A mental health expert at St Louis Medical Centre, Lagos, Dr Omowumi Mosaku, has recently said that stress, taking drugs without prescription, failure to eat a balanced diet, can have serious consequences on mental alertness.
Stress has been defined as the body’s reaction to any change that requires an adjustment or response. Alsothe body reacts to these changes with physical, mental, and emotional responses.
Mosaku, while speaking on the topic, ‘Mental alertness and productivity’ on Eko FM, last week, said since human thinking takes place in the brain, mental alertness allows one to be productive, adding that the level at which the brain can function is paramount to a person’s productive capacity.
“Mental illness doesn’t allow you to be very productive.” He said
Explaining further on mental illness, the health expert stated that since the illness has to do with everything one does, including thinking, and self perception, anything that will affect thinking capability and productivity can be classified as mental illness.
He noted that the risk factors for mental illness and lack of mental alertness could be biological, environmental or psychological.
“Some are born like that. Prolonged labour could result in giving birth to a child with a brain defect. Substance abuse and sexual abuse could also affect peoples’ mental alertness. It eats deep into their subconscious and doesn’t allow them to function at the height of their capability.
“If people don’t eat well, it could affect their mental alertness. When you are deficient in some vitamins that aid the brain to functions well, it affects mental alertness,” Mosaku added.
The doctor also advised Nigerians to eat well and have enough rest, since stress is also a risk factor for mental illness.
“When you are tired, you can’t focus and you find yourself repeating something all over. You have a working time frame. When you get home prioritise your sleep. If need be, talk to a doctor. Find out what the problem is about and how it can be resolved. If the problem requires medication, it will be prescribed. Still, most times what some people need is someone to talk to,” He said.