Mental Health is spoken about everywhere, be it in school, colleges, families and for that matter even the makers of Bollywood and Hollywood films.
In fact, the latest blockbuster movie Chichhore’s plot circled around how untreated anxiety in children can lead to dire consequences. Seven seas across the controversial Joker movie also talks about the forms depression can take. The person suffering is completely clueless. Like Joker quotes “Is it just me or is it getting crazier out there?”
What do you think is mental health really important in your lives?
What is Mental illness or Mental health Disorder?
Mental health includes our emotional, psychological and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices.
Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.
Mental illness, also called mental health disorders, refers to a wide range of mental health conditions — disorders that affect your mood, thinking and behavior.
Examples of mental illness include depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, eating disorders and addictive behaviors
Approach towards Emotional needs
If you ask me I would say Emotional development is the most important aspect of our lives. With regards to children, I have often noticed that parents want their children to excel in academics, they want their kids to be social and speak well.
All parents want that their children must excel in sports. However how does that child feel emotionally is often kept at backseat.
Same way during my session I come across so many parents who themselves say that they feel need to undergo counselling or therapies but somehow, they don’t get support from their family.
Mental health statistics
It is very sad to know that 300 million people worldwide are suffering from depression. Depression and bad mental health have been ignored as a serious issue since ages. But, do you know, depression can also lead to death if it gets worst?
As per India Today 2018 A study reported in WHO, conducted for the NCMH (National Care Of Medical Health), states that at least 6.5 per cent of the Indian population suffers from some form of the serious mental disorder, with no discernible rural-urban differences. Though there are effective measures and treatments, there is an extreme shortage of mental health workers like psychologists, psychiatrists, and doctors. As reported latest in 2014, it was as low as ”one in 100,000 people”.
The average suicide rate in India is 10.9 for every lakh people and the majority of people who commit suicide are below 44 years of age.
People with emotional imbalance are considered weak
This is a common myth that people are considered weak and looked down if they say they need emotional help.
When you or child get hurt physically you tend to tell people even whom you don’t know so well. But when you have an emotional downfall you will think twice even before telling your close family and friends.
That is because you get scared of being judge. Also, if someone who confesses about his or her own emotional needs you tend to judge them. We all are emotional beings yet many of us feel scared to acknowledge when something triggers our emotions.
How to nurture Mental Health in children and youth?
Mental health is the way children think or feel about themselves and the world around them. It’s related to how children cope with life’s challenges and stresses. Following are few tips that you can promote in life of children and youth
- Building positive self esteem
- Listen, and respect their feelings
- Create a safe, positive home environment
- Let them know they belong to the family
- Show them how to manage stress
- Mindful Parenting
Warning signs that your child might have a mental health condition include:
Learning about developing symptoms, or early warning signs, and taking action can help. Early intervention can help reduce the severity of an illness. It may even be possible to delay or prevent a major mental illness altogether. Young children may benefit from an evaluation and treatment if they:
- Have frequent tantrums or are very irritable much of the time
- Often talk about fears or worries
- Complain about frequent stomach-aches or headaches with no known medical cause
- Are in constant motion and cannot sit quietly (except when they are watching videos or playing video games)
- Sleep too much or too little, have frequent nightmares, or seem sleepy during the day
- Are not interested in playing with other children or have difficulty making friends
- Struggle academically or have experienced a recent decline in grades
- Repeat actions or check things many times out of fear that something bad may happen
Older children and adolescents may benefit from an evaluation if they:
- Have lost interest in things that they used to enjoy
- Have low energy
- Sleep too much or too little, or seem sleepy throughout the day
- Spending more and more time alone all of sudden, and avoid social activities with friends or family
- Fear gaining weight, or diet or exercise excessively
- Engage in self-harm behaviors (e.g., cutting or burning their skin)
- Smoke, drink, or use drugs
- Engage in risky or destructive behavior alone or with friends
- Have thoughts of suicide
- Say that they think someone is trying to control their mind or that they hear things that other people cannot hear
- Look for feelings of sadness or withdrawal that last at least two weeks or severe mood swings that cause problems in relationships at home or school.
- Sometimes a mental health condition leads to self-injury, also called self-harm. This is the act of deliberately harming your own body, such as cutting or burning yourself
When do you as an adult need to visit a mental health professional?
If several of the following are occurring, it may useful to follow up with a mental health professional.
- Sleep and appetite changes dramatically or decline in personal care
- Rapid shifts in emotions or depressed feelings
- Recent social withdrawal and loss of interest in activities previously enjoyed
- An unusual drop in functioning, at work or social activities or difficulty performing familiar tasks
- Problems with concentration, memory or logical thought and speech that are hard to explain
- Delicate sensitivity to sights, sounds, smells or touch; avoidance of over-stimulating situations
- Loss of initiative or desire to participate in any activity
- A vague feeling of being disconnected from oneself or one’s surroundings; a sense of unreality
- Illogical thinking -illogical or “magical” thinking typical of childhood in an adult
- Fear or suspect others too frequently
- Unusual behavior
- Undue attention seeking behavior
- Too much belief in superstitious or religious activities to solve problems of life
One or two of these symptoms alone can’t predict a mental illness but may indicate a need for further evaluation. If a person is experiencing several at one time and the symptoms are causing serious problems in the ability to study, work or relate to others, he/she should be seen by a physician or mental health professional. People with suicidal thoughts or intent, or thoughts of harming others, need immediate attention.
Importance of Mental illness
We teach children how to celebrate success however we fail to give them examples of how to cope up with failure. Similarly, these days all children are undergoing pressure to prove themselves hence they tend to forget to live happily.
We as parents must teach our children to be happy only then they will be able to cope up with all sort of stress and difficulties in their lives.
Usually if a personality Is not rectified in young age then it leads to some serious threat when that same child grows into adult.
Today is World mental Health Day and my only request is that please give equal attention to your mental health like you give your physical health.
Let’s connect with each other and extend with all those who need emotional support.
Please share your views about how important is Mental Health in your lives? If you wish to conduct sessions on emotional hygiene at your work place or for any group please feel free to contact us on our email ID.