Rethinking Mental Illness

Rethinking Mental Illness
December 12, 2019 No Comments » Uncategorized admin

The social stigma associated with mental health challenges and mental illness is one of the biggest obstacles for successful treatment and rehabilitation of mental health patients.

Taking Help is Good

The normal tendency in our society is to shy away from discussions about mental health issues. Mental illnesses like depression, anxiety disorders, substance abuse, etc. are very common in our society. But the degree of acceptance for them at individual, family and social levels is very low. This dissuades the mentally ill from openly discussing their problems within their family or friend circles. Also taking professional help from their illness is associated with ‘going mad’ or ‘going crazy’.

There needs to be increasing awareness about the fact that – ‘taking help from mental health issues is a good thing’. This is the starting point for the journey towards mental health at all levels of society. Acceptance of the fact that mental health is just as important and natural as physical health is key to the transformation of the taboos associated with mental illness and mental health in our society.

Mental Health is Vital

Our thoughts, emotions, and behavior form the basis of our daily functioning in all spheres of life. Our work, relationships, family life, marital life, social experiences are all determined by the way we think and the way we react to external circumstances. If our mind is not functioning properly, this reflects in all areas of our life, one way or the other. If a physical organ of our body like the stomach or nose is not functioning well, our body functioning gets affected. Similarly, if a part of our mind is not functioning well, we can see its effects on our overall mental health.

So openness and acceptance of the role of sound mental health is key to leading a successful and healthy life. There is increasing awareness about the role of emotional health, spiritual health, social health, etc. as vital components of mental health. All these dimensions are interrelated. Every individual has different needs from his or her mental health. These need to be understood and addressed accordingly.

Self-help vs. professional help

There are certain behaviors and habits that every individual can cultivate for good mental health:

  • Regular rest and sleep timings
  • Healthy food and eating habits
  • Regular physical exercise
  • Managing stress effectively
  • Work & family life balance
  • Engage in hobbies and other activities that one enjoys
  • Spend time in nature
  • Prevent substance abuse
  • Develop friendships and social networks
  • Cultivate some spiritual practices like meditation, prayers, etc.
  • Awareness about the softer skills of life like listening, acceptance, sharing, trusting, etc.

It is also important to realize the role of professional help for mental health. It is important to be able to differentiate between normal day-to-day challenges and severe mental health issues where it is important to seek professional help.


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