Mental illness is a mental health problem that affects a person’s thinking and behaviour. Everybody is susceptible to mental illness. While genetic factors do play a role in the onset but it is not always the case. There are families with a history of mental illness, and other family members show no signs of it. On the other hand, there are families with no predisposition to mental illness, and it suddenly strikes any family member.
Government of India has classified mental illness under non- communicable diseases such as Cancer, Blindness etc. Perhaps Mental Health needs a standalone administrative set up under the Ministry of Health to give it visibility as an illness. Mental Illness means a disorder of mood, thought, perception, orientation, and memory which affect the overall functions of social cognition and behaviour causing distress to the individual and his/ her family, this also includes such condition precipitated by substance abuse and alcohol. Unlike mental retardation, Mental Illness can affect anyone anytime depending on the individual’s genetic predisposition. How much of nature and how much of nurture eludes scientific explanation of causes of Mental Illness.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), one in five Americans have a mental illness. Every sixth Indian needs mental health help, 8% of people in Karnataka have mental illness, Mental problems more in 30–49 age group or over 60, low income linked to occurrence of mental disorders, and urban areas to be most affected. Suggesting that mental illness is extremely common.
What does it mean to be aware of mental health? It means taking care of you. it means being mindful of your triggers and noticing if something makes you anxious or depressed. When you feel those feelings, own them. Don’t run away from something that’s causing you distress. That can sound scary, but it’s actually better than avoiding your pain. When you confront your feelings head on, you’re able to better understand what you’re going through, process those feelings, and move on.
People are much more willing to talk about mental illness than previously. It’s not shameful to have a mental health issue, and it can be liberating for people to express what they’re going through. In doing this, they can find people to relate to and feel less alone. That’s the thing about living with mental health issues—it can make you feel isolated and different. You are not weird or a “freak” because you have a mental illness. You are a human being who has a legitimate health issue.
Always keep in mind that mental illness is a reality. Find someone you feel comfortable with and talk about your feelings however it’s hard to find one in the present one but do try and find out. Mental health professionals are also available now-a-days who are trained to help you with these concerns. Sometimes it is seen that people give up on finding help, please don’t do so. A mental health professional may be the one to change your life. They care about you and can guide you through your struggles and show you that there is a better quality of life out there.