In a country that is still trying to understand the idea of mental health, many of us, unfortunately, have to bear its burden. We have a long and challenging journey ahead of us before we recognize its importance. And it will be a difficult but necessary challenge, as a country, for us to accept the effects and causes of mental health, fully and wholly. The ancient and rustic culture, unlaid rules and regulations enforced about how to live in a society, ego-driven behavior leading to complete denial, lack of awareness, etc., are a few reasons, to begin with, on a macro level, in the negligence of mental health and well-being. But before we delve deep into it, let’s first understand what mental health is exactly and why it is important to know, learn, and talk more about it.
According to World Health Organization (WHO), “Mental health is a state of well-being in which an individual realizes his or her abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively, and can make a contribution to his or her community.”
Another way to understand mental health is that it refers to cognitive, behavioral, and emotional well-being. To put it in simpler terms, it’s all about how people feel, think, and behave. People also, at times, use the term mental health to mean the absence of a mental disorder. The WHO stress that mental health is “more than just the absence of mental disorders or disabilities.” A good state of mental health is not only taking care of the active conditions but also looking after your wellness and happiness.
It is important to understand that taking care of our mental health is similar to how we take care of our physical health. The way we tend to our physical issues is how we also need to understand and identify our mental health-related concerns.
Some of the common mental health disorders include depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, dementia, eating disorders, addiction disorders, kleptomania, autism, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and dissociative disorders. Apart from these common ones, there are a few more disorders that are differentiated based on our behavior and symptoms.
In a world that is changing at a rapid pace, and is constantly trying to ‘modernize’ everything, we need to understand and gauge how we can balance everything out in our lives. Otherwise, it’s easy to lose a grip on ourselves. That’s why it gets very important that we spend more time understanding our mental health and consciously take care of our well-being. Negligence of practicing this can lead to major concerns, physical problems, serious mental issues and will also hurt work, relationships, and life.
Although, at times, it won’t seem easy to identify any mental health-related issues, putting some effort into observing ourselves, especially at times when we feel stressed, unhappy or any negative emotion, might help in understanding the root cause. There are verified sources available online that can help apart from reaching out to family and friends. We can always seek professional help if there is a concerning issue.
Despite, mental health being an important issue, we seem to have not fully accepted the idea of it. Sadly, people tend to ward off issues related to mental health due to various reasons. But a large part is the fear of acceptance. Since there is a lack of accepting the idea of mental health, many people, unfortunately, end up not even trying to know or understand their mental health-related issues and subsequently suffer because of it.
But, over the few years, especially post the pandemic, the importance of mental health has become more serious than before. Going through such a pandemic, many have realized how difficult things can get mentally and how one needs to put more effort into self-care and understand to tend to the symptoms if any. With the overall acceptance of mental health growing, many people can seek help and work on their well-being. Though it’s a long journey ahead, the growth in discussions and talks about mental health, especially in our country, is a positive sign and hopefully will keep getting better with time.