Mental Health – An Immediate Need

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Written by Niharikaa Mehta

With the given circumstances, mental health has become the talk of the hour. Compared to the previous decade, there has been a surge in mental health awareness and the need for mental health counseling. However, this does not deny that physical and mental health is still not on par with each other. We quickly rush to the hospital if we experience chest pain or pop in pills for high BP, high cholesterol, and diabetes. But we are reluctant to seek treatment for mental health issues. Emotional stress and other mental disorders are a major contributing factor to all of these physical illnesses. 

Mental health and well-being are, by far, one of the most neglected areas in our country. According to a recent National Mental Health Survey, approximately 150 million people in India need care for their mental health condition. The same survey also discovered that between 70 and 92 percent of these cases failed to receive treatment. The World Health Organisation says India has the highest number of teenage suicide rates globally. 

According to WHO, mental health is defined as mental well-being in which an individual:

  • Realizes his or her own abilities,
  • Can cope with the normal stresses of life,
  • Can work productively, and
  • Can contribute to his or her community.

How our mental health affects us?

Our mental health influences how you think, feel, and behave in daily life. It also affects your ability to:

  • Cope with stress,
  • Overcome challenges,
  • Build relationships, and
  • Recover from life’s setbacks and hardships.

Just as we need a fit and healthy body, we also need a fit and healthy brain to function. Various mental health disorders limit our daily functioning and productivity in many aspects, such as:

  • Physical,
  • Academic,
  • Social, etc.

Go back to the time you feel a little low or sad because of something. Can you be productive at these times? Do you like to interact with people, go out with friends? Most of us would answer with a no. Further, it is also seen that having some emotional care has always been helpful. 

Our state of mental health determines our varied abilities. 

It governs how we handle stress:

Turning out to be mindful of our body and its reactions to various stressors and how one processes it, plays an essential role in the stability of our mental health. It implies you are bound to determine the issue instead of letting it develop to where it gets unmanageable and keeps you up around evening time. Carrying on with a decent way of life with reliable methods for dealing with stress can prepare you to adapt to extra stressors throughout your life. For example, exercise, perusing, and investing energy with companions or family, 

It affects your physical health: 

Just as a physical health condition such as chronic pain or an ongoing injury can affect our mental health (mood, anxiety, motivation), mental health can also affect our physical health. Symptoms of depression include

  • Fatigue,
  • Insomnia, and
  • Increased sensitivity to pain due to the lowered mood experienced.

Various research has shown that negative mood leads to deterioration of the immune system, making the individual more susceptible to illness. 

It can impact relationships with your family and social circle. Mental illness can cause us to withdraw socially and emotionally from friends and family, placing tension or uncertainty around our lives. One may not know it, but it can have a significant effect on our family’s health and ourselves as we both struggle to understand what is happening in our lives. 

It can increase or decrease our motivation:

On days when we wake up well-rested and full of energy, we feel we can achieve anything and go through our day, checking off challenges with ease. Of course, everyone has days where they feel unmotivated, tired, feel like lazing around. At the point when these days begin increasingly visiting us, we may start discovering its influences:

  • How hard we train,
  • How hard the amount we study, or
  • We may see a decline in fixation at work, school, sport. 

Changes how we view ourselves:

With the loss of ability to focus on our daily chores and activities, our self-efficacy is questioned. Adittionlay, this leads to the loss of self-esteem. It refers to the ability to like, admire, and value yourself. Self-esteem impacts how you take care of yourself, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. The issue with negative thinking and feelings is that once people start to focus on shortcomings or problems in one area or one situation, it becomes effortless to see problems in many other areas or situations. Lower the self-esteem, the higher the susceptibility to mental or physical illness. 

Therefore, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that mental health impacts all aspects of our lives. Taking care of your mental health is like an investment. We invest in our well-being to master the different needs in our lives, leading to personal growth. Moreover, it is also an investment for our financial needs. If we are not mentally able to perform and stay productive to earn finances, we would certainly be economically dependent. Hence countries like India having massive human power still lacks in the development of the economy. It is needed that the government of such nations then focus on their citizens’ mental health to increase their personal and professional growth. 

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