Sexual and Mental Health
There are lots of things for us all to worry about in life that can affect our physical and mental health. We can all experience difficulties at times in our lives that affect how we see ourselves, how we see others and how others see us. Sexual health is no exception.
How we think and talk about sex, sexual attraction, sexual practice, relationships, sexual ability, sexually transmissible infections (STIs) and HIV, can play a part in how we feel about ourselves, emotionally, psychologically and physically. If not dealt with appropriately they can affect our mental health.
Mental health conditions that you may be familiar with include:
- Manic Depression
- Self Harm
- Post Natal Depression
There are, of course, many others.
The key to a happy and healthy life.
Emotional well being in relation to sexual health, as well as our life in general, can be a time for understanding, change and growth. Learning the skills needed to handle emotional problems will give you a foundation of mental and emotional health.
Emotional health has many aspects. Put simply, it is based on self-esteem, how you feel about yourself and behaviour that is appropriate and healthy.
Someone who is emotionally healthy:
- Understands and adapts to change
- Copes with stress
- Has a positive self-concept
- Has the ability to love and care for others
- Can act independently to meet his or her own needs
Everyone, including people who are emotionally healthy, has problems. Emotionally healthy people are able to adjust to and solve problems, and in doing so they help others as well as themselves to get satisfaction out of life.
Our emotions are a substantial part of what makes us human. It is important to realise that we can control our emotions and direct them in ways that can help us be more sympathetic, kind, and loving. We can not always be happy. Life is a roller coaster of emotions, from happiness, joy, love to sadness, pain, and sorrow.
Getting through the tough times helps us appreciate the times of love and happiness and appreciate ourselves and others.
Acknowledging how you feel
Try to acknowledge that what you feel - whatever it is, is perfectly normal. If your mental health is having an impact on your daily life, it’s alright to be annoyed and angry. If you’re scared, express your fears. Don’t be hard on yourself and don’t force yourself to be strong if you don’t want to be. Stress is natural and affects your emotions
It can be useful in helping to deal with situations. Where it starts to do damage is when there’s just too much stress in your life to cope with. Excessive stress can cause physical symptoms: it can damage your immune system and make you ill. Talking things through with someone you trust is a good way to let them know how you feel, let alone find out yourself. Being in a relationship might bring the advantage of being able to discuss your worries with your partner or close friend.