Mental health is not always considered a priority, every year millions of people suffer from mental diseases such as depression. Some of them seek treatment and many don’t. This is because of a stigma present in people’s mind related to mental illnesses.
Mental health is a state of complete cognitive, behavioural, emotional and social well-being. Health is not just absence of diagnosable mental diseases (like depression or schizophrenia) but also the feeling of being happy, content and having a purpose in life. Mental health strongly affects your everyday life and your capability of building strong relationships.
A mentally healthy person has the following characteristics :
- They are able to function and process their emotions properly. They are able to identify their emotions as appropriate or inappropriate and can accept it if their emotions are incorrect.
- Not affected by trivial changes in the society or environment, and they are well-adjusted to their surroundings.
- They can accept hardships and failures and move on from them.
- Able to be happy, laugh and have fun
- They have a purpose and zest for life
- They are able to build relationships with people and accept their opinions.
A mentally ill or depressed person, may have the following symptoms:
- They have lost the purpose to live.
- Have extreme spectrums of emotions like extreme sadness, low feeling and weeping to extreme hilarity
- Fail to accept themselves as social beings and shy away from people
- Have trouble coping with stress and have low resilience. They are not able to bounce back from hardships and failures and give up on them.
- They have difficultly performing everyday work and have extreme fatigue without any cause
- Appetite changes like increased or decreased appetite
- Insomnia or hypersomnia.
WHY IS MENTAL HEALTH AND DISEASES LIKE DEPRESSION IGNORED?
Mental health is as important as physical health, however it is often ignored. Physical disease shows symptoms on the body. Similarly, mental diseases like depression also show symptoms of the mind, which is not in health. But people fail to identify these symptoms as those of mental illness and accept it as the way they are. This prevents them from seeking help. There are some other reasons by which people do not address mental health issues and they are:
- Social stigma: The society commonly identifies mentally ill people as outsiders and shuns them. They believe that suffering is due to their wrongdoings or thinking and fail to accept it as a disease. This does more harm and patients lose their trust in society.
- Get over it: Rather than considering mental diseases an actual problem, patients usually learn to bottle it up and hide their emotions. This stems from the fact that some people consider mental health problems as something you should ‘get over’, rather than address and talk about it.
- People who suffer from mental illness feel that they can never get better, and they have to learn to live with it. Some might depend on alcohol and drugs or self-medicate themselves.
CAUSES OF DEVELOPING MENTAL DISEASES:
Mental diseases can occur to anybody and at any point of time. At one point in life, everyone feels depressed and low, although the severity might differ. There is no ONE cause for someone to develop a mental health issue, and a combination of issues might be involved. Some causes are listed below :
- Past history of trauma or abuse
- Genetic predisposition and family history of mental disease
- The unpleasant social environment in which the person lives
- Substance abuse
- The temperament of the person
WHAT YOU CAN DO TO IMPROVE YOUR MENTAL HEALTH?
If you are suffering from a mental disease, or if you’re just feeling low and want to talk to someone, you’re not alone. There are a lot of things you can do to combat the issue and emerge as a fighter. Mental disease does not need to control your life!
Certain things which will surely help are:
Talk about it :
Awareness is being spread about the importance of mental health in today’s time and people are starting to take it more seriously. Talk about your issues and feelings to a confidant or a healthcare professional. By this, you can achieve a social connection and a feeling that someone is there for you, which people with mental illness require. Talk to someone who will listen to you without a prejudice and with empathy. Forums and chat groups are also a good way to meet people having similar issues so that you can share and talk about your issues.
Find a purpose in life :
If you feel that you have lost all meaning of life, search for one thing which acts as a driving force for your life. This could be something which makes you happy and contended and give life meaning. It is something that should keep you motivated and keep going everyday. It might he a hobby like painting, gardening, dancing etc or caring for others like volunteering in an old age home. Whatever you do, it is important to do it everyday and consistently.
Use positive affirmations :
It is very important to give yourself credit, even if it just for getting out of bed everyday. Appreciate and reward yourself for every hurdle you have crossed and every struggle you have overcome. Even if nobody else appreciates you for your efforts, be your biggest fan and supporter.
Maintain a healthy lifestyle :
It isn’t easy to maintain your health, especially when you find it difficult to even do daily chores; Although if you do, it will already give you a sense of accomplishment. Be mindful of what you eat, be consistent with your sleep pattern, avoiding using excessive stimulants. Maintain a healthy exercise regime as this is a great stress buster. Exercise causes release of endorphins which are happy hormones and can lift the mood.
Practice relaxation exercises :
It is essential to cut off from your daily stressful life and take a moment to relax. Listening to relaxing music, practicing meditation, praying, talking to a friend or family, watching a movie you love are just some of the examples of things you can do to relax. Find out a thing which calms you down when you’re stressed and implement it in your life
Seek professional help :
If you are still not able to cope with your emotions and mental illness, it is important you seek professional help. Self care practice as listed above is still important to maintain along with medication to gain maximum benefit.
If you have any queries regarding homeopathic remedies or want treatment for any of your complaints, feel free to drop a mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you want to talk about your mental health with me, please email me or comment below. I would be happy to help in any way I can!
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Remember that we are in this together and we will get through it together! Be home and stay safe!
Author- Dr. Tasneem .H. Soni
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