Mental Health

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Commonly, the term ‘mental health’ is used by the layman to describe the health of the mental state. However, it is a much broader term and it does not merely mean an absence of mental well-being, but it also means the well-being of an individual in terms of cognitive, emotional, and behavioral, that is, it illustrates how people think, feel and behave.

keep an eye on your mental health

Deteriorating mental health can have a detrimental impact on an individual’s personal life, professional life, his or her relationship with family, friends, or colleagues. This can also work the other way round. Having an unhealthy or toxic relationship with friends, family, or colleagues, inadequate working conditions, or an unhealthy work environment, problems in personal life can also prove to be a hurdle to attain peace of mind, and this can lead to deterioration in individual’s mental health. In the modern world, with an increase in competition, leading to higher levels of stress, it becomes important that people check out the mental health of themselves as well as their loved ones.

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understanding mental health

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), mental health is “more than just the absence of mental disorders or disabilities.” Peak mental health is also about checking our day-to-day happiness and wellness, and not just avoiding active conditions which disrupt our daily functioning. The National Alliance on Mental Illness estimates that in the United States, almost 1 out of every 5 adults experience mental health problems each year. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), in 2017, an estimated 11.2 million adults in the United States, that is, about 4.5% of adults had a severe psychological condition. This scenario is not merely limited to the United States alone but disrupted mental health is one of the leading causes of disability in most of the developed world. While adults are most likely to develop mental health disorders, it is not limited to adults alone and even children are likely to develop mental health disorders.

In today’s world, where parents want their children to excel in every domain, parents tend to ignore the mental health of a child. Parents tend to forget the fact that for the fuller development of a child, it is equally important for them to get leisure time so that they can work on their social skills rather than always running after some kind of mental activity. Similarly, while the occurrence of mental health disorders is more common among people from developed countries, it is definitely not limited to people from first-world countries, and even people from third-world countries are experiencing mental health problems these days.

For instance, the lifestyle of metro cities in India does not allow a person to take a rest and reflect upon themselves. People are caught up in their work 24×7 and forget to pay adequate attention to themselves.
Rural areas come with their own set of problems and prejudices which can negatively affect their mental health. Therefore, we can say that while some are more likely to develop mental health disorders, it is important that every individual pays due regard to their mental health as no one is likely to not get mental health disorders.

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how to recognize mental health issues

No physical test or scan has been identified or invented till date which is reliable or credible completely to detect whether a person is suffering from a mental health disorder. However, certain early signs have been identified which a person should look for in himself or herself and if any person is suffering from these signs, then he or she should not hesitate to talk to someone or get psychotherapy.

Some of these early signs are:
Changes in the sleep schedule like sleeping too little or sleeping too much, having no desire or purpose to get out of the bed every morning, questioning life choices constantly, distancing oneself from friends or family or colleagues, withdrawing from activities that one normally used to enjoy doing, change in appetite like eating too much or eating too little, constantly having negative emotions or thoughts, experiencing delusions or hallucinating situations, being confused, not being able to do daily tasks that otherwise they used to do with great ease, having low energy consistently, consuming mood-altering substances more frequently like alcohol or nicotine, feeling hopeless, thinking of causing physical harm to themselves or others, having persistent thoughts or memories that reappear regularly, etc.

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If a person experiences any such signs then it is never too late or too early to visit a psychiatrist for help. In Indian society, there are a lot of stigmas attached to psychotherapy. People ought to think that there are some negative character traits if they are going to see a psychiatrist. However, people should understand the real meaning of psychotherapy and that there is no harm in going for that if they experience any issues. A psychologist is a person whom people with deteriorating mental health consult, and the one who should give them unbiased or unprejudiced opinions, understand their situation, and give them expert advice so that they can cope with stress in a better way.

-Achal Suchak

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