General Article Physical health and mental health

Topic Selected: Mental Health Book Volume: 415

Physical health problems significantly increase our risk of developing mental health problems, and vice versa.

Nearly one in three people with a long-term physical health condition also has a mental health problem, most often depression or anxiety.

How does my mental health affect my physical health?

Research shows that people with a mental health problem are more likely to have a preventable physical health condition such as heart disease.

This can be for a variety of reasons, including:

  • genetics – The genes that make it more likely that you will develop a mental health problem may also play a part in physical health problems
  • low motivation – Some mental health problems or medications can affect your energy or motivation to take care of yourself
  • difficulty with concentration and planning – You may find it hard to arrange or attend medical appointments if your mental health problem affects your concentration
  • lack of support to change unhealthy behaviour – Healthcare professionals m...

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