So, let’s talk (eham) Mental Health.
The experience of suffering from a mental illness is not just emotionally painful but also physically exhausting. Mental illnesses are often overlooked as real diseases because many of them are “invisible diseases”. Invisible disease is an umbrella term that is used for diseases that are very hard to immediately diagnose because the person seems healthy on the outside. They cover a whole spectrum of challenges that are primarily neurological in nature.
The cultural stigma attached to these illnesses causes the person to believe that the disease is only in their head and it is the person’s own fault. Furthermore, the fact that the person does not look sick on the outside makes it difficult for family or friends to understand how a person can be ill? People assume that if you cannot see it, it may not be there.
A mental illness is NOT a person’s fault nor does it depict weakness. It is a combination of genetic, biological, social, psychological and environmental factors. It is caused by serious chemical imbalances in the brain and should be treated no different than any other physical illness. Mental illness is treatable just like physical illness.
Here’s a list of painful mental illnesses that cannot be necessarily seen but are as real as it gets:
Depression affects 44% of the integral population in Pakistan. Depression is a common mental disorder, characterized by sadness, loss of interest or pleasure, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep or appetite, feelings of tiredness and poor concentration. It is more than just feeling unhappy or sad for a few days. We all go through a cycle of emotions but when you’re depressed you feel low on energy for weeks, months or even years.
Anxiety is not the shivers you get once in awhile. It is the continuous condition of your body that interferes with its normal functioning. You cannot see anxiety but it takes a toll on a person who is experiencing it. It feels like your heart and body cells are fleeting and everything seems blurry and noisy. People with anxiety worry persistently and lose the ability to focus. It makes it difficult for the person to relax and causes uncertainty and indecisiveness.
Schizophrenia is one of the most misunderstood and stigmatized mental disorders. Unlike the common perception, people with schizophrenia are NOT retards or psychopaths and there are different sub types of schizophrenia which have different behavioral symptoms and characteristics. Schizophrenia is commonly a genetically transmitted disease that is caused by certain genes or genetic mutations that affects the development of a person’s brain. However, some causes of schizophrenia are still unknown.
Do you feel like talking to someone? Talk to a caring and compassionate Mental Health Counselor in a safe zone. (Online and for free). Connect right away.