Emotional Wellbeing

Mandy Kloppers

Unforeseen Physical Issues That Impact Your Mental Health

Stress does not always happen in a vacuum. It’s not necessarily always caused by relationship troubles, financial woes, and work issues. The truth is that serious issues with stress are often compounded by several issues, but their root cause can be found in physical illness and conditions. Many of these go unnoticed or untreated for too long, so here we’re going to look at those that might be affecting you without your knowing it.


Insomnia’s impact on mental health is well documented, by now. However, these insomnia stats show that it’s much more wide-reaching than anticipated. It’s not just about being unable to sleep entirely. If you don’t get a good quality of sleep due to sleep apnea, or you sleep fewer than five hours a night, you are still likely to suffer the effects of sleep deprivation. This can include the reduced regulation of the production of cortisol, also known as the stress hormone.

Sleep apnea may generate brief stops on the breathing pattern, making people feel exhausted when they wake up. There are machines like Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) from Resmed Air Mini to keep the air flowing through your airways during sleep and have a better sleep quality.

Any measure of sleep deprivation impacts your mental health significantly, so don’t put off seeking treatment just because you don’t think your insomnia “counts.”

Hearing loss

It can be hard to tell when our senses are compromised, initially. It often happens gradually if it’s due to natural causes. However, the emotional effects of suffering hearing loss can still be felt. Hearing loss is related to depression, anxiety, and stress. This is in part due to feelings of isolation and difficulty communicating or building relationships. As such, it’s important to arrange hearing tests regularly. Once every one or two years is recommended, so you can catch any loss early enough to fight it more successfully.

Vision impairment

Stress and be both a consequence and a cause of vision impairment. Cortisol has been shown to damage the eye and to disrupt the flow of blood to the ocular nerves. Dealing with undiagnosed visual impairment can be stressful, as it takes more effort to focus and visually absorb information. Even when diagnosed, problems can lurk that make existing treatments unsuccessful, such as presbyopia. Making sure that you have visual exams on a regular basis, even if you already wear glasses, is important for getting as accurate a diagnosis as possible. From there, you can choose new solutions, like contact lenses for presbyopia. Being able to see clearly can make working, driving, and other day to day tasks much less stressful.

Back pain

Physical stress and mental stress have a cyclical relationship and the most storied example of this is back pain. High cortisol levels cause the muscles to tense, increasing the pressure on the back, leading to pain. Back pain causes discomfort and sleeplessness, leading to stress. As such, physical stress treatments such as massages and yoga can do a lot to tackle the issue from both sides.

The body and mind are one, and suffering in one department is likely to cause suffering in the other. For a comprehensive approach to fighting stress, you have to also take the necessary steps to fight the problems affecting your physical health.

Mandy X

Photo by Negative Space


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