Mental health is an important aspect of health other than physical, emotional and social health. All these attributes contribute to the overall health of an individual. Mental health is something which is seldom talked about despite the weightage it holds for the overall health of a person. If a person is mentally unwell, stressed or anxious or under pressure, it affects other aspects of health and well being in the long run. People do not talk about it as openly as they do about other health-related issues.
Stress and anxiety are the initial symptoms or triggers which affect health. People hide it for long and avoid talking about it socially, which leads to a build-up of anxiety, and it eventually develops into disorders. Prolonged untreated or uncontrolled stress leads to hypertension, emotional shock and may give way to diabetes in the long run or brain haemorrhages in the worst cases. Untreated anxiety leads to depression, phobias, social disconnection and severe mental disorders, some of which are untreatable if left untreated for long.
People who suffer from mental disorders are usually not aware, or even if they are, they are not disposed to seek medical attention or talk about it to anybody. A large proportion of people in India still view going to a psychiatrist a taboo or something out of the ordinary. They do not want to be labelled as mentally unstable and avoid it as much as they can. But in reality, mental health, emotions and circumstances are a part of our lives.
We all go through different unprecedented stages of life sometimes, and seeking professional help for mental health issues should be promoted. We should help people who suffer from mental disorders rather than putting labels on them. It is not the illness that makes them suffer as much but the mockery that society makes them suffer through.
It is sad that people make fun of those who suffer through mental pain and illness instead of trying to understand them or alleviate their problems. Almost all medical disorders are curable if the patient is treated with love, care and dignity along with medical help in the initial stage and at times in the later stages too. They should be supported and looked after and praised for the effort. Everybody makes mistakes, big and small. We should understand and help each other with our problems. Mental health disorders are something we all are vulnerable to. We should try to picture ourselves in their shoes and imagine the suffering they go through every moment.
We should be nice, even with our criticisms. We never know how our words affect the other person. We might say a phrase once and forget it, but others might take it to heart. They tell themselves that same phrase over and over again and try to find the reason and rationality behind it. Our words of mockery hurt them and break their heart, and we should be kind and careful with our words. People need to understand that they should never criticise someone for their mental illness.
This world needs more kindness and thoughtfulness. On social media, with medical awareness programs and open discussions, people are becoming conscious of the importance of mental health. It is an important aspect of well being, which potentially affects the other dimensions of health. One must not hesitate to talk about it or to seek medical attention regarding it. Just like any other problem, this is also a problem that needs attention. We must also support others who go through it and be kind and caring towards them and let them know that they are not alone whilst giving them all the social and moral support as much as we can.