Health Mental Health

How Physical Recovery Can Effect Mental Health

Published at 03/15/2012 19:28:53


Physical Recovery is the return of the body to its original healthy state. It is not a sudden change, it is a period of closely monitored and needs self-regulation to get to a balanced status. It is normally followed a prolonged illness.


Prolonged illness of the body can seriously affect mental health of the affected person. A person who is not in good physical health or is dependent on others or medical aid to perform his or her daily activities tend to become less confident and self-conscious. This can lead to feeling not in control of your own body. Such feelings then directly affect the mental health of the person leading to loneliness and also depression.

The Royal College of Psychiatrists published a paper in 2010 on Public mental health that 67% of the mortality due to cardiovascular disease and 50% due to Cancer has been associated with depression.

Mental health recovery is surely connected to physical recovery.While recovering from a physical ailment, the body slowly gets stronger and as the person regains control on his body, the dependency decreases. This increases his energy levels and self-esteem.

As a person starts recovering from his physical ailment and comes of a stage where he can move about be himself, he should start a self –regulatory process to attain mental health recovery. The body and the mind are the same thing and hence it is important that both the body and mind are treated in a concerted effort.

Most doctors attempt at this concerted effort. It is not unusual to see that in the treatment course of any prolonged ailments psychiatric counselling forms a part of the recommendations.

The body is in continuous conversation with the mind, as the body adjusts and responds to the treatment, the mind begins to understand the recovery process and gains confidence. This paves the way for mental health recovery.


Some things that can help physical recovery and in turn mental health recovery are
• Develop or revive an old hobby – Keep the mind engaged helps to distract from the physical recovery process and as the body builds its strength and vitality, the mind also distracts and the person feels useful.

• Get a Social life – Meeting friends, engaging in a social gathering will help the person reduce any self-pity and thus positively affection the mental health recovery

• Exercise - It is a known fact that exercising releases endorphins and adrenaline, serotonin and dopamine. These chemicals work together to make you feel happy and endorphins alsoreducing the perception of pain. If the person recovering is medically allowed to exercise, then it is a suggested form to recover physically and mentally

• Be positive – Having regular conversations with the doctors to understand the recovery cycle and the positive impact that it has on the body will help in the gradual mental health recovery.


Tips and comments

If the illness results in any permanent change in the patients’ health like losing a limb or any scarring, it further impacts mental health, in such cases mental health recovery is harder and takes longer. In such cases, it is important not to isolate oneself but to try to rework on getting back into the normal routine with the help of friends, family. As the patient slowly recovers back into normal routine as much as possible, the person begins to gain control over his body and slowly get on the path of mental health recovery



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