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Sound mental health is the hallmark of a healthy life. It encompasses the emotional, social and psychological welfare and corresponds to the ability of an individual to withstand pressure and optimistically contribute toward life. If mental health strikes out of balance, an individual suffers in unimaginable ways from abrupt sleeping, thinking and eating patterns, fatigue, mood swings, tantrums, restricted productiveness and social withdrawal.

In the current digital era where everything seems to be revolving around awe-inspiring harmony and thought-provoking portrayal of science, almost every one of us is rendered battling with emotional struggles and inner turmoil. Our constant inclination to seek perfection in this journey of relentlessly attempting to be extraordinary at all things to satiate our desires may make us vulnerable,

and exalt us with mental illnesses i.e., depression, anxiety, Attention Deficit Hypersensitivity Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, Impulse Control Disorder or a feeling of being deprived, unworthy and suicidal.

 

According to the United Nations` Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) report, mental health disorders are estimated to affect one in four people globally throughout their entire life & millions get affected annually. Unfortunately, mental health does not hold superiority over physical health and remains the most ignored aspect in terms of medical education, budgeting and practice.

 

When a person is drowned in depression, it may not only impair his physical being but leaves him at a crisis with his practical aspects of life as well. Poor mental health poses uncertainty in terms of handling work or academic pressure, hence producing compromised outcomes, lack of focus, increased absentees from school or work, and a longing for solitude owing to the deteriorated social relationships subsequently springing from the mental illness inflicted behavior as new normality. Studies suggest that people with depression are twice as likely to smoke as other people. Depression affects the immune system by suppressing the T-cell activity of the body in response to microbial attacks, hence making your body more prone to sickness and allergies due to a weakened immune system. Furthermore, anxiety and depression outbursts negatively influence your coronary health and are related to a reduced life expectancy with an estimated drop of 15 to 20 years in life.

 

Depression accounts for a lack of productivity in the workplace that costs USD 1 trillion per year (WHO), hence resulting in financial instability. The majority of the societal working stratum suffering from mental health complications/depression consequently paves a way to a colossal economic depression of a country. Therefore awareness of mental health treatments is crucial as it reflects the wellness and stability of an individual.

 

Mental health recovery harbors self-management to confront the perilous influence of mental illness upon one’s life, the identification of social events that trigger your acute psychotic episode and the cultivation of optimism to fuel the positivity in life using social support. Mental illnesses often stem from childhood abuse, traumatic events, alcoholism, drug misuse, genetic factors, abnormal work or study pressure, isolation, social incidents, grief or any kind of loss. The treatment includes medications (antipsychotics, benzodiazepines, antidepressants and mood stabilizers), counseling, family intervention, therapies (psychotherapy, cognitive behavior therapy, cognitive analytical therapy, dialectical behavior therapy or creative therapies like art and drama) and conventional practices like meditation, massage and other relaxation techniques along with self-care, a solidified sleep schedule, a good diet, workout and keeping boundaries with things that worsen your condition.

 

According to WHO, Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. Despite mental being one of the major aspect of a healthy state, it is often the most ignored one. The stigmatization of mental disorders arises from the societal disapproval, mockery and shame associated with it, thus creating a dire need for the public to comprehend the nature of the mental illnesses. It is also a chief barrier in accessing treatment as approximately two-thirds of the people with mental health conditions do not seek help. Therefore, evaluating by the breadcrumbs so far, it can certainly be established that sufficient measures, including anti-stigma intervention programs and strong support facilities, should be implemented to treat mental illnesses because mental health is indeed a human right.

 

In this time of pandemic and that coming afterwards, mental health is needed so much more than ever. So, we Ahmad & Ayesha urge you to prioritize mental health because it is worthier than that test or that meeting you are stressing over. Love!

 

 

Authors:

Ahmad Umama Jafri- Government Medical College, Badaun

Ayesha Em Ayaz – Rama Medical College, Kanpur


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