Written by: Avishek Singh
Mental Illness- How a world of today perceives it and what’s the actual picture
In a world of cut throat competition, meeting the deadline, balancing personal and professional life, matching your income with the inflation and a lot more can leave you emotionally very exhausted. Admitting the fact that you have mental illness – commonly called illness of mind can be very difficult task specially when you live in a close knit society. Most of us think that its a rare thing and wont happen to them. Surprisingly its a very common thing in today’s world. According to a survey, 54 million Americans suffer mental illness in a year and it has very high rates in India too. Despite being so common, people are still afraid to talk about them due to shame, lack of education and fear of being outcast and discriminated.
What causes Mental Illness?
Although the exact reason for the same is still a topic of research, it is becoming clear that mental illness is majorly caused by biological, environmental and psychological factors. Some mental illness are caused by abnormal functioning of a nerve cell. It is sometimes passed on in families. So if a member in your family has it, you are more likely to develop the same. Poor nutrition and exposure to toxin may also result in the same. Accidental trauma, death of a loved one, sexual abuse, divorce, bullying, frequent change of schools at an early age are some of the reasons that can leave a person emotionally sick.
What are some of the common types of Mental Illness?
- Schizophrenia- In this mental illness you can’t differentiate between a real and unreal elements. Your brain makes you think and hear things that aren’t actually there. Your brain also makes you feel that people are always trying to control you.
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder- Sometimes people come across a very tragic incidence. Example: A car accident resulting in a death of a loved one. No doubt its very scary and life changing event. People diagnosed with PTSD keep feeling very afraid and scared years after the accident even if they are safe.
- Bi-Polar Disorder– People with Bi-polar disorder have varied emotions all at once. Their emotion changes frequently from happy to sad to being tired and angry within moments. They struggle to sleep and think clearly.
- Depression- People with this mental challenge feel low and extremely sad all the time. It can make them sick and can effect the way they feel, think or act. People diagnosed with this, try to alienate themselves from the social circle. Thoughts of suicide and taking extreme steps hovers the mind.
Who can be affected with Mental Health?
Mental illness can be experienced by anyone at any point in life. Its just like any physical illness which anyone of us can suffer from. You may come across people who act weird at times like being aggressive, getting violent, prone to drugs or smoking. That doesn’t necessarily mean they have a mental illness. These are merely personal choices. Mental illness are certainly not personal choices.
How do you behave with a mentally ill person?
What do you do when you have fever. You go to a doctor, isn’t it? Similarly people with a mental illness can go to a mental health professional. You should never say them ‘ stop being crazy’ or ‘therapy is for weak people’. Instead you should always listen them, try to cheer them up and encourage them to seek professional help. Your helpful approach can go a long way in making their life a better one.
According to World health organisation more than four hundred million people suffer from various forms of mental illness. It’s not just you. Remember, every cloud has a silver lining. Where ever you are, you can always access assistance and begin to see life in a beautiful way, yet again.
J.P Morgan is his famous quote has very rightly said- “ The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide that you are not going to stay where you are”.
Life has lots to offer you. Learn the art of embracing them.