Why is mental health awareness low?
Mental illness can be only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to treating people who have it.
The numbers don’t lie, there are crores of mental patients in India alone. And the amount of awareness about these diseases? Not even halfway up to the mark, sadly!
Research shows that one of the main contributors to lack of proper treatment is a general lack of mental health awareness
Just imagine! A world where superstition is beaten by supreme love, a society where punishment is replaced with kindness, and a home where everyone loves each other irrespective of their minds state.
Sounds utopian, but definitely a world worth building. And it is the belief of many that this world, while deserving of existence, can be built only with mental health awareness.
But to create awareness, one must learn of the pitfalls and hurdles in the way of creating it.
Which leads us to the causes of lack of awareness, in society, family and the world as a whole.
Which, in Turn, begs the question: what causes lack of mental health awareness?
One of the biggest challenges faced by awareness is Stigma. This means that people never get proper treatment because of notions that prevent their acceptance of the dire need.
For instance, when a person is suffering from a disease like Schizophrenia, they have Visions and auditory hallucinations.
While this is caused by improper functioning of a chemical called Dopamine, more famously known as the body’s ‘happy hormone’, people tend to think otherwise.
They next find it easier to misunderstand that this is caused by a Possession by an evil spirit, or even that the patient is probably lying.
While it is easy to discard these sufferings as such, society needs to understand they’re disregarding human beings,who deserve healthy and happy lives, because of lack of proper understanding of the case.
Just imagine how many Patients can be freed from such prisons!
Some people are innately afraid of taking proper treatment. They tend to forget that therapists are actually trying to help them.
They also consider other forms of self treatment to be enough. This can be a big mistake that drives the patients further away from the proper course of action.
For instance, some people think a good beating or a pill their friend said might work are better than consulting an expert on this topic. The havoc these Beliefs wreak on the mental health and livelihoods of Psychiatric patients is untold.
Opposition at homes.
What would our in-laws say? What kind of reputation will this give to my family name? Why can’t we keep this a secret, and deal with this problem within ourselves?
These common misconceptions drive home the point that our family Systems can be flawed. Instead of that, we should think that all mental patients, family or otherwise, need the treatment They deserve.
Families all over the world need to realize their members’ well being matters more than what relatives’ opinions on the illness.
On a similar note, its not just families that condemn these patients, but also the opinions of the Public.
And this includes everyone, from the landlord, to the school teacher, to the neighbours, to everyone else who make up the Public society.
People without awareness trade their social standing and reputation for their loved ones’ mental and physical well being.
For every mental patient, there are a few people who want to ridicule, condemn or mistreat them.
This needs to stop.They say, Patience is bitter but its fruit is sweet, which applies here. It is better to take a professionals care and treatment, and put in the effort to save these people, rather than to look for instant solutions, homemade remedies and superstitious punishments.
The world is only as beautiful as the people who inhabit its land. A society is only as strong as the people who carry it on their shoulders. And a family is only as happy as it’s members love for each other.
Awareness can help improve all these things and more, so if you know someone suffering from mental illnesses, you might now know how to treat them.