Before knowing about its importance, it is necessary to know what mental health exactly. Mental health involves emotional, psychological, and social well-being. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) mental health is, "... a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community." How we handle stress, interact with others and our own feelings and actions are all guided by our mental health. Mental health is just as important as physical health. We need to know how to cope with the problems of life!
A topic which is closely tied to mental health is mental illness. A mental illness is a disorder that results in mild to severe disturbances in thought and/or behavior, resulting in trouble in carrying out everyday tasks. Different factors, like environmental stressors, genetic factors, biochemical imbalances, or a combination of these are responsible for the development of the same. By being aware of and giving proper treatment many individuals learn to cope or recover from a mental illness or emotional disorder.
There are more than 200 classified forms of mental illness, common disorders being depression, bipolar disorder, dementia, schizophrenia and anxiety disorders. Many psychological terms are casually misused in our daily interactions. OCD, depression, bipolar are such examples. Most fail to realize how serious and fragile these terms and topics are and are thus ignorant.
Knowing about mental health eliminates the stigma surrounding this topic. If someone close to us was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, we wouldn’t go around calling that person “crazy” or “an attention seeker”. We would try to know more about what the disorder is and what its treatments are. Many think that the people suffering are either lazy or just “faking” it. Explanations for such illnesses are either that they are crazy, or are possessed by demons, violent, out of control and unsafe. This present stigma needs to change immediately.
Not only do we need to know about it to learn more about how to take care of ourselves and also our family, but also to educate the other ignorant people. Prevention is better than cure! Such awareness increases the chances for early intervention, which can prevent things from blowing out of proportion. As humans it is our duty to take care of each other, to try to understand others and empathise with them. By spreading love and support we can lessen the suffering of not only ourselves but also of others.
A certain level of stress is important. It drives us to finish our tasks and accomplish our goals. However, too much of anything is not good. Thus, one should be aware of their limits, and give themselves mental health breaks at regular intervals. Not only will it result in feeling less burdened with life, a positive mental attitude will grow too!