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Mental health issues are considered a taboo even in the most modern societies. Even after all the education and awareness, it is frowned upon.
Mental heath issues are a common issue these days, with lifestyle problems and stress. Still, it is very little understood. Mostly, we tend to ignore or overlook the problem instead of dealing with it. Once we understand the importance of why should we deal with it and what might happen if we don’t, we can realise how serious the issue can be and we should not ignore it thinking it as “just a bad mood”.
I have lost a very dear friend due to depression and this article is an effort to raise awareness and to make an effort to save precious lives in my own little way. I am not a qualified person and these are my observations that I have experienced in my life which can help someone.
As our life has become fast and lonely, the pressure has increased tremendously. This pressure, in long term, gives rise to the stress related issues in our body and mind. When we become chronically stressed the body starts to show symptoms. Many physical symptoms are psychological in origin. Many physical symptoms are rooted in psychological disturbance.
In my personal observation, there are four steps to deal with any problem. First step is to identify. Once you identify second step is acceptance. Third step is face, fight and deal with it, and fourth is to overcome.
Let’s start with first step. Identify the problem. If there is any visible long lasting change in a person’s behaviour you need to double check with someone.
Next step is to accept that you or your family member needs help.
Once you accept the problem it is easy to deal with it. Most people don’t go to psychiatrist because they don’t want to be labelled as ‘mad‘, but we have to remember that not everyone who goes to a psychiatrist has major issues. Most problems can be very small. Also ‘what society may think of us’ (log kya kahenge) is another issue. Well, you have to decide who is more important for you: Yourself, Your family, your health, your well-being or the society? ; Pretty obvious. Now let’s understand why it is important to deal with it.
Depression is one of the major issues in today’s world which is often looked as taboo. It is far too common in today’s world than ever before, especially in women. They are more prone and vulnerable in today’s world.
Loneliness, difficult past, abuse, difficult childhood, high expectations, workload, lack of social support, lack of coping skills, lack of understanding from family, ever changing social parameters in terms of culture and expectations put immense pressure on our mind. We can take pressure to some extent but if the pressure is beyond our capacity to handle, we start to show the symptoms and become victim of ‘the dreaded’ mental health problems.
Lack of awareness and social stigma attached to it make it even more difficult to deal with, and people avoid seeking help. It is crucial to understand why it is important to address any mental health issues before it gets out of control. It is very important to understand that it is not just a bad mood but it is something bigger and needs to be addressed; just like you would treat any abnormality in your body, your mind also needs attention when it is troubled.
Any untreated mental health issues can even lead to suicide which is quite common nowadays; especially in children and adolescents which is why we cannot afford to ignore. It can hamper confidence, happiness, quality of life, social life, personal life and overall feeling of well-being. Aren’t these reason enough to understand how important it is?
Also it is important to understand it just does not limit itself to mind. As we all know that the mind and the body are connected, it affects physical health as well.
A depressed person is less likely to take physical exercise or eat healthily because everyday activity looks like a big task to him/her. Obviously, he/she becomes more and more vulnerable and gets prone to diseases. This is a very dangerous situation that needs to be addressed immediately as we cannot afford to lose our health.
A depressed person’s social and interpersonal skills are also very much diminished. He lacks the judgement, persistence, patience and social skills to have good relations. His family life gets affected. It is very important to understand that if a parent suffers from mental health issues, the children tend to get affected as well so it is very important to treat the problem.
When we understand why it is so important, we can start acting on the issue. We must keep in mind that not all the people who go to psychiatrist are ‘mad’. In fact, in my observation, the most sensitive, intellectual and kind people sometimes fall victim of the illness and it takes courage to accept that someone has a problem. Also, sometimes the cure can be very simple and may not even take long time to treat. I have seen people who were once visibly shattered have freed themselves from their problems and now live happy and successful life.
If you suspect that you or anyone close to you has any mental health issues, you need to seek advice. The evil is not the person or the issue but the stigma attached to it. We need to address it and it can easily be done with so many options available nowadays. If you feel that any problem lasts for a long time and does not go away, it is time to address it. Just like we cannot ignore the dust by sweeping under the carpet we cannot shrug off a problem without addressing it.
Our main focus/target/purpose of life is happiness. Isn’t it? So anything that makes you unhappy for a long time is not normal and with so much help available it is possible to live life with hope and happiness. We all have enough power in our soul to overcome any problems that comes in our life but sometimes we just need little push and help to recognise it. Don’t just give up. Accept, face, stand up, seek help, overcome and be happy.
10th September was World Suicide Prevention Day. Please check it out.
If you or anyone you know is feeling suicidal, here are some of the helplines available in India. Please call.
Aasra, Mumbai: 022-27546669
Sneha, Chennai: 044-2464 0050
Lifeline, Kolkata: 033-2474 4704
Sahai, Bangalore: 080 – 25497777
Roshni, Hyderabad: 040-66202000, 040-66202001
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