Mental Health Issues – Perspectives and Understanding

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Ugh!! These exams are giving me anxiety issues..
My life/job is so depressing..

These are some of the sentences one often hear in a casual conversation to express one’s frustration and anger towards some ongoing inconveniences in life. However as the lifestyle goes in the modern world, terms like depression, anxiety, etc cannot be considered just as an insouciant expression of a mere complication faced in day to day life. These are the terms which comes with a whole baggage of serious implications for a person suffering from mental illness more now than ever.

Speaking from the viewpoint of a person whose close friend suffered from the anxiety and depression issues for quite a few years, one can be assured that these can be cured with proper care and treatment. One of the first steps and need of the hour is that people should always be able to have a go to person with whom they can share their life’s happening and feelings without the fear of being judged and with a high degree of comfort level. The sudden surge in the demand for counsellors around the globe points towards the decline of personal bonding and sharing in the fast technologically advancing age. People are more engrossed in social media to maintain their connections with far away friends that they forget to interact with their immediate neighbours and acquaintances. Evident from the recent depression suicides committed live over social media, even the efforts to remain in influential touch with online friends also goes in vain.

Baya Voce, the host of ‘The Art of Connection’; web series, in a TEDx talk reveals how each one has their go to people of group in times of happiness and also the gloomy phases of life… These ‘Anchors of Connection’ are the support system and basis of a happy life. And also how the consistency of maintaining these conversations and relations are the things which make one’s life more valuable, happier and worth living.

Besides sharing, one needs to do away with the taboo of mental illness as the sign of person being mad which is incurable and needs to be sent away to a mental asylum. People need to be made aware that this is like any other physical illness which can be treated with proper assistance and consultation.

The most important factor in treatment is the support of family. It is a major, though not sole factor, which gives person the confidence that he/she will be able to survive past the illness. This is not to say that treatment is impossible without family support but it would be definitely faster and with more chances of being successful if family and friends have the backs of the patients.Awareness at the ground level will also help in identifying symptoms at an early stage and combating the problem before it takes form of a serious illness.

To avoid the mental issues from setting in the minds of children and teenagers (which is increasing at sky rocketing rates), parents need to encourage and motivate their child instead of comparing him/her with others and demeaning them. Inspiration and moral support is the key to ensure that a person emerges from a failure with a determination to work harder instead of going into a downward spiral and losing the will to live. The fact that failure is a part of life’s ups and down need to be embedded in the consciousness of children from an early age.

Along with the precautionary alertness, awareness needs to be brought into the society regarding the grave consequences of the mental ill-health. The society needs to do away with the stigma around mental health concerns, so that the victims are able to ask for help without hesitation. With the existing ignorance and superstitions surrounding the mental health, a large number of people are deprived from their right to lead a health and respectable life in society.

Therefore, the understanding that mental health is as important as physical health and it can be cured in the same way, contrary to the belief that a mental health patient can never lead a normal life, is at the core of making society a better place of living for all.

The sensitivity and gravity of the subject urgently calls for immediate action and
transformation in the mentality of people all over the world and no one is better
equipped to make a difference than the young generation.

It’s so common, it could be anyone. The trouble is, nobody wants to talk about it. And that makes everything worse.  ~ Ruby Wax

                                                                                           contributed by Arushi Kapoor