International Day of Friendship: True friendship can lower risk of mental disorders

International Day of Friendship: True friendship can lower risk of mental disorders

“There is nothing on this earth more to be prized than true friendship.” This famous quote by the Italian philosopher and theologian Thomas Aquinas accurately points out that friendship is one of the greatest gifts of life. Having a good friend by one’s side, in good and bad times, can be a source of great joy and assurance.

The bond of friendship gives people the liberty to share experiences that they might find difficult to discuss with their guardians or siblings. Inability to share problems or the difficulty in finding solutions to certain miseries alone can adversely affect a person’s mental health condition. Sharing problems or one’s deepest fears with trusted friends can provide a fresh perspective to them. While some views may be conflicting, it is necessary to take note of them as differing outlooks can help provide alternative solutions overlooked before.

Friendship and mental health

Among all the upsides of having a close friend, experts repeatedly point out how friendship can be a significant factor in protecting one’s mental health. Emotional disorders can ruin anyone’s life depending upon the gravity and frequency of symptoms. In addition, excessive stress appears to be a common factor in either aggravating or inducing a mental illness. This, in turn, often results in the mentally ill adopting unhealthy lifestyle habits, such as excessive drinking, abusing drugs or risky sexual activities, to handle the high-stress levels.

Friends play an important role in beating stress or keeping it at bay. Having a friend during the most trying circumstances helps boost confidence and considerably lowers stress levels. It becomes much easier to cope with traumatic experiences like divorce, constant illness or loss of a job when one has someone to share their problems with. In addition to promoting overall health and well-being, active support from friends can lower potential risk of various mental illnesses, including depression and anxiety.

Maintaining friendships

Developing friendships and maintaining them can be difficult in today’s fast-paced society. Real friendships need time and effort. Though not all friendships may be lifelong, no possession is more prized than the values and experiences imparted during their period of existence.

While cultivating and nurturing friendships, it is necessary to understand that quality matters more than the number. Though one cannot dispute the importance of diverse acquaintances and associations in everyday life, one must be careful while choosing friends and knowing who to trust. True friendship not only multiplies all that is good in life, having it divides the risk of what is adverse and detrimental to one’s emotional health.

The United Nations observes the International Day of Friendship (IDF) on July 30 each year, in a bid to promote the role that friendship plays in people’s lives across societies and cultures. The IDF encourages events and activities by groups, communities and governments throughout the world to promote mutual understanding, respect, solidarity and harmony.

Recovering from pain within

Mental health problems can affect anyone at any point of time. Though support from friends can help one fight with such problems, it is always advisable to seek professional help if a person is grappling with severe psychiatric conditions. Experts at Sovereign Health, a leading mental health care provider, not only help people get rid of recurring psychiatric illnesses, but also support them during the rehabilitation process. Call our 24/7 helpline number 866-973-7164 to know about our mental health rehabilitation centers in California offering a comprehensive treatment plan for disorders like depression and anxiety. You may also get in touch with our online representatives for more information about our mental health facilities in California.

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