Discuss about the Mind Body Wellness for Mental Wellbeing.
The impact of a disease on the overall wellbeing of the patient has been a highly researched and explored area of concern among the medical scientists. The impact of chronic diseases has been established to not only affect the physical state of the patient, but also have a profound impact on the emotional or spiritual health and wellbeing. According to D'Silva et al. (2012), the patients dealing with a particular chronic illness have to suffer through the process of adjusting their lifestyles, aspirations and even employment in order to cope with the restrictions caused by the different chronic illnesses. This assignment will focus on three adverse health conditions, chronic pain, morbid obesity, and dementia and will discuss their impact on the mental and spiritual wellness of the patient. The assignment will conclude with applicable mind-body therapy that can help the patients overcome the negative impact of these health adversities on physical, emotional and mental wellbeing of the patient.
Physical, emotional and mental wellbeing:
According to the ancient cultural concepts, the understanding of health is not just limited to the physical manifestation of a disease. Rather, the cultural or ethnic understanding of health presents a more elaborative idea of health. According to the Ventola (2010), the construct of good health is comprised of body, mind and spirit. Each of the three elements contributes to the health or wellbeing of and individual. Integrative medicine and health psychology has now recognized the influence of the spiritual, mental and emotional state of the patients on the overall health and recovery. Considering from the point of view of human psychology, the overall construct health of a particular patient is affected by the trickle-down effect, the physical body is affected by the emotional distress. On the other hand, the cognitive health of an individual directs the thought, and the energy levels or spirit sways the thought process. When a patient is burdened by any chronic illness, there is a detrimental impact on the emotional and mental state of the different individual and along with the spiritual health of the patient is also affected. Hence, as a result of the trickle-down effect, the physical health and recovery potential of the patient is also deteriorated (Santos et al. 2015).
Impact on physical, emotional and mental health:
The first chosen health adversity is chronic pain, which has been proved to have a marked impact on the psychological and emotional health of the different individuals. On a more elaborative note, it has to be mentioned that chronic pain has a unique pathology. According to Müller et al. (2017), this kind of pain facilitates alterations throughout the nervous system of the patient, which in most cases, worsens over time. Chronic pain has distinct psychological and cognitive correlates; it represents a severe and separate disease entity on itself. Hence, it can be mentioned that chronic pain affects each and every aspect of human life, including psychology, spirituality and emotions.
Chronic pain can be caused by various different health disorders; it can be traumatic or can be due to health conditions like cancer, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and many other concerns. According to Simons, Elman and Borsook (2014), the understanding of chronic pain involves complex brain circuits including sensory, emotional, cognitive, and interoceptive processing. Hence the impact of chronic pain is high on the emotional and mental wellbeing of the patient as well. There is a distinct link between the construct of chronic pain and depression. It has to be understood in this context that the increasing intensity of pain in the patients there is loss of functional ability. The sense of helplessness and anxiety, coupled with the consequential loss of function, can together manifest into pain catastrophising. This concept leads to immense psychological and emotional burden on the patient and prolonged exposure to pain catastrophisng can lead to severe psychotic disorders, affecting the behavioral pattern and spirits of the patients (Linton and Shaw 2011).
In order to cope with the biopsychosocial impact of the chronic pain, there is need for mind-body based therapeutic intervention along with pharmacological or medical care plan. Mind-body based therapies act on the mental and emotional state of the patient and hence help in decreasing the biopsychosocial impact of chronic pain. The mind-body approach that can be applied to this condition is meditation. Meditation related pain relief is a very common and frequently used technique for nonpharmacological pain management. According to Hassed (2013), this mindfulness based therapy targets the cognitive modulation of chronic pain. As a result this therapeutic intervention can alter the subjective experience felt by the patient suffering from chronic pain. This mind-body therapeutic intervention is generally employed in conjunction with pharmacological intervention. However, it can be used alone as a complementary intervention as well.
However, it has to be mentioned that this mind-body based intervention is associated with just overcoming the psychological interpretation of pain. This mind-body based intervention does not actually cure the pain. In certain cases, the patients depend on the alternative mind-body based therapies excessively and expect miraculous results. The impact of the mind-body based therapies is limited, and hence, on their own they cannot cure the pain. Hence this therapeutic intervention cannot be used as a long term solution (Kerns, Sellinger and Goodin 2011).
Impact on physical, emotional and mental health:
Another health concern that has a significant impact on the mental and emotional wellbeing along with physical health is the morbid obesity. There are various factors associated with morbid obesity and it is considered to be the facilitator for other related diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular disorders and renal disorders. Hence, the impact of morbid obesity is also extremely high on the psychosocial aspects of life. First and foremost, obesity is associated with altered body image which has a significant impact on the emotional and mental health of the patient. Along with that, the altered body image also contributes effectively to the bullying, discrimination and social isolation. According to Agrawal et al. (2015), the impact of these psychosocial factors has a significant role in deteriorating the emotional and spiritual health of the patient. Hence, a vast majority of the obese patients have been reported to be going through different psychotic disorders, especially depression. Furthermore, obesity management is associated with many lifestyle restrictions; the helplessness and inability to revert to old lifestyle can also trigger behavioral disorders and depression in the morbidly obese patients. Hence, mind-body based therapeutic interventions are employed in the most cases as complementary therapies.
The mind-body based intervention that can be employed in this scenario is the cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) which can help in the patient accepting their condition with positivity and optimism and work towards targeted weight loss. Cognitive behavioral therapy helps is the client understanding the impact of obesity and how to overcome it with achievable goal setting helps in generating the essential behavioral and thinking style change. In cognitive behavioral therapy, the therapists emphasizes on the maladaptive thoughts and behavior leading to different unhealthy lifestyle habits, so that they can identify it and take reasonable actions or initiatives to change them.
However, the use of this mind-body based intervention has a few limitations as well. It has to be mentioned that this therapeutic intervention can only work as an allied care program, it will not target the root cause of the obesity will not take any direct action reducing the obesity. Along with that, as mentioned by Santos et al. (2015), the success of the CBT depends entirely upon the commitment of the client to the therapy, without honest efforts and complete co-operation from the client; this therapy will not be beneficial. Moreover, for the patients with complex mental health needs, the use of CBT will not be sufficient, owing to its complex structured nature (D'Silva et al. 2012).
Impact on physical, emotional and mental health:
Dementia can be considered as one of the key degenerative disorders that disrupts the quality of life among the elderly populations. The impact of dementia is associated with the practical effects of the condition. Even the diagnosis of dementia has a huge impact on the social and personal life of the patient. It has to be mentioned that dementia alters the living experience of the patient by altering their ability to feel, think and respond properly. Along with that, it has to be mentioned that the restrictions posed by the disease social isolation, depression and even self imposed isolation (Lawrence et al. 2012).
The use for mindfulness based cognitive therapy can be applied as a complementary therapy for patients struggling with dementia (Vasse et al. 2012). This alternative mindfulness based approach integrates the concepts of mindfulness based meditation and cognitive behavioral therapy. It helps the dementia patients to change the manner that they feel about their experiences and the struggles, by instilling thoughts of positivity and optimism. According to Boersma et al. (2015), this therapeutic intervention helps in enhancing their ability to pay attention to their thoughts and feelings and helps them pay attention to formulate well articulated response to the issues that they face.
However, the only flaw in this therapeutic intervention is the lack of direct result on the direct manifestations of the disease; the therapeutic intervention does nothing to slow down the progress of the disease as well. As argued by Wang et al. (2012), on the other hand, the mindfulness based cognitive therapies have a complex structured nature as well, which can be a stressful burden on the patients with severe dementia or co-occurring disorders.
The patients that are dealing with a chronic illness grieve regarding their predicaments before they can try to adjust to it. In many cases the overwhelming grief has a profound detrimental effect on the emotional and mental health of the patients. In many cases, the patients have been reported to develop different mental and behavioral disorders as a result of the unattended grief. Hence, it is very important for the health professional to design a care plan that is integrative of the emotional and mental wellbeing as well, instead of just focusing on the physical health or wellbeing of the patients. Hence, the need for mind-body based interventions is crucial. This article has illustrated three different health adversities and their impact on mind-body health and wellbeing, followed by mind-body based interventions targeted for each adversity with critically reviewing the benefits and possible limitations.
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