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Day-to-day living is never quite as easy as we might like it to be. There are the good days when things occur with ease, when you hit the green lights driving to work, receive a spontaneous smile, or are ready with the right answers at a moment’s notice. Other days, the opposite seems to happen. These are the times when the big and little irritations create an overwhelming cloud of stress that’s difficult to shake.

Collectively, our response to the good and bad days is an indication of overall mental health. Viewed together, these elements translate into our personal mental health blueprint, determining how we act and/or react at any given time.

Building Resilience in a Stressful World

Considering the stressful nature of human life, it can be challenging to maintain an outlook of balanced and healthy mental health amidst the many ups and downs of life. On-the-go lifestyles, 24/7 social media and round-the-clock accessibility mean most of us must cope with stress, challenges and set-backs in a faster timeframe.

While such speed may be immediately gratifying, in effect we are collectively agreeing to move past conflicting emotions or painful mental, emotional or physical events quicker or with little emotional involvement at all. Without the benefit of time and space to process and heal, it becomes easier to justify the use of coping mechanisms in the now. Unfortunately, this avoidance creates a potential for larger problems in the future.

Habits and Behaviors that Compromise Mental Health

  • Misuse of prescription drugs such as opioids
  • Addiction to online devices (internet, social media, gaming)
  • Use of recreational drugs and alcohol
  • Avoidance through obsessive behaviors (spending, exercise, sex)

Beginning the Process of Healing the Pain

Mental health problems include the very real matter of physical and emotional pain. Tackling pain of any kind involves time and understanding. Without the benefit of time and self-care, a growing number of people turn to opioids or pain killers to dull emotional and physical pain. As a result, addiction to heroin, morphine and prescription pain killers now affects nearly 5 million individuals in the U.S., according to the CDC.

Interventional pain management offers an alternative to opioids for physical pain. Interventional pain management uses facet joint injections, nerve blocks, spinal cord stimulation and peripheral nerve stimulation to temporarily interfere with the transmission of pain signals to the brain, helping patients manage pain without the high risk of addiction.

Talking to your primary care doctor is a critical first step in dealing with pain. A physician can assess how to best manage chronic pain and can refer patients to other pain specialists as needed. For more information, please contact one of our physicians at Summit Medical Center.

Remember, you always have a choice in your healthcare. Summit Medical Center offers orthopedics; ear, nose and throat; pediatrics, gastrointestinal; primary care; general surgery, pulmonary; and plastic surgery to the Casper, Wyoming, area. With cost-competitive, high-quality medical care and superior patient service, Summit Medical Center is changing the delivery of healthcare in Casper and beyond.

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