Mental health can be defined a sour cognitive, behavioural, and emotional wellbeing mostly talking about how we think, feel, and behave to the surroundings. The word mental itself has a lot of meanings attached to it and that too mostly in a negative sense. People don’t open up much when asked about mental health because it is taken as a disease and not as much normalized as physical health. Mental health can affect daily life, relationships, and even physical health. Mental health also includes a person’s ability to enjoy life – to attain a balance between life activities and peace of mind. One has good mental health when the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully. Whenever someone is physically hurt we immediately search for a doctor but mental health issues or problems need time to get diagnosed and then cured. Even though mental health is not visible as much as physical health but its consequences can be very much seen. Acceptance of a mental health issue is the first step towards cure because people make big deal out of it or don’t give much importance to it.
Neglecting the visible symptoms such as withdrawing from people or activities they would normally enjoy, sleeping or eating too much or too little is one of the reason why mental health issues start affecting the daily life and relationships of a person. Everyone has the potential to develop mental health problems, no matter how old they are, whether they are male or female, rich or poor, or which ethnic group they belong to. Mental health is as important as physical health and should be given equal importance. Studies have shown people with poor mental health visit the physician twice as compared to those with good mental health. A healthy mind affects the growth of the body. Dusting these issues under the table increases the intensity of the issue. But that’s not all what causes mental health problems even self medication leads to a lot of unwanted outcomes. Many at times the symptoms are misinterpreted and hence taking the wrong pills or wrong advice on internet leads to more problems.
Common mental health disorder
The most common types of mental illness are anxiety issues, mood disorders, and schizophrenia.
- Anxiety issues- The individual has a severe fear or anxiety, which is linked to certain objects or situations. Most people with an anxiety disorder will try to avoid exposure to whatever triggers their anxiety e.g. Panic disorder: the person experiences sudden paralyzing terror or a sense of imminent disaster. Phobias – these may include fear of objects, social phobias- fear of being subject to the judgment of others or any other. There are a lot of situation which can an anxiety attack. Over thinking and bottling up emotions is one of them.
- Mood disorder- its symptoms are significant changes in mood, generally involving either mania (elation) or depression. Depression is too common these days and most misunderstood term. There’s a huge difference between sadness and depression – it is an extreme or prolonged period of sadness and that is why necessary diagnosis is required.
- Schizophrenia– It is a highly complex condition. The individual has thoughts that appear fragmented; they also find it hard to process information.
It is not possible to reliably tell whether someone is developing a mental health problem; however, if certain signs appear in a short space of time, it may offer clues:
- Withdrawing from people or activities they would normally enjoy.
- Sleeping or eating too much or too little.
- Feeling as if nothing matters.
- Consistently low energy.
- Using drugs more than normal (including alcohol and nicotine).
- Low self esteem and self confidence
- Feeling tired and lax all the time even after proper sleep and diet and having rigorous mood swings. It usually happens in people suffering from depression. They try seeking motivation but little things affect them a lot in a more negative way rather than positive and it eventually leads to a pool of tears.
- Displaying uncharacteristic emotions.
- Persistent thoughts or memories that reappear regularly.
- Thinking of harming one’s self or others.
- Grades in academics and sports tend to decline due to degrading mental health. It becomes difficult to focus at one thing and hence body feels restless but physically tired.
It is important to know that what works for one person may not work for another; this is especially the case with mental health. The majority of experts say that a well-informed patient is probably the best judge of what treatment suits them best but that doesn’t mean one will self medicate and make the matters worse.
- Psychotherapy (talking therapies) – this is a psychological approach to treating mental illness. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), exposure therapy, and dialectical behavior therapy are examples. Many online sites and NGO’s these days provide with a database of psychologists who charge very less or even nothing for students so that they don’t have to worry about being able to afford mental health. Take the prescribed medicines according to the doses.
- Even after understanding what a mental health issue is we also need to normalize it rather than making it complicated and unwelcoming for people who try to approach for help. Being a good listener is another way to help somebody by providing them with good advice.
- Writing down feelings and sharing them with friends and family helps a lot. Try to indulge yourself into various activities such as drawing, painting and many such others as they help in diverting the mind and enrich creativity as creative mind is a sign of good mental health.
The need of the hour is to normalise the issues of emotional health and educate people about them. Even as friends, family members and colleagues we should provide that space for people to seek help and not feel discomforted.