The overall mental health of any individual greatly depends on their psychological and emotional wellbeing. Everybody is well informed about their own physical health but they rarely take care of their mental health as the symptoms are not easy to differentiate.
According to studies 20% of adolescents have a diagnosable mental disorders, one in four adults suffers from a mental illness. Not to mention that suicide is the third leading cause in death too. Hence to create a sense of awareness about mental problems and to counter the misconceptions, the month of May has been observed as mental health awareness month since 1949.
Why is mental health so vital?
Mental health plays a vital role in overall wellbeing of a person. Instable mental health adversely affects the person’s decision making ability, ability to grab opportunities and ability to perform responsibilities towards family, friends, workplace and community. Physical health is highly dependent on mental health. A good mental health involves a sense of happiness, confidence, self-esteem and it renders a sense of contentment. The positive mind-set helps people to form positive relationships to evolve one’s potential and make them ready for challenges.
Categories of mental ailment
Mental problems or mental illness occurs due to the complex interactions or imbalances occurring between body, mind and environment. It affects people from all walks of life. It ranges from small worries to severe long term ailments. The five major categories of mental ailments are as follows.
Anxiety disorders: These are inability to control the normal routine functioning due to the excessive anxiety. It includes phobias, panic attacks, post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and generalized anxiety disorder.
Mood disorders: These are caused when people lose quest of living. This involves severe depression, dysthymia and bipolar disorder or manic-depression. Suicide is the most dreaded complication of mood disorders.
Schizophrenia: It is a life threatening brain ailment which is caused by chemical imbalance in the brain leading to hallucination, delusions, slurred speech and impaired reasoning.
Dementia: It is characterized by memory loss and abrupt physical functioning caused due to drug abuse, alcohol abuse, inhalants, toxin exposure and some medical conditions like HIV, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, head trauma and vascular dementia.
Eating disorders: These are caused due to abnormal eating behavior like extreme reduction of food intake or extreme overeating. The three major eating disorders are anorexia nervosa (self-starvation), bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder or uncontrolled consumption of food.
Factors which cause mental illness
– Severe acute stress
– Biological factors like genetics and hormones
– Low confidence, low self-esteem and negative thinking
– Social factors like isolation, financial problems, and family problems.
How to achieve good mental health?
Creatingawareness for mental ailmentsis a key step towards achieving a good mental health as it is said, prevention is better than cure.A good mental health is subjected to the person’s ability to take out different activities and vital functions involving ability to express, feel and manage positive and negative thoughts or emotions, ability to learn, ability to socialize and ability to cope with most difficult situations, unwanted changes and uncertainty of the life.
Follow some simple steps
– Keep yourself physically and mentally active with the help of exercise, yog-aasana, proper sleep, meditation, reki and vipashyana.
– Eat healthy and nutritious food since some food items such as caffeine, sugar, and alcohol may have long lasting adverse effect on the mind.
– Be socially active. Meet friends and family at regular intervals as it gives a sense of security.
– Take some time off from the work to rejuvenate body and mind.
– Try to develop some hobbies that may boost self-confidence and self-esteem.
– Accept yourself with the flaws as no one is perfect in this world.
– Consume magnesium-rich foods like seeds, nuts (pumpkin, sunflower and sesame seed, almonds and cashews), beans and legumes (black beans, navy beans, soybeans), leafy vegetables (spinach, kale, Swiss chard, and collard greens) and whole grains to boost the mood.
– Vitamin C may control symptoms of depression. Eat citrus fruits, strawberries, melons, pineapple, berries, bell peppers, tomatoes and leafy vegetables.