“There is a crack in everything, that is how the light gets in”
– this affirming quote by Leonard Cohen is so fitting in a world that is highly overwhelmed by problems of different kinds & avows the validity of Mental Health Month (May) which was publicly declared by the MHA(Mental Health America) during the 1940s, in an effort to educate the world about mental illness, as it affects over 970 million people globally(According to WHO). To commemorate the said event, this particular piece serves as an illumination of mental health, intends to demystify the different kinds of mental illnesses that exist & strives to debunk the myths that surround them.
Basically, mental health refers to the preservation of one’s holistic robustness; this includes our psychological, emotional & social well-being. All these aspects of our being ought to be taken care of continually if we are to lead victorious & balanced lives. The negligence thereof can yield virulent results – an antithesis of wellness called “Mental illness”, causing the manner in which we respond to stress, behave & relate to other people, being negatively affected. ”. While this medical condition affects both men & women, the former usually find themselves at the edgiest end of the emotional spectrum. The Societal teachings & standards that men ought to be tough are detrimental; this stigma further invites reluctance to seek help. This then further prods men to filter their emotions & not display an ounce of weakness as their manhood will be questioned, analyzed & evaluated. It has been reported that women are more likely to have been treated for a mental health problem than men. The truth of the matter is, mental illness does not discriminate, it affects both genders. This realization can amplify the chances of identifying & helping all individuals that are in need.
There are multiple, underlying factors that can be attributed to the presence of this medical condition. These are some of the most common ones, what they are, their causes & possible solutions :
- Depression: More often than not, people who suffer from depression are labelled as “dramatic” & their situation abated to just “sadness”. In actual fact, it is a mood disorder that completely affects the way you feel, think & behave. It is characterized by sadness, tiredness, low-self worth & poor concentration. Harrowing life events is its common cause.
Treatment: Visiting a health professional for diagnosis is the first step. Usually, a patient is prescribed medication to help remodel their brain chemistry. This is performed in accordance with the severity of each patient.
- Anxiety: This illness has been taboo for years. Admission of being its victim is often misinterpreted by society as an exaggeration. “Just think positively”, “Get over it” are some of the adverse statements that “anxious-people” receive. Anxiety refrains you from doing simple tasks because you find yourself overly nervous than an average person. Genetic & environmental spheres are its common roots.
Treatment: There is no quick fix around it. Constantly pitching up to therapy sessions, consuming medication (sedatives) & doing meditations is pivotal to alleviate anxiety’s effects.
- Bipolar Disorder: This is a rollercoaster of heterogeneous emotions and moods. Bipolar can cause extreme disruptions to a person’s everyday life. Sudden mood changes & fickle energy levels are the agonizing experiences that someone with bipolar goes through. In addition to this, some people have delusions & hallucinations. This can threaten their relationships, especially when their associates are in the dark about or do not fully understand their situation.
Treatment: Treating bipolar is usually lifelong & involves
Psychotherapy, counselling & medication. This is done to control symptoms.
What mental health urgently needs is more sunlight, openness & more unashamed conversations. Showing mentally ill people acceptance can assure them that they are also human & their feelings are valid, not just this month but continuously. In support of this: Educate yourself further, lead with copious kindness & unconditional love.