The simple answer to the opening question here is… yes. There’s no point in trying to pretend that we should weigh the different options, suggesting that there is merit to both, when in reality the answer is very clear-cut indeed. Yes, physical health has a massive implication on mental health – and it’s easy to see why.
Given that this link is so explicit, perhaps the better way to focus time and energy is to look at what you can do about the impact of poor physical health (be it from an accident, an illness, or just random bad luck) can have on your mental health. Now don’t worry, this isn’t going to be a “look on the bright side of life!” patronizing response to those thoughts. In fact, acknowledging them as legitimate might be the first step to coping…
Feelings Of Injustice
Self-pity is not an emotion that many of us strive for, but it’s nevertheless one we all have a tendency to feel when our physical health is failing us. That’s completely normal; in fact, it could even be considered somewhat odd were that not the case.
After all, when your physical health is poor, your life suffers. You’re not able to get outside as much, you might miss out on events, or seeing friends – of course that’s going to give you feelings of sorrow for yourself. It’s important to recognize that you have legitimate reason to feel like that; don’t beat yourself up about acknowledging the reality.
The key is to acknowledge those feelings and see them as genuine, but then press on regardless anyway. If there’s something that you can do to make yourself feel better, then do it, but don’t expect instantaneous results. When you have been injured in an accident or taken ill, you are going to struggle with feelings of “but why me?” – so don’t let anyone try to suggest that you’re wrong for doing so.
Somewhere in the midst of that self-pity, there is likely to be more than a little depression waiting to rear its ugly head. This isn’t necessarily clinical depression (which is caused by an imbalance of chemicals in the brain) but situational depression. Admittedly, the classification doesn’t make much difference: both feel awful.
There is some evidence to suggest that having a positive mindset during times of ill health can actually benefit healing. However, this isn’t found just by telling yourself to get over it and cheer up. Therapy is usually the best option for finding your way back onto a more even footing, so don’t be afraid to seek out options to talk to a professional about what you’re going through.
Apologizing For Yourself
Finally, perhaps the most damaging mental health impact of poor general health is when you constantly feel the need to apologize for yourself/the “problems” that you cause other people.
Try and remember that you don’t have to apologize for the fact you are alive. By all means, acknowledge the contribution of the people who help you, but don’t apologize for existing. Snapping out of this habit will bring about the most positive change in both how you view yourself, and how you respond to suffering a health misfortune. Good luck.