Ankita Jaswal

Editorial Writer

Mental health is as important as our physical health. And one should be very much concerned about it. It needs a great deal of attention. It is a taboo which has to be dealt with because mind is also an important organ of our body like the other organs. It requires special care like other organs too. This is when mental health literacy comes into picture. It includes the ability to recognize specific disorders, knowing how to seek mental health information, knowledge of causes and self treatments and of professional help available and attitudes that promote recognition and appropriate help seeking.

Being mentally ill, one loses control over his own senses. Sometimes, mental illness is terrifying because you feel like you’ve lost control of your mind and nothing makes sense. Its like watching yourself on autopilot and having title to no control. When there is no peace of mind, everything feels like a deep black hole in our colorful world, rains no longer sound soothing, trees no longer feel cool and the world seems so dull and gloomy. Speaking of which, it is quite difficult to know when you are mentally upset. It is difficult to tell the difference between expected behaviors and signs of mental illness. Some common signs of mental illness are:- excessive worrying or fear, feeling excessively sad or low, confused thinking, extreme mood changes, avoiding friends and social activities, changes in sleeping habits or feeling tired, changes in eating habits, inability to carry out daily activities or problems and stress, intense fear of weight gain or concern with appearance and thinking about suicide. Mental health conditions can also begin to develop in young children too. Main symptoms are: changes in school performance, excessive worry or anxiety, frequent nightmares, frequent temper tantrums and disobedience or aggression. Whatever might be the stage of its arrival, it should be stopped there and then, it should not be allowed to make a shelter in one’s mind.

Mental literacy is important. One should identify these symptoms at its earliest so that one can be stopped from jumping into the well of depression. Treatment of mental illness is often available free of cost in the form of family, pets, friends and hobbies. Mostly, mental illnesses get cured with a little bit of self care which includes exercising, reducing caffeine intake and alcohol, eating healthy diet, giving time to your hobbies etc. Other treatments include therapies and medications.

In today’s busy to busier life, it is quite common to feel low and depressed sometimes. We should comfort such depressed people to come out of their dark shells instead of making it a stigma very hard to deal with. It is often said that

“There is a wonderful mythical law of nature that the three things we crave most in life- happiness, freedom and peace of mind are always attained by giving them to someone else.”

Hence, one should know about mental literacy and should also be willing to share such information with other people.