Mental health issues range from dangerous issues such as schizophrenia, bipolar to more common problems such as anxiety and depression. There are stages to all of these issues. Like a man with extreme depression may have his life ruined. While many people function normally with mild depression and anxiety. Without ever getting any specific treatments. Anxiety and depression generally are more common and safer issues as people dealing with these may have internal issues. People with schizophrenia and bipolar however can be dangerous. Not only to themselves but to other people due to the mental states that they may inhabit. This may be due to fear or aggression and can have drastic mood swings.

The people dealing with such issues are therefore treated according to the intensity of their issues. However, they are just speculations as these diagnoses do not use diagnostic equipment like brain scans or neurological tests. They are instead diagnosed by conversation by professional psychologists. It is therefore easier to detect major issues however mild issues can often go undetected.

The issue with current diagnostic methods

There is a requirement for more intensive and accurate testing equipment that can scan brain images and chemical levels. So that we can determine the extent of the distress of patients. Mental health issues such as anxiety are very common and many people find their own ways to deal with them. However, some take the wrong path and amplify their issues due to either withdrawal or substance abuse. These are the people that are at risk as they push away people and therefore lose all hope. This tends to further deteriorate their issues. These people may consider suicide and act on it. They believe that their life can not be changed for the better. They avoid going to mental health professionals as it is seen as taboo to go to a psychologist for depression. So to avoid mockery, they push off this major part of their well-being.

The effects of the Lockdown

During the covid lockdown, these issues became worse. Many people that were already dealing with such issues and who lived alone were locked inside with no human contact. Thus increasing their isolation and levels of anxiety and depression. On a more positive note, the lockdown period saw a major increase in the number of online appointments with psychologists. As people were easily able to meet a doctor without having to go for an appointment and risk being seen.

Methods to deal with mental health issues

There are many ways suggested by psychologists to deal with such issues including:

a. Cognitive-behavioral therapy:

This is a One to one conversational therapy. People dealing with issues are encouraged to speak about them. They speak about the effects in a controlled environment with a psychologist. They are given suggestions and tasks so that they can take small steps to reduce the effects. As a consequence people learn, to not become less afraid but to become braver. This is an extremely inspiring and proven fact of therapy. By speaking about our issues, breaking them down with the aid of an advisor. People can realize that they are stronger than they think. Subsequently people can overcome years of anxiety and depression.

b. Self-therapy:

Self-help is suited to people that are dealing with such issues but not having extreme distress. They attempt to control the effects by proactive efforts. Methods of reduction like meditation, physical sports, seeking family support are suggested. People can use them to feel better and learn to coexist with anxiety. By opening up to our friends and using proactive methods we can feel better.

c. Medication:

This is a widely debated method and is sometimes opted out of by people and rightly so. Mental health medications are chemicals that are used to balance out our natural chemicals. They help us feel better by supplying the chemicals that we have a deficiency of. This however can be extremely addicting, as it reduces our bodies’ ability to produce these chemicals. Medication should only be used in extreme conditions. They must be prescribed by a registered doctor. For people that have mild issues, the medication should be avoided. As the addiction to those substances will further substantiate the issues that they were meant to solve.

Initiatives to improve awareness

Awareness about these issues is less than necessary and therefore world mental health day and mental health month are celebrated. Aiming to increase awareness and to support people dealing with such issues. The world mental health day is celebrated on 10th October. It was first celebrated in 1992 initiated by the world federation of mental health. Mental health month in the USA is celebrated in May. It includes the cooperation of media, film, and news cooperation to increase awareness. It was initiated by the American Mental Health organization in 1949.

These organizations also provide helpline numbers for severely depressed individuals to contact. In case they feel like they are suicidal or are planning to kill themselves. They provide coping methods for free and without informing the authorities. Therefore the patients can feel safe calling and receiving guidance..

For immediate help

The helpline numbers in India are provided under the KIRAN scheme by the mental health rehabilitation helpline. They can be contacted 24/7 by landline or by mobile phones. ( 1800-599-0019). There are also other non-profit organizations such as the Vandrevala foundation. It is a mental health NGO that provides support to at-risk individuals and provides them with guidance. So they can deal with their situation in the present time. (1800-233-3330) is the number of their helpline.)

There are multiple other support centers worldwide that operate 24/7 to provide relief. They can be found easily on Google. The World Health Organisation has also acknowledged mental health as a serious issue. Implementing schemes such as The special Initiative for mental health. This provides universal health coverage in 12 priority countries to around 100 million people at high quality and affordable rates. Aimed to prolong the lives of at-risk individuals who are usually at the age of 15-29 years old.

How to detect and steps to help

Mental health is a serious issue and one major problem is the fact that it is inconspicuous. People misinterpret it and therefore it is very easy to isolate people that are dealing with these issues. For the people that we care about, we must notice changes in behavior, loss of motivation, self-imposed isolation. These are the signs that someone may have an issue and we must communicate with them to be sure. If someone we know is dealing with such an issue, do not react if they are more short-tempered. Instead remain calm and help them to feel better. It is also the responsibility of such individuals to seek help and not worsen their situation by seeking isolation. They must seek solutions and adopt a more hopeful stance for the future.

In conclusion

People kill themselves not because they hate life. Rather they do not want to live as the same person. With the same habits, the same issues the same reactions. They hate their life. Habits are tough to change, yes, however it is possible. It takes time but I will implore anyone dealing with such issues to give it time. Life becomes easier, tough times do not persist, tough people do. Seek help, if not from the people that you know then from online sources, understand you are not alone. Do not think that suicide is the only step. I know you feel that by vanishing you will make the world a better place.

YOU ARE WRONG, your life means something to someone. I can assure you that your death will destroy people. Not only ones that you know but also ones you don’t. Suicide is a terrible and depressing thing for everyone that witnesses it. It makes people lose hope and second guess their lives. You must be strong now, you will not regret it. The people you know will be the worst hit. They will blame themselves for your predicament. Your death does not cause you to vanish, it sticks and destroys families. Make a smart decision. This is not the time to be selfish, but to be courageous. You will not regret it :).

Seo Varsha Singh

Graphics by Deepti Bhatnagar

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