An individual’s ability to enjoy life and maintain a balance in one’s activities and efforts to achieve psychological resilience depends entirely on his or her mental health.
Mental health is a term used to describe either a level of cognitive or emotional well-being or an absence of mental disorder. In fact, mental health is closely linked with an individual’s ability to cope up with the stress of life. It thus plays a significant role in a person’s daily activities and nobody can run away from it.
According to statistics provided by the World Heath Organisation, one in four families has at least one member suffering from mental disorder and 25 per cent individuals develop one or more types of mental disorders at some stage in their lives.
Mita Rana, assistant professor at the Department Of Psychiatry And Mental Health, said that mental health was related to three components: psychological, biological and social. “Generally, we do not give importance to mental health. But, it is closely linked with our daily life and it is directly linked with thinking, behaving and feeling,” she added.
Speaking at the programme organised by the Organisation of Genuine Ex-Students (OJESH), Rana said that since mental health covered a wide perspective it should be included in school syllabus. She said that mental disorders must be examined and treated in their initial stages. Explaining the major symptoms of mental disorder, she said that pain, tiredness, sleep disorder, sadness, scariness and decrease in insight could be some symptoms of such disorders.
“There are two types of mental illnesses: neurotic and psychotic. Neurotic disorder can be cured comparatively easily but psychotic are more severe in nature,” she informed. “Neurotic disorders are related to stress and disorders and psychotic are related to maniac depressive disorder. Both these illnesses can be cured through medication, psychotherapy, electro-conductive therapy, exercise, relaxation and alternative medicine,” she added.
“Most of the people believe that mental illness is a form of punishment by the god or caused by black magic. But this is a wrong notion because it can be treated with simple and relatively inexpensive method,” she said, appealing the people to take such disorders in a positive way and opt for the treatment.
In Nepal, 15-25 per cent of the population suffers from various mental disorders, and globally 70 million suffer form them, 50 million from epilepsy and 24 million form schizophrenia. Moreover, in Nepal, one per cent suffer form psychosis, 10 per cent from neurosis and 2.4 per cent from depression and 3.0 per cent from alcoholism.
Indu Mani Chemjong, principal of Gurkha Sainik School, stated that mental health should be given utmost importance at schools too.
Sharing her experience regarding mental health, she said that she had witnessed a big change among the students after getting counseling facility from the counselors in schools.
“Most of the students at our school have painful stories to tell, as some of them have lost their parents and some have experienced the death of the parents. In such cases, counseling helps them to get rid of their woes in life and concentrate in study,” she said. She said that the counseling classes were open all the year round and appealed all the schools to run counseling classes.
Suraj Tamang, president of OGES, said that awareness played a significant role in dressing mental health issues.
This article was published on The Rising Nepal, Oct 31 2011