Mental disorders affect one in four people. Most of the time, a lot of these people suffer without asking for help, or worse, without a diagnosis. Even when they accept that they need some treatment, only few approach mental health practitioners.
The only thing probably more difficult than suffering from a mental illness, is believing that it does not exist. There are people who deny the possibility of them ever having a mental illness, there are others who know in their heart that they suffer from one, but are ashamed to admit it, and then there are those who admit the fact, seek treatment, but leave it halfway like an open wound. Either way, the suffering continues when it doesn’t need to.
The compromise is not only on the part of the patient clientele, but on the part of society as a whole. If a patient was suspected to have an acute kidney injury, they would just get themselves treated for it. However, if the same patient had certain psychiatric complaints, everyone involved would tighten up, not knowing what to do, as though the patient committed a crime.
Sometimes, after consulting a psychiatrist, the patient denies all complaints. Even psychiatrists, therefore, confirm if a patient is actually willing and ready for psychiatric treatment. Meanwhile, the person’s relatives and ‘well-wishers’ feel that their close one’s character has a blot now since they are labelled as suffering from a mental illness.
But can’t the mind, a very significant part of the body, be afflicted with an illness?
There is a long way to go to end the stigma and bring accessible mental healthcare at the community level. Mental health clinics are seen as a luxury for the rich, as a way to while away their time, when in fact, that is far from the truth. Mental illness can affect anybody, irrespective of age, gender, race, class, or country. However, everyone may not have access to the help they need.
But if they did, the world would be a much better place.
What do you feel are the barriers to mental healthcare in the present day? Please spare a few minutes of your time to fill this anonymous and confidential survey in order to give your valuable opinion which might help in the betterment of mental healthcare.