Is it only weak people who seek psychotherapy?
Will you be completely out of control if you had one?
Does having a mental health disorder make you ‘mad’?
Are you wondering what it means to have a mental health disorder?
Are these illness contagious or will someone get them by talking to you?
These and many other questions would probably be in your mind. We answer a few of them for you below:
Causes of Psychological Problems:
Mental Health disorders are caused by your biological make-up as it interacts with your social environment (economic, social class, safety, violence, access to development etc) as well as your psychological make-up ( shaped by your thoughts, feelings, how you were bought up, strengths, life experiences etc).
Therefore, as you can see, there are many factors that can act as risk and protective factors for mental health. This means that pills alone cannot solve the problem.
Although they can help control neurotransmitter imbalance, the rest of the work on psychological and social levels happens in various kinds of therapy. Further, relapse and dependence is quite likely in medication, whereas therapy helps build skills and is empowering.
Stigma begins and ends at home. We as a society are a long way from where we should be. We don’t spend enough on both prevention and treatment of mental health disorders.
Our social circumstances and experiences like poverty, abuse and violence make it much more likely for us to have a disorder. But you can take the first step, and empathetically accept and love someone in your family or friends’ circle who has a mental health condition.
What not to do
Don’t throw around words related to psychiatric condition. Terms like ‘I’m so depressed’ and ‘Are you retarded?’ as figures of speech are very insulting to people who do live with these conditions and undermines their struggles. It is the equivalents of saying you have AIDS when all you have is a cold. We need to start respecting people with mental health conditions because they didn’t cause it to happen, it is society and social conditions which make them vulnerable.
How to help?
One in four people in the world suffer from a mental health disorder, and we have to all join hands to prevent and treat mental health disorders with respect and care.
The one thing that makes human stand apart from other species is our ability for compassion, love and care. It is about time we used these very qualities with each other, especially for those among us having a troubling time, as they need it the most.