at least in that moment).

What Influences Your Body’s Level of the Hunger Hormone?

Your body’s level of ghrelin can be influenced by many factors, including your lifestyle habits. For instance, chronic lack of sleep increases ghrelin, making you feel hungry when you don’t really need to eat. This is likely one reason why a lack of sleep can make you gain weight.
Insulin may also play a role in regulating ghrelin levels. In one study, ghrelin levels were monitored in eight non-diabetic adults as they were given a two-hour infusion of insulin. Shortly after the infusion began, levels of ghrelin began to drop. When the insulin infusion was stopped, levels of the hunger hormone began to rise and rapidly returned to normal. 
Since insulin is already known to increase levels of leptin -- the "obesity hormone" that tells your brain to curb your appetite after eating -- the findings suggest that insulin plays an important role in controlling what you eat.
In other words, let’s say you eat a sugary dessert. Your production of insulin increases so that the sugar in your blood can be taken to cells and used for energy. Eating this sugar also increases production of leptin, which regulates your appetite and fat storage, and decreases production of ghrelin, which helps regulate your food intake. The idea is that when you eat, your body knows it should feel less hungry.
But there is another major key here that is often overlooked, and that is when you eat certain foods, namely those that contain fructose, this important cycle does not occur.

Is Fructose Driving You to Overeat?

Fructose, a cheap form of sugar used in thousands of food products and soft drinks, can damage human metabolism and is likely fueling the obesity crisis. This is because your body metabolizes fructose in a much different way than glucose, and fructose is now being consumed in enormous quantities, which has made the negative effects much more profound. 
If anyone tries to tell you “sugar is sugar,” they are way behind the times. It is increasingly becoming clear that just by eating fructose, including high-fructose corn syrup, you may be drastically increasing your tendency to overeat.
You see, glucose suppresses the hunger hormone ghrelin and stimulates leptin, which suppresses your appetite. Fructose, however, has no effect on ghrelin and interferes with your brain’s communication with leptin, resulting in overeating.
This is why fructose may contribute to weight gain, increased belly fat, insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome -- not to mention the long list of chronic diseases that are related to these conditions.

Are There Other Factors That Come Into the Mix?

Yes, ghrelin, leptin and insulin responses in your body may be major players in your ability to regulate your food intake, but they are not the only ones.
Stress, anger, sadness and just about any other negative emotion can also lead you to seek food as a coping mechanism and ultimately overeat. And subconscious cues you pick up from portion sizes, food visibility (such as passing by a candy dish on a desk) and food proximity (standing near the food table at a party) can alsoinfluence how much you eat.
Gary Taubes, who wrote the landmark article What if it's All Been a Big Fat Lie?, also recently offered a very interesting alternative explanation for why people overeat. He suggests that people overeat because their fat tissue is accumulating excess fat. And why does fat tissue do this?
Because dietary carbohydrates, especially fructose, are the primary source of a substance called glycerol-3-phosphate, which causes fat to become fixed in fat tissue. At the same time, this diet raises insulin levels, which prevents fat from being released.

Practical Tips to Keep Your Eating Under Control

The solution to normalizing your ghrelin, leptin and insulin levels is fairly straightforward, and this is to eat a diet that emphasizes good fats and avoids blood sugar spikes -- in short the dietary program detailed in my nutrition plan, which emphasizes healthy fats, lean meats and fresh vegetables, and restricts sugar and grains.
If you want to take your health to the next level, I highly recommend finding out your nutritional type as well, and then eating a diet according to your unique biochemistry.
This, combined with a regular exercise program and a tool to handle emotional eating, will be your key to controlling your motivation to eat.
Mental health is an ongoing battle. It can be made easier. It can also creep back up on us at anytime, sometimes we feel it is our closest friend and our closest enemy. We might not all get rid of our problems and feeling of negativity just like that, but we can do things to ease the mind. Make the day a bit nicer to live. So talk to someone, change doctors if you have to. Read about it on the internet, read about others with problems and how they have dealt with them. Do not ignore it and think you are the only sufferer. The majority of people suffer in their lifetime, so you are not alone. Far from alone.