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Mental Health - it's time to break the stigma

Mental Health is a global concern and India is no exception to this. As per the National Mental Health Survey of India 2016, '1 in 20 people in India suffer from depression, and it is growing. Unfortunately, as a society, we have always ignored mental health and tried to brush it off in more ways than others.

So, what could be the primary reasons behind this? A basic lack of awareness and sensitivity about the issue, followed by a stigma around people suffering from any mental health issues, could be the reason. It often leads to a vicious cycle of shame, suffering and isolation of the patients by our society. Today many people try to hide their mental illness, feeling a sense of guilt for their suffering and refuse to seek help.

The fact is that our modern urban lifestyle has given rise to elevated levels of stress, anxiety and depression. Losing jobs, loneliness, constant pressure to perform and the recent pandemic are all real problems that have led to an increase in the cases of mental health problems. Depression and anxiety attacks are becoming more and more common.

But we need to understand that Mental illness is a medical condition, just like heart disease or diabetes and the silver lining is that there is treatment and care available for mentally ill patients. At the same time, what is most required is to create awareness and empathy to treat this as any other ailment. This will help people to come out and get medical help and get treated with dignity. Here, friends and family can play a larger role in providing emotional support, followed by early intervention and care by healthcare professionals.

It's OK to feel stressed and get anxious. Follow these steps for mental well-being:

  • Try to live a better lifestyle by following a healthy diet, physical activity and breathing exercises
  • Avoid addictive substances
  • Talk to someone you trust
  • Do activities that you enjoy
  • Practice Mindfulness (Paying attention to the Present moment)

If you still feel like you cannot cope with the stress that you are facing, seek professional help by getting in touch with your counselor or doctor. Please remember that you are not alone in this and there are steps you can take to support your emotional well-being.

Today, there are methods of treatment for mental health disorders that will help improve and fight symptoms.

Help is just a step away.

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