Mental health refers to our cognitive, and/or emotional wellbeing - it is all about
how we think, feel and behave.
Your mental health can affect your daily life, relationships and even your physical
health. Mental health also includes a person's ability to enjoy life - to attain
a balance between life activities and efforts to achieve psychological resilience.
In our country attitudes about mental health are changing, but too slowly. People
need to stop dubbing psychological problems as 'madness' and deal with
them as they deal with with physical illness.
Just like physical disorders, mental health problems can be made worse by delaying
treatment. Just like physical disorders, there are psychological problems that can
be prevented or corrected with timely care.
These psychiatric problems may be caused by physical illness - eg. organic
diseases in the brain, generalized diseases of the body, effects of toxic agents,
and nutritional deficiencies. And treating the cause can often alleviate them.
It has been observed that abnormal levels and function of neuretransmitters, chemicals
that help transmit nerve impulses in the brain, have been found to be associated
with major mental disorders. There are drugs to help correct such abnormalities.
Apart from drugs, other forms of treatment for psychological problems depend on
the needs of each individual patient.
Psychotherapy methods include sessions of individual counselling
and group therapy - where there is interaction among a group of people with a similar
problem, eg. anxiety.
Behaviour therapy helps a patient develop better or normal
responses to the precipitating factors, eg. phobias.
Environmental readjustment is meant to remove unhelpful
social factors and provide a supportive atmosphere, particularly at home.
Some of the common problems associated with mental health are: