Before reading this article, I would like you to rate yourself on a scale on 1 to 10 (1 being least likely and 10 being most likely) on three things.
- First, the likelihood that you will seek treatment for physical health problems.
- Second, what are the chances of you engaging in spiritual practices when something goes terribly wrong in your life?
- Finally, the likelihood of you seeking help from a mental professional for an emotional, behavioural or mental issue.
In our experience, most people who do this activity have the lowest rating on the third scale. If you are one of them, you must read this article. In case you are one of those few who have rated yourself high on the third scale, congratulations! You must share this article with others who may not understand the importance of mental health.
We humans, function in three ways:
- Spiritually and
All three are equally important.
Consider this, when people have physical problems, most people go to the doctor for a medical check-up. They get their blood pressure, temperature and weight measured. They also opt for a blood test to check for issues with cholesterol, blood sugars, thyroid, iron levels, electrolytes and other measures.
When it comes to spirituality, India has always attracted a huge number of people from different countries across because of its spiritual and mystical charm. From practising yoga or meditation to visiting some religious gurus to perform some religious pujas, people are actively engaged in spiritual practices to solve problems.
But what about mental health?
What happens when someone shows signs of mental discomfort?
Most of us ignore the signs either consciously or unconsciously. What we don’t realize is that mental health, in fact, can have a major influence on our life!
Effects of mental illness on daily life
- Daily work gets affected
Think of a person who is having serious anxiety issues or a lot of stress. The person may have difficulty sleeping, focusing on work and difficulty in doing simple chores.
Think of a time when you were under a lot of stress. Ask this to yourself, how do you perform when you are under extreme stress and compare it to when you are not too stressed?
Mental health problems tend to kill your level of productivity. If one is simply not in the right mental state, he/she won’t be able to perform effectively at work. Would he/she?
- Family life gets affected
Having mental disorders can also affect family and other aspects of a person’s life. Imagine how much patience would it take to deal with someone who has a mood disorder or anxiety issues.There are chances of family life becoming unsettled and unpredictable as the needs of the ill become paramount.
Dealing with a family member who has a mood disorder or anxiety can also take a lot of effort on family members and can also be very exhausting. Dealing with the daily distortions in thinking and behaviour, frequent medical appointments, added time and expenses devoted to the individual could make things more complicated.
- Creates psychosomatic symptoms
Have you ever been in a situation where you felt extreme pain in any part of your body but were not able to find a single trace of actual physical symptoms?Do you know of someone who suffers from constant headache or pain in any part of the body?
While such pain may not necessarily have any physical reason but may actually originate from some emotional or stress-related issues. Such illness is called “Psychosomatic Illness”.Compare your body to a pressure cooker. Given a chance to vent its steam, it will sit there and happily cook along. If it’s not allowed to vent its steam, the pressure will build up till the lid blows off. Now, let’s say you have a cooker under pressure, but you’re applying pressure to hold that lid on (the human equivalent would be holding in your emotions). What will happen? Eventually, the vessel will break at its weakest point.
The same goes for people. If one of your body systems is weakened, this is where a stress-related illness is most likely to develop. If your weakest point physically is your neck, you’ll probably develop neck pains. Or back pain. Or ulcers. Or frequent colds and flu.
You get the picture, don’t you?
Such Psychosomatic illnesses stem from emotional stress or damaging thought patterns and seem to progress with physical symptoms, usually when a person’s immune system is compromised due to stress. Such psychosomatic conditions are real and need to be dealt with immediately just like any other physical illness!
- Affects spiritual practices
Have you come across people who constantly suggest going for a meditation camp when you are under stress or anxiety?But isn’t is difficult for one to meditate peacefully when he/she is already in the state of anxiety or depression or stress?
Most of the thoughts and emotions that people have during such mental states are self-depleting. Now imagine what will happen when one will sit for meditation with all such self-depleting thoughts and emotions? They are likely to get more intensified! Which is not to say that meditation is bad. All one needs to do is do the right kind of meditation with the right kind of guidance. And most importantly, one needs to deal with those bothering thoughts and emotions if one wants meditation to work perfectly for him/her.
For all the conditions mentioned above, it is very important to deal with any kind of mental issue. Living a mentally stable life or at least knowing how to live it, can help one to have a happier and peaceful life. But what exactly do I mean by mental health? Is there a difference between mental health and mental illness? What is the current scenario of India when it comes to mental health? Stay tuned for my next article as I will unleash answers to these questions!