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Overcoming our stressors – Part 3

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Mental health problems:
Mental illness, also called mental health disorders, refers to a wide range of mental health conditions — disorders that affect your mood, thinking and behavior. Examples of mental illness include depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, eating disorders and addictive behaviors. Many people have mental health concerns from time to time. But a mental health concern becomes a mental illness when ongoing signs and symptoms cause frequent stress and affect your ability to function. A mental illness can make you miserable and can cause problems in your daily life, such as at school or work or in relationships. In most cases, symptoms can be managed with a combination of medications and talk therapy (psychotherapy).
Boko Haram Terrorism:

Results according to (P.Adepelumi, 2018) showed that all the participants reported negative symptoms of mental health disorders, which did not lead to permanent mental health illnesses. However other reports (L Giardinelli, 2017) reflect differently. Victims of violence report suffering from psychological distress, sometimes severe. Many complain of deep fear, sleeplessness and/or nightmares, generalized anxiety and unexplained somatic symptoms, such as body pain, stomachache and headache. Women and girls who have managed to escape Boko Haram are often marginalized and stigmatized by their communities, who fear that former abductees have been radicalized. The lack of trust these women and girls feel leads them to isolate themselves from their social networks. Some are rejected and abandoned by their families and communities.

Stress Busters
Social support
This means having friends and other people, including family, to turn to in times of need or crisis to give you a broader focus and positive self-image.  It enhances the quality of life and provides a buffer against adverse life events. The Types of Social Support include; Emotional: Expressions of empathy, love, trust and caring. Instrumental: Tangible aid and service. Informational: Advice, suggestions, and information. Appraisal: Information that is useful for self-evaluation. The presence of social support significantly predicts the individual’s ability to cope with stress. Social support not only helps improve a person’s well-being, it affects the immune system as well. Thus, it also a major factor in preventing negative symptoms such as depression and anxiety from developing. Social support helps people cope better with stress. Stress has been shown to have serious health consequences ranging from reduced immunity to increased risk of heart disease. Social support reduces psychological distress and promotes adjustments that counteract high-stress levels. People with low amounts of social support report higher instances of depression, anxiety, and mental disorders. … Social support works by promoting adaptive appraisal that in turn leads to increased coping ability.

Humor
A good sense of humor has been implicated as a quality that could contribute to psychological well-being. The mechanisms through which sense of humor might operate include helping to reappraise threats, serving as a character strength, or facilitating happiness. According to (A. Cann & C. Collette 2014), whilst a good sense of humor can lead to greater resilience and better psychological health, the current results, focusing on stable effect, find only self-enhancing humor provides reliable benefits.

Social support.
This seems to moderate genetic and environmental vulnerabilities for mental illness, possibly by effects through other psychosocial factors, such as fostering effective coping strategies. Furthermore, it will be important for researchers to conceptualize, test, and apply effective interventions specifically aimed at increasing social support for those who are under severe stress.

Hobbies.
Transitioning the focus from the chaos of life to a fun, easy, and enjoyable task can instantly help reduce stress levels. Harness this benefit by opting for more relaxing hobbies. These may include knitting, painting, photographing, journaling, or even bird watching. Whichever hobby you choose, be sure it makes you feel more relaxed.

Music.
Taking a break to do something you already love beats an extra hour spent at the office anyway. Listening to music can feel similar to taking a break and enjoying yourself and obviously breaks and joy often produces an improved mood. Listening to your favorite musician should always be something you desire doing. It also can help encourage socialization where you would otherwise spend time alone.

To be continued


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