Mental Health and Illnesses

Of late, or rather for the past two decades or more, we have been hearing of various cases of depression, self-harm and suicides. In the last twenty years, depression and suicides have seen a rise worldwide.

With Coronavirus taking the lives of many people, mental health has declined further among people. People are more anxious, stressed, frightened, and depressed than ever.

Recently, the Bollywood actor, Sushanth Singh Rajput committed suicide in his flat in Mumbai after suffering from depression for six months. Like him, many people of all ages, have resorted to suicide in the past.

Have you ever wondered why people resort to killing themselves? Even the rich, smart and popular people are not spared.

What is mental health?

Mental Health means your emotional, psychological, and social wellbeing, that affects your thoughts, feelings and actions. When you have control over your emotions, handle normal stress and know your potential, your mental health is good.

What is Depression?

Depression means lasting grief and a lack of interest or joy in what the victim used to like or enjoy in the past. The causes could be social, psychological and/or biological and the feelings of loss and anger interfere in the daily life of the victim.

This is not to be confused with feeling low. Everyone has a bad day and feels low. But if feeling low becomes frequent, you might be depressed.

What is anxiety and what is stress?

Anxiety is fear or worries inside you, while stress refers to external pressures around you.

What are suicides?

Literally, it means taking one’s own life. There can be a multitude of reasons for this, bad mental health being one such cause. Other reasons could be personal, financial, social, etc.

Impact of the Coronavirus on people

As it is, with the advent of the internet and social media, people have become more distant as ever. Increasing workload, exam stress, worries about one’s future and career are already taking a toll on man’s life.

There is nobody to talk to. Because everybody is busy with their own lives, stress and schedules. Therefore, people are already anxious.

Add COVID-19 to this and a volcano erupts inside millions of people emotionally, thanks to the stress, fear and news of the pandemic spreading everywhere like wildfire. When people are battling a huge mess in their minds and no one else seems to understand or offer help, they become like a lone wolf battling hunger and fatigue.

Many people get depressed at this stage. Already depressed people are having it worse already. Aside from that is the fact that they don’t know/are unable to find whom to confide in. People struggle to explain how miserable they’re or even the fact that they are feeling low.

How is mental health (and illness) seen in India?

Sadly, in countries like India, mental health is confused with mental illness and is generally ignored and spoken of as though something trivial. Even the government doesn’t think of spending a substantial amount of money for the research on mental health and for ensuring the mental health of the people.

What can I do about this?

A lot! You’re intelligent and smart people reading this article right now. You’re kind, given that you’re concerned about mental health and people who don’t have good mental health. You’re generous because you think that you must do something about the problem. Isn’t that great? Don’t you feel happy reading this?

This is exactly what you gotta do. Reach out to people. Here is a task for you. Send a text to EVERYBODY on your contact list asking them how they are (health) and let them know if there is anything they want to share with you. Gladly listen to what people have to say, instead of rubbishing or answering back without listening. I’m waiting.

Are you done? What is the key takeaway? I told you that you’re smart because you understood that:-

  1. Mental Health is NOT Mental Illness.
  2. Mental Illness is NOT something to be frowned at or dismissed.
  3. Communication is key.

Talk to people. Tell them what is bothering you. Let them know that they can share with you what’s troubling them. Listen to people.

In the past, people lived in joint families back in villages. There used to be a large number of people, where everyone not only knew each other but also were there for each other during hard and difficult times.

There was no dearth of close ones when you needed them. Unfortunately, people have become distant from each other today. Living in a faraway city all alone. Virtual friends all over. The same virtual friends will not be there when you need them, save for a few who are better called “true friends”.

Do not think you are disturbing them, just call them or message them and ask how they are doing. You will make someone’s day. When an author writes an article and posts it, even one genuine suggestion or nice comment will motivate the author to write more.

One thought on “Mental Health and Illnesses

  1. Differentiating between mental health and mental illness is an important distinction, especially when we talk about dismantling a stereotype and asking people to be more forthright with their experiences.

    Liked by 1 person

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