Health is one of the most important aspect in living a happy life. A healthier person is always a happier person but is health only what can be seen? Does a physically healthy person is actually healthy? Do we take mental health seriously in India?
What is Mental Health?
Mental health includes everything that constitutes for emotional, social and psychological well being. It affects how we think, feel or act. It can affect daily life, emotional as well as physical health.
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.according to WHO(World Health Organization)
Mental Health and India
It’s 2020 but the stigma surrounding mental health in India hasn’t changed. People suffering from mental health are termed as Paagal or insane. People also make fun of other people suffering from depression or any other mental problem.
Recent studies found that over 200 million people in India are suffering from mental disorder that’s 1 in 7 every people. The numbers have almost doubled since 1990. These numbers constitutes for 14.3% of the country’s population which is astonishing even though these number themselves are astonishing what’s more hard to believe is the number of solutions available to people.
Another study shows that a mere 0.3 psychiatrists are available for every 1,00,000 people. INSANE RIGHT? Out of 9,36,000 doctors in India there are only 4500 psychiatrists in India while it may sound insane but it is true so is the fact that the youth also fears about sharing there problem with their parents or their friends because of the social fear of being called a Paagal.
Who is most affected?
While there is no certain age limit to have mental issues but a study by National Institute of Mental Health & Neurosciences (NIMHANS) says that 9.8 million teenagers between the age of 13-19 suffers from depression.
In southern states it was found that the mental illness rate was higher in adults while in the Northern states children and the youth were more affected. WHO has also predicted that by 2020 the numbers will rise to 20% of the total population affected by mental disorders.
What should we do?
While it is difficult to find solution to this growing problem as mental health issues are not as easy to spot as physical issues. Also we need to have same level of awareness fro mental health as we do for our physical health. In most of the cases in India people suffering from mental health disorders do not reveal the problem to anyone. They feel that they will be seen down by the society or the fear just gets them to keep it to themselves.
Mental illness is not something incurable. Getting the right help can help you overcome the mental problem.
We need to involve more people to help us. Try talking to our family, your friends or a doctor. While this might not completely cure your problem this will certainly help you to cope up with it. The internet is another great place to seek help. There are various forums, support group and NGO’s helping people to overcome their mental illness.
We as a society also need to change our views on mental health. It’s not unnatural or taboo neither is it attention seeking. We need to accept that mental health issues are also issues and we need to provide help to the one suffering. It can be you, your family member, your closet friend, you life partner etc.
Paagal is not the one suffering, Paagal is the one laughing.
As we say “Charity Begins at home” same way start from your own house. Ask your loved ones if they need help. Be open and you’ll know how it can help someone immensely.