How many of us realize the value of our physical health? The answer would be overwhelmingly in affirmation with the majority. But if the same question is asked about our mental health , the answers would vary greatly with many not being aware about such a thing.
It is not anybody’s fault for being unaware as there has been a lack of emphasis on this aspect of our lives , owing to a social taboo and diffidence in talking about it.
In the sublime words of Fred Rogers, “When we can talk about our feelings, they become less overwhelming, less upsetting and less scary.”
As the world becomes more fast paced and demanding , the thrust on talking and understanding about Mental Health becomes more vital and in the current analysis , we seek to discuss the important aspects of Mental Health. Let’s begin !
What is Mental Health ?
Mental Health is the summation of our psychological , emotional and social well-being and is representative of our overall health. In the official constitution of the WHO , “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”
It is not merely the absence of any recognizable mental disorders but a state of supreme health where an individual can realize their true potential , can deal with the stress life brings , being productive in work and contributing positively to the society.
What are the Mental Disorders ?
The Mental Disorders are classified as follows
- Anxiety disorders which includes Panic-disorders , OCD(Obsessive Compulsive Disorders) and Phobias. (Read: How to deal with an Anxiety Attack)
- Depression which includes Bipolar disorders and some mood disorders.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Eating disorder
- Schizophrenia etc.
What are the causes of Mental Disorders ?
It is difficult to pin down any one cause for such a state of health as there are multiple factors at play which lead to this condition , like ,
- Genetics (if it runs in the family or the kith and kin have any such disorder)
- Poor life experiences such as domestic violence , social and physical abuse such as rapes or molestation , repeated traumas ,especially if one occurred in the childhood.
- Chemical imbalances in the brain
- Certain Brain injuries
- If Mother was infected by a virus or chemicals of any type while she was pregnant.
- Usage of Alcohol and recreational drugs by an individual etc.
What are the determinants of Mental Health ?
There are numerous social , psychological as well as biological factors that ultimately determine the level of mental health in a person at any given time. Extreme violence , physical abuses and other socio-economic factors pose a high mental health risk in an individual. As per a 2014 WHO paper on Social Determinants , a multilevel framework can be applied to various strategies to abate mental disorders and improve the well-being.
Life-course such as Prenatal , Pregnancy , Early Childhood , Adolescence etc. , Family level such as Parental Behaviors , Economic and Food Security , Sanitation etc. , Community level such as Neighborhood trust , Community-based Interactions , Prevalence of Violence and Crimes etc. as well Country level factors such as Poverty situation , Discrimination , Governance , Human Rights , etc.
Studies on Mental Health
- As per the 2015-16 National Mental Health Survey of India , approximately 11% of Indians above 18 years of age are suffering from mental disorders and most of them do not receive care for a variety of reasons. The survey has also suggested establishing Human Resource Development at all levels by focusing on training institutions , trainers , resources at the state levels.
- As per the 2018 WHO report , Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among 15 to 29 year old’s.
- According to the United Nations Children’s Fund , every 10 minutes an adolescent losing her life due to violence across the world.
- DitchTheLabel survey reported 80% of young people , who admitted that bullying had a negative effect on their self-esteem.
- As per the Center for Transyouth Health at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles report , for people aged between 12 and 24 , nearly 50% admitted to have thought about committing suicide and nearly 30% had tried it once in their lives.
- According to a 2019 paper published in the SAGE journal , e-mental health services is the need of the hour given the burden it is posing on the health services and Canada has made massive progress on this front.
- Prof. Patrick McGorry AO , in his assessment said , nearly 50% of the people with a mental health disorder currently lacked early access to care, prolonging the lifetime and impact of their illness.
How to treat Mental Health problems ?
The Mental Health problems can be tackled with a multi-pronged approach as enlisted below ,Stressing on early childhood interventions like giving them sound environment that is conscious of the children’s health and nutritional requirements by ensuring them safety from any threats , adequate opportunities for youth development.
- Ensuring proper support to children by giving them life skills programmes, development programmes etc.
- Ensuring the socio-economic empowerment of women by improving access to education , microcredit schemes and other welfare measures which can help in achieving the established goals of mental health.
- Ensuring the social support for elderly populations like the befriending initiatives , elderly care centres , introducing schemes for the financial help of the elderly like a sound pension scheme , giving them travel benefits , etc.
- Ayurveda terms Mental Health problems as Manovikar and has cogent solutions for the permanent treatment of the same. It mentions 3 types of treatment for Mental Health issues like Daivavyapasraya chikitsa (divine or spiritiual/therapy), Yuktivyapasraya chikitsa (logical therapy), and Satwavajaya chikitsa (psycho therapy). This should be availed under a trained Ayurveda practitioner for getting the maximum benefits.
- Yoga has a magical effect on the mind and body of an individual and is central to getting better especially for those having mental health issues. It calms the mind , detoxifies it from the clutter and negativity and improves the well-being. Anjaneyasana , Garudasana , Natarajasana , Kapalbhati , Anulom-Vilom etc. among a host of other poses have proven to be helpful in alleviating mental health problems.
- Homeopathy is known to heal a person holistically by treating the root cause of the disease instead of superficially addressing the symptoms. The same can be availed from an experienced homeopath as the science offers a magical list of solutions ranging from Bach Flower Remedies , Kali Phos series , etc.
Mental Health is an important topic and the same respect should be given to it by talking about it freely and engaging in constructive debates on it. Spreading awareness about this problem is the key to getting it treated and eliminated for the good from everyone’s lives.
Every human being deserves to live a healthy and stress-free life where they can be happy and achieve their full potential. To conclude it in the words of John Green , “There is hope, even when your brain tells you there isn’t.”