Mental illness can affect anyone regardless of race, gender, culture, age, ethnicity, or sexual orientation. Due to the stigma that is associated with mental health and due to the invisibility of its symptoms, people hesitate to reach out for the help that they need until the problem reaches a crisis point. As a result, many lives are spent in silent suffering.

Reaching out for help when you feel the need or you spot someone in need for help can make a major difference. Talking to your family members, friends, mental health specialists such as a psychiatrist or psychologists can be great way to start out when taking control of your mental health. Some of the most common and frequently reported mental illnesses include depression, anxiety, dementia, eating disorders, Schizophrenia  and bipolar disorder.

Depression is the most common and underdiagnosed mental health issue and number one cause of disability worldwide. With delayed or no recognition at all, it is becoming the most significant contributors to the global burden of disease, greatly impacting individuals and their families mentally, physically, socially, and financially.

With so much stress around us and the increasing negativity resulting in suicides, it is high time that all of us become more sensitive towards the concept of mental health. Here are a few signs to look for that may indicate mental  health problems-

  1. Sudden abnormal eating or sleeping patterns
  2. Recent onset withdrawing from people and typical activities
  3. A Significant decrease in energy
  4. Feelings of helplessness or hopelessness
  5. Feeling confused, forgetful, angry, nervous, or on edge
  6. An inability to do daily tasks
  7. Severe mood swings
  8. Thoughts of self-harm
  9. Significant increase in drug or alcohol intake.

If any of the above are spotted, here are a few tips that can help

  1. Reach out to a trusted family member- talking and letting things out can help a lot.
  2. Visiting a trained professional such as a psychologist, counsellor or a psychiatrist at the right time can have drastic and good results.
  3. Eating right, exercising, working on your sleep and ruling out other health issues as cause of mental health disturbance can help.

If you spot someone else having the above symptoms, then here is what you can do for them

  1. Encourage them to talk.
  2. Assure, explain and educate them that help is available.
  3. Help reduce the stigma and negativity around mental health problems.

– Dr.Afroze Fatima

References

https://themighty.com/2017/05/why-reaching-out-is-important-when-you-have-a-mental-illness/

https://www.augustahealth.com/community-outreach/the-importance-of-mental-health

https://www.bupahealthierworkplaces.com.au/employee/the-benefits-of-reaching-out/

https://www.ahealthiermichigan.org/2018/03/09/importance-speaking-up-mental-health-struggles/

https://www.missmalini.com/2018/07/04/10-helplines-in-india-for-those-battling-depression-other-mental-health-issues/

https://www.shethepeople.tv/news/mental-health-helplines-in-india-are-far-from-sufficient

http://vandrevalafoundation.com/indian_mental_health_initiative.html

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5479084/

 

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