Why Mental Health is not something to be ignored?

Sushant Singh Rajput’s death due to suicide speaks volumes on why mental health is important. According to reports, it is believed that he was suffering from depression for the last six months and was consulting a psychiatrist. Many celebrities have come forward and talked on how society needs to take mental health as seriously as physical health, without waiting for a moment of crisis.

Researches have said that every 4 minutes, one person commits suicide in India. With the lockdown, situations have become even worse. There is an increase in stress among individuals. Reason being that people are thrown out of their jobs due to financial crunch and they have no money left, no social life, or by overthinking. Not only this, but people are also wondering how to come out of it, there may be post-traumatic stress disorders as well. Staying alone is yet another issue as there is nobody to monitor.

Experts underline that people need to watch out for symptoms for the behavioral pattern that is not normal in themselves or others. Symptoms could be – disrupted sleep pattern, sudden emotional outbursts, change in behavior such as being withdrawn, no urge to ear or overeating, consciously not maintaining hygiene, seeking solace in excessive smoking, drinking, etc.

Though we seem to have progressed as a society, we still lack the openness when it comes to mental health. This block in mind needs a change. Gone are the days when we did not have awareness about mental illness. Just like we can go to the doctor when we are physically sick, we can also go to a psychiatrist/psychologist.

There is also a lot of stigmas attached to mental health that needs to be eradicated. Society has this mindset that strong people cannot get depressed. But depression is like COVID, anyone can get affected by it. It does not come with a clause.

Mental health services in India have been highly inadequate even before the pandemic. With just 4,000 psychiatrists to serve over a billion people, the situation seems difficult to handle. But somehow it needs to be met.

The device that we throw away for our sake of mental health, we need to pick that up, call your loved ones. Sharing our thoughts and feelings always lightens up the mood. There is someone out there to hear you, always, you need to vent it out.

There are small steps that you can take to improve your mental health every day. Things like exercising, eating a balanced diet, opening up others in your life, remembering something you are grateful for, taking a break when you need to, and getting good sleep, can help boost your emotional health.

Being healthy mentally can boost your productivity and effectiveness in work, school, college. It also plays a crucial role in building your relationships and allowing you to adapt to changes.

All to say, when mental health is ultimately recognized as essential to physical health and not an extraneous element of it, then we will have access to real, complete medicine.