Mental health is a very important aspect if we talk about overall well-being. Health is incomplete if one doesn’t have a sound mind. 10th October is celebrated as mental health day globally.
There are many myths related to the prevalence of mental health problems such as they happen to very less people or only to a handful of population or they happen only to the people living in big cities or probably to the people who have big businesses.
It is completely wrong! This can happen to anyone irrespective of the socioeconomic status or background or their gender, age, or having a successful career or marital life.
According to the World Health Organization, problems related to mind are mostly found in the people whose age is between 15-50 years.
Now, we’ll describe the symptoms of six mental health problems which are generally found in the population.
Depression– Generally, a person must have experienced it at least once in their life span. One important thing to note here is that it is different from the stress of everyday life. When in depression a person has feelings of hopelessness, guilt, sadness, self-isolation, insomnia (less sleep) or hypersomnia (sleep more than required). In most cases, people start eating less and start having diminished levels of energy. A person also experiences anxiety along with these symptoms.
Panic Disorder– A person usually feels losing control with one’s body, may have fear of dying, extreme shaking or trembling within the body, sweating, accelerated heart rate, fear of dying, numbness or tingling sensation, chills or hot flushes.
Bipolar disorder- It has symptoms exactly opposite to depression where a person is elated, euphoric, high in energy, talks too much and fast, sleeps very less and works a lot. For example, there is a tendency to make huge investments to which a person might regret later. One always feels that he/she is right and is unable to handle any type of criticism.
Psychosis- A person is paranoid towards everyone. One feels that other people want to harm him/her or they are conspiring against or they are laughing at him, despite no evidence. For example, a husband may doubt his wife’s friendliness with a man as a form of romantic relationship or cheating. It may happen vice-versa too. This fictitious imagination leads to quarrels in the house.
Schizophrenia- It is a disorder where a person has a minimal or no touch with reality. A person dreams for most of the day and also claims to have delusions (false beliefs) and hallucinations (a sensory experience that seems real to a person having it, but it occurs in the absence of external perceptual stimulus). Since, a person believes his imaginative world to be true, he speaks alone in response to the heard voices. For example, a person may stand in a certain posture for hours and claims that if he did not do such then the world may come to an end or the gods might get angry.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (O.C.D.)- Obsessions are persistent intrusive thoughts, images, that are experienced as disturbing, inappropriate and uncontrollable. So, when a person experiences threatening thoughts, one tries to neutralize or suppress them by indulging into behaviours such as hand washing, checking, ordering, cleaning. These are overt repetitive behaviours. Other compulsive behaviours can be counting, praying, or saying certain words silently over and over again. These are covert mental rituals. All these behaviours are known as compulsions. Hence, O.C.D. is a compulsive behaviour in response to an obsession or obsessions.
People try to ignore these symptoms owing to various reasons. First, they haven’t yet understood the gravity or seriousness of mental problems. Secondly or they do not know that mental health issues do have a proper and systematic treatment.
They expect them to get treated on their own. They usually try to correlate mental problems to the physical ones. They try to look for their evidence which can be observed. But this doesn’t happen in mental health issues.
On this mental health day, Mind Plus Retreat Hospital would like to educate that it is not normal to have problems related to mind or observe huge changes in behaviour which might not sound normal. If you observe so in you or your neighbours, do refer to a mental health professional.
Do remember- It’s ok not to be ok. Seeking help can be totally fine.