I felt as though I had my breath knocked out of me because my friend who had just been told recently by both a clinical psychologist and psychiatric that she had bipolar disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. Dealing with the stigma of mental illness seemed unbearable and oppressive.
It took a long time to come to terms with this situation. But I understand clearly that I had to focus on supporting my friend.
If you or someone you love or know was diagnosed with a mental disorder, how would you feel? Thankfully nowadays, mental illness can be treated. Let us examine a few things you should know that will give you an appropriate and better understanding of mental disorders.
“Mental disorders afflict hundreds of millions of people in every part of the world and impact on the lives of their loved ones. One in four people will be affected by mental disorder at some point in their lives. Depression is the single largest contributor to worldwide disability. Schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are among the most severe and disabling disorders. . . . Although huge numbers of people are affected, mental disorders remain hidden, neglected and discriminated against.” — World Health Organization (WHO).
According to WHO, millions of human beings with mental illness stop themselves from seeking treatment because of the stigma associated with it.
Although most mental disorders are treatable. In the United States of America, approximately 60 percent of adults and almost 50 percent of youths aged 8 to 15 with a mental disorder did not receive treatment in the past year, reports the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
What exactly is a mental illness? Medical and psychological experts define a mental disorder as a significant dysfunction in an individual’s behavior, emotional control, and thinking. The condition often disrupts a person’s ability to relate to others and to deal with the demands of life.
Mental-health disorders are not the result of character flaws or personal weakness.
The seriousness and gravity of symptoms can vary in length and intensity, depending on the individual and the particular ailment, circumstances, and environments. It can affect people of any age, age, culture, gender, race, religion, or educational and income level. Through appropriate and proper medical care and counseling, individuals can be treated and can live a productive and fulfilling life.
Mental health professionals such as psychiatric, clinical psychologists, and psychopharmacologists can treat most mental-health disorders correctly and successfully. The first crucial and primary step, then, is to obtain a thorough assessment from a competent health professional who is experienced and licensed in treating mental conditions.
However, you can benefit from such experience only when you accept suitable treatment. This requires you overcoming any reluctance to talk to others about your mental illness. Treatment may include talking to trained and licensed mental health professionals who can help you understand your illness, resolve practical problems, and then reinforce the need not to give up the proper treatment. At such consultations, a family member or friend can play an important role by providing love, reassurance, and support.
Many educated and uneducated people have learned to deal with mental disorders after acquiring a proper understanding of their condition and following the treatment prescribed by mental-health professionals. Before my mother was diagnosed with mental disorders I had little understanding of the mental illness in India. But I have learned to take life one step at a time and adapt to the situation. Gradually over time, I have benefited from the support of reliable professionals as well as few family members and friends.
The first crucial and primary step is to obtain a proper and thorough medical assessment from a competent mental health professional.
In beginning suffers will feel that the diagnosis is like a prison sentence. But even though their illness places limitations on them. But many have learned that seemingly impossible and intolerable hurdles can be overcome. So they cope with their mental illness by working together with their treatment team, nurturing healthy and good relationships with others, and taking one moment at a time.
“There are times when the feeling of panic makes some activities seem difficult, and there are days when I can’t even concentrate well enough to read. At other times, the thick darkness of depression makes me avoid contact with others, even family members and good friends. Some good and caring people try to help by suggesting that conditions and situations will get better soon or that things aren’t as bad as I think they are. Others tell me to look on the other side of life, which is more brightest. But I have tried to do that many time day and night! Even though comments like these are well-meant, they simply increase the feelings of inadequacy, failure, and guilt I already experience.” — Kenny Mary, India.
- Follow the treatment prescribed by qualified and licensed mental health professionals.
- Maintain a balanced and stable everyday routine.
- Stay physically active as per your convenience.
- Get enough sleep of 6 hours per day.
- Take time every day to calm and lie down.
- Eat a balanced and nutritious diet.
- Stop alcohol consumption and medical drugs or illegal drugs that are not prescribed for you.
- Spend time with people whom you trust and who care for you. Avoid isolation.