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World Mental Health Day
by Ms. Pooja Sakpal - Counsellor | October 27, 2015

October 10th is celebrated as World Mental Health. I request you all to spread awareness and help anyone whom you know needs help. It's not something new that people still have to take the initiative to spread awareness for mental health. If we have a person in our family suffering with diabetes, cardiovascular Diseases or cancer, we get worried, tensed and rush for nearby treatment.<
However, if the Same person has mental illness; it becomes very difficult to accept that my closed one is having an illness. Second issue is of seeking help. Many questions rise up - What will the neighbors think? What will his/her in laws/friends think? What if he/she murders us or abuses us? Strangely, we don't think this much in cases of physical illnesses. Unfortunately in many countries, this stigmatization of mental illness still continues. I believe there are certain myths regarding mental illness which are a big contributor to it. Few of them which I have experienced during my clinical training are as mentioned below.


Myth 1: "MENTALLY ILL PERSON"

Many of us have come across the prescription stating "Depression", "GAD", "OCD", etc. Yes, these are Diagnosis, but there sole purpose is efficient communication between mental health professionals. If you know someone who has depression, please consider him/her as "person with depression" and not "depressed person". These words are hurtful to the sufferer and let’s give them the respect for fighting up with the disorder.



Myth 2: "MENTAL ILLNESS IS INCURABLE"

Most of the mental illnesses are curable and recovery is possible. In the most intense form of mental illness, a person can be rehabilitated to such an extent that he or she can perform their activities of daily living and even work. Early treatment contact leads to a better prognosis in fact.



Myth 3: "PEOPLE WITH MENTAL ILLNESS ARE CRAZY AND INSANE"

It’s often seen in movies that people with mental illness act in an insane way. This is not the reality. Don't forget they are fighting against a disorder. And in cases of neurotic disorders people have full insight about what is happening to them. They are too distressed and anxious.

They are not able to explain what they are undergoing. But they seek help because they have the will power. Let’s not call them "crazy" or insane by any ways or means.



Myth 4: "MENTAL ILLNESS HAPPEN TO WEAK PERSON(S)"

Mental Illnesses don't discriminate. It can happen to anyone and at any point of time in life. Some may be common in some age groups or life stages, but even that has flexible boundaries. We all have psyches where many thoughts and emotions interconnect and interact with each other. Any disturbance can occur to anyone of us, when our defenses break down, we all are vulnerable. So let’s fight together.



Myth 5: "PEOPLE WITH MENTAL ILLNESS CAN NEVER ACHIEVE A NORMAL LIFE AGAIN"

Mental Illnesses do impact cognitive and emotional processes, but that doesn't mean that they can never achieve back the normal baseline. Each individual is a whole of some parts. Impact of one part doesn't mean that other parts are impacted too. Rehabilitation and Retraining procedures are increasingly being used to establish the baseline as soon as possible. Many patients don't even need them and they live a "so-called" normal life after treatment.



When illness doesn't discriminate, why should we?
Lets spread awareness and fight together to break each of the above myths.
Have a good physical and mental health guys.