Suicide, depression, anxiety, we encounter these words almost daily, but do we know what exactly it is? Do we know what is going on inside the head of the person who is closest to us? Nope! We don’t because all these things function differently in different people.
While our nation is grieving the sad demise of Sushant Singh Rajput, a handsome young actor, whose life was taken away by this cruelest of the ailments known as depression, it is high time we discuss how important mental health is
Sadly, he is not the first actor who has lost his life to mental illness. This issue has bothered many people, be it a celebrity or a common man like us. Every time a famous person’s time, the whole world gets together to pray for their soul, without understanding the gravity of the situation.
But what about those warriors who surround us? Do you realize one in every fourth person is going through one or the form of mental illness? Some of them dare to talk about it. Some live with it for the rest of their lives, and sadly some end up taking their lives, the way our dear Sushant did.
No matter how many times we say that mental health needs to be normalized, we as a society are still unaware of so many things, especially the basics of mental health. So, let us take some time out and discuss mental health issues and the issues surrounding them.
What is mental health?
The way our heart is necessary for our body to function so is our mind. In the case of mental illness, certain parts of our brain get damage. The damage results in symptoms that involve deterioration in biological function, emotional function, perception, behavior, in some cases, it also deteriorates the overall functions of the person.
In simpler terms, our mental health includes our psychological well-being, emotional well-being, and social well-being. Deterioration in our mental health affects each n every aspect of our body, especially our thoughts, feelings, and how we act.
Deterioration in mental health also determines how we can handle our day to day stress, make choices, and form relationships with others. A decline in mental health brings complete chaos to our bodies. It disturbs our sleeping pattern, our eating pattern, etc.
The interdependence of mental and physical health.
The functioning of our brain is interlinked with the functioning of our bodies. Any deterioration in our brain immediately affects our body function. A nightmare or a scary dream will immediately increase our blood pressure as well as our heart rate.
Various types of mental health issues.
There are various types of mental illness. The common types include dementia, psychotic disorders, mood disorders, psychoactive drug-induced disorder ( disorders caused by consuming opiates, stimulants, drugs, alcohol etc) neurotic disorders, eating disorders, lastly, disorders in childhood as well as adolescence.
What are the early warning signs of a mental health problem?
At times, it is confusing as to whether the said person is having a mental health problem or not. The early signs of warning, if understood correctly, can help in preventing mental health deterioration.
Here are some early warning signs
- Having zero to no energy.
- Refraining themselves from doing the activities as well as people
- Jagged sleeping cycle
- Jagged eating cycle
- Having zero to no energy
- No feelings, feeling numb throughout the day.
- Feeling, useless, helpless, and hopeless.
- Fighting unnecessarily with family and friends ‘friends’
- High consumption of smoking, drinking
- Consumption of drugs
- Having mood swings
- Unable to perform daily tasks
- Unable to work or study properly
Having thoughts and memories which are tough to get rid of.
Mental illness can be because of various reasons, like biological, chemical factors, environmental factors, and lastly, psychological factors. Few of the mental illnesses can be caused by abnormal functioning in the nerve cell or the pathways which connect brain regions.
Some of the mental illnesses are caused by biological factors like genetics, infections, substance abuse, brain defects or brain injury, prenatal damage, lack of nutrition, and deficiency of certain vitamins
Psychological factors that involve in deterioration of mental health include:
- The Psychological trauma experienced during childhood, adolescence, even adulthood, the trauma could be physical, sexual, or emotional abuse.
- Neglection during childhood or adolescence
- Loss of parents or loved ones.
- Not being able to relate with anyone
- Bullying in school, college, and even office
At times, mental illness can be caused due to environmental stresses for example
- A dysfunctional family life
- Death of a loved one
- Divorce (own or parents)
- Low self-esteem, anger, loneliness, inadequacy
- Changing jobs, or schools
- Expectations of society and cultural
- Substance abuse, oneself or loved ones
- An abusive relationship, friendship
How can we recover from mental illness?
In simpler terms, recovery through mental illness means that the person has regained control over their lives and is slowly working towards recovering their relationship with their family and working on the opportunities surrounding them.
The first step of recovering is to understand that something is wrong and that it needs to be treated. The second step is reaching out to your loved ones if it is difficult to reach out to a psychologist (therapist)
The therapist will then either offer brain activities that will help the things in getting back to normal or offer medications. The recovery of a patient is a collective effort. The majority of the responsibilities lies in the hand of the person suffering through it, but support from family and friends gives them the much-needed boost.
The process of recovery is like an F! race; you are racing towards recovery, and our family, friends, and therapist our like pit crew workers.
How can friends and family help in recovering?
First and the most important thing that you, as a family or a friend, can do is listen to them, don’t disrespect their feelings. It is a proven fact that a lot of people come out of their families because they don’t listen to them or disrespect their feeling by saying it will get okay.
Don’t do that, listen to them, and if you cannot provide them with any guidance, listen to them. Sometimes all a person needs is a lending ear, and if you think that this problem is persistent, then help them in seeking out to a therapist.
Lastly, paying attention to your loved ones is one thing you can do, making them realize their strengths, but they also lend them an ear when they want to talk to you. Be there for them. No matter how strong a person is, each n everyone has a breaking point.
Take care of yourself and your loved ones!