Working out, stressing your body physically as much as you can to maintain your outward appearance, doesn’t sound a very acceptable norm in today’s society. Talking about how many pounds we have lost or complemented our physical appearances has been prevalent. From the very beginning, we as human beings have given outward appearances a clear preference. We have done everything in our power to look acceptable to the standards set either by ourselves or by society. We have taken any abnormality in the physical appearance seriously and dealt with it accordingly. We have never even given second thoughts about consulting an expert if required to achieve the same.
Similar has been the case of diseases with some symptoms leading to disfunction of some of our physical body structure. On the other hand, if we consider issues related to mental health, there has been an observed taboo among the people. People treating it as a personal subject and not feeling comfortable expressing it with others is one of the reasons behind
this. Another could be the lack of knowledge and acceptance among society about how grave the issue can be and how much impact such complications can cause in an individual’s life.
It is normal to ignore the initial symptoms if they don’t seem harmful and then regret them later when the situation becomes grave and nothing can reverse it. We, as human beings, have been found guilty of being complacent in acknowledging the graveness of the problem and reacting and adopting very slow to changes, even if the changes are prone to taking lives.
Consider the current example of the pandemic, when life was shut down due to nationwide lockdowns. It became inevitable that vaccines are the only solutions that could help us bring the normal sequence of events. Some people opposed this solution. The world is still seeing protests where people, because of their lack of awareness, are protesting and are not willing to accept this solution beneficial to all, risking not only theirs but even the lives of their loved ones.
This point of “being aware” is utterly important because each individual in their own right possesses some awareness about anything that is happening around them. They try to gather as much information as possible and then act accordingly based on their inputs. Thus, to increase adaptability, it becomes imperative to penetrate most of society before any negative opinions or taboos are formed.
It happened when the physical consequences of the disease were visible. It thus becomes even easy to imagine how people react when there is no physical appearance of the symptoms. Mental health has long been treated and kept by people in the category of mental disorder, which is not the actual case. Both are entirely different phenomenons and have different experts and medication to help individuals come out of them.
Mood disorders, psychotic disorders, and anxiety disorders are the three basic categories of mental illness. Like any other health condition, these also have symptoms, but unfortunately, they are either not taken seriously or are ignored by individuals. It is also imminent to identify these symptoms and start the treatment under expert supervision.
As per the available statistics shared by Johns Hopkins, around twenty-six per cent of the adult population in the US is affected by mental illness every year. Out of the same, nearly eight million adolescents and children are affected by severe mental health issues. In countries like India, where this illness has still not gotten its due acceptance, the correct
statistics to gather the same has been difficult.
Thanks to modern education, penetration of technology, and ease of availability of information, people are becoming more conscious about their health and body. Multiple social media and other social events have supported the cause and contributed to its adoption among the masses. Celebrities joining in the movement and sharing their experiences of dealing and coming out of it strongly motivate people to treat it as a regular health disorder and have prompted them to share their stories with others to break the stigma associated with it. Even the governments have started to join the movement and tag along with awareness campaigns and dedicated programmes to accelerate the reach of the same among its citizens. Even offices have started offering leaves for individuals suffering from mental health.
To conclude, it can be understood that human beings are conscious of any new phenomenon or change that they see is happening around them. Thus, it becomes crucial to spread the awareness at the very early stage of that phenomenon to gain acceptance among the individuals. Although mental illness is not very easy to identify, many stigmas are associated with the same. But those can be addressed through massive awareness campaigns, and these should be treated as a regular health disorder.