Mental health illness is related to a mental and emotional condition of a person. Good mental health defines balanced mind, confidence and self-esteem of an individual. Whereas a mental illness is a problem that significantly affects a persons thinking, and reaction to anything.
Metal illness could vary in two different types, common mental illnesses and severe mental illnesses. It can range from psychosis– which is a chemical imbalance in the human body to neurosis – which is behavioral issue or poor attitude during the growing years.
Condition (Common Mental Illness):
Bipolar disorder (Manic depression)
Condition (Severe Mental Health Illnesses):
As per sources 1 in every 6 individuals suffers from mental health illness issues with different symptoms. 51% of mental health conditions begin by age 14 to 15 and 76% of mental health conditions develop by age 25. Mental Health condition could be triggered by many factors. Complex interconnection between mind, body and environment can result psychological disorders. Issues like long term acute stress, biological factors, drug abuse and overdose, low energy, negative thoughts, also social problems like breakdowns, isolation, financial problems etc.
Continuous negative thoughts including a preoccupation with suicide or death
Low energy levels
Difficulty in concentrating
want to pass time alone
Inappropriate behavior: extreme sadness or anger
According to a source from National Health program by the Ministry of health and family welfare, 5% of Kerala population has mental disorders. 1 in a 6 has some emotional and behavioral issues. Near to 61 to 69 million people in India suffer from common and severe mental disorders. Every year over 2.6 lakh cases of suicide happens in India. Average suicide rate in India is 10.9 for every lakh people shared by WHO statistics.
According to the WHO, India was ranked 41st in the world for its suicide rate in 2019. In 2021, the country saw a suicide rate of 12 per 100,000 people, marking the highest rate of suicides since 1967.
In the same year, India recorded 1,64,033 deaths by suicide, reflecting a 7.2% increase from the previous year. The data for 2022 revealed over 48,000 female suicides and more than 122,000 male suicides. The suicidal death rate (SDR) among men in 2021 was 34.6%, significantly higher than the rate among women, which stood at 13.1%.
In response to these alarming statistics, India introduced its National Suicide Prevention Strategy (NSPS) in 2022, the country's first policy aimed at prioritizing suicide prevention as a public health concern. The NSPS aims to reduce suicide mortality by 10% by 2030 compared to the levels in 2020.
Why this is happening or reason behind this,
Lack of help: We have just 43 state-run mental health hospitals or institutions or care centers across the country. 3700 psychiatrists available as against of 11,400; 899 clinical psychologists as against the requirement 17255, 851 psychiatric social workers as against 23001, 1502 psychiatric nurses as against 3001. Which mean there is only one psychiatrist for three to four lakh Indians and only 1,025 college seats for mental health professionals are set aside in India.
Ignorance: Knowledge and awareness is very important, avoid using words like mad or pagal casually. Try to use sophisticated terms to describe someone who is not fit mentally, ignorance and lack of awareness discourages people who are suffering to speak up and reach out for help.
No insurance for Mental Health Condition: Companies does not provide medical insurance to people who are admitted to hospitals for mental health condition. People can not afford to go in good hospitals for the same reason.
Dealing with mental health issues can be tough, but there are ways to cope and get through it. Here's how:
Talk to Someone: Sharing your feelings with a trusted friend or family member can lighten the burden. Sometimes, just talking about what's bothering you can make a big difference.
Seek Professional Help: If you're experiencing signs or symptoms of a mental illness, it's important to see a healthcare provider or a mental health professional. They can provide you with the right guidance and support.
Get Treatment: Medications prescribed by a psychiatrist can help manage symptoms, but they're not a cure. It's important to continue with therapy and other treatments as recommended.
Self-Help Techniques: Taking care of your body and mind can improve your mental health. Try activities like exercise, meditation, and spending time outdoors. Eating well, getting enough sleep, and staying active are also important.
Support Someone: If you know someone struggling with mental illness, be there for them. Listen without judgment, offer reassurance, and ask them what they need.
Deal with Stigma: Mental illness is often surrounded by stigma, which can make it harder to seek help. Remember, having a mental illness doesn't define who you are. Speak out against stigma and seek support from others who understand.
Remember, most mental illnesses don't go away on their own. Seeking help and support is the first step towards feeling better.
Impact of Pandemic:
India was not really in a good position if we talk handling mental health, It was made even worse by the COVID-19 pandemic. Why that?
Overwork overtime, complete disruption of work-life balance
Social distance due to the infection
long periods of isolation
Mental pressure due to covid situation
Less interaction with family members for front line workers
Loss of job
Alcohol and substance abuse due to stress
Fear of the unknown
Above mentioned points made it really critical for already unaddressed mental health existing in India. This is true for some individual this pandemic presented a great opportunity in the form of work from culture to spend time with family , although this benefit was not for all who wanted to avail the same.
The negative impact of the pandemic created anxiety, depression, also tendency to commit suicide in some cases.
Like to mention that significant efforts were taken by the government to raise awareness and address issues to overcome the fear and stigma. Programs like National Mental Health Program, District Mental Health Program, National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro-Sciences and Central Institute of Psychiatry encouraged people to take assistance with the help of the national helpline number when needed.
Needless to mention that the pandemic has been really tough on each and everyone as it make us learn the gaps in our lives also presented many new unforeseen challenges.
With the right kind of support, right medication with right guidance is also important and for neurosis illness, good counselling, love and support from family and society plays a critical role. Identifying these problems at an early stage is very important for right treatment and guidance.