Mental Health Is Not A Stigma

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For years I’ve struggled my way out of phobias, but I couldn’t talk, explain or express it to someone. I had a fear that people might judge me or dislike me of how I used to feel. These factors led to anxiety. Suppressing phobias and upsetting thoughts turned into anxiety and even the slightest hints of them upsets me in the present day. Mental illness refers to a wide range of mental health conditions — disorders that affect your mood, thinking and behaviour. Mental illness is not a stigma, it is something which can upset anyone. I’ve seen many people around me suffering from multiple mental issues such as depression anxiety and other phobias. Whether it is me or you no one is ever mentally perfect.

No one can ever fight these issues themselves unless they talk it out. These little obnoxious thoughts can become monsters of your future that never leave you if not addressed. Many people have mental health concerns from time to time. But a mental health concern becomes a mental illness when ongoing signs and symptoms cause frequent stress and affect your ability to function. About 1 in 5 adults has a mental illness in any given year.

Mental illness can begin at any age, from childhood through later adult years, but most begin earlier in life. The effects of mental illness can be temporary or long-lasting. You also can have more than one mental health disorder at the same time. For example, you may have depression and a substance use disorder. It is never a result of one event but multiple linking causes. Genetics, environment and lifestyle influence whether someone develops a mental health condition. A stressful job, home life or any stress in the surroundings can make some people more susceptible to crime and self-harm.


Signs and symptoms of mental illness can vary, depending on the disorder, circumstances and other factors. Mental illness symptoms can affect emotions, thoughts and behaviours. Some of the commonly observed symptoms of mental ailments are:

  1. Feeling sad or down
  2. Confused thinking or reduced ability to concentrate
  3. Excessive fears or worries, or extreme feelings of guilt
  4. Extreme mood changes of highs and lows
  5. Withdrawal from friends and activities
  6. Significant tiredness, low energy or problems sleeping
  7. Detachment from reality (delusions), paranoia or hallucinations
  8. Inability to cope with daily problems or stress
  9. Trouble understanding and relating to situations and to people
  10. Alcohol or drug abuse
  11. Major changes in eating habits
  12. Excessive anger, hostility or violence
  13. Suicidal thinking

How to improve mental health by yourself

Talk openly about what you Feel:

Always try to say out loud, whatever you feel and whatever you fear of facing. Talk to a loved one about everything because if you don’t, it will keep bothering you and lead to more complicated issues which might not end up well.

Educate Yourself and Others:

Read about mental health, stay updated about how to treat yourself better, study about the best ways to deal with mental health and educate others so if someone is in a worse situation, you can be a ray of hope for them.

Tips to improve mental health

Start your day with a cup of coffee. Coffee consumption is linked to lower rates of depression. If you can’t drink coffee because of the caffeine, try another good-for-you drink like green tea.

Work your strengths

Do something you’re good at to build self-confidence, then keep giving yourself tougher tasks to achieve.
You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” -Martin Luther King Jr.
Think of something in your life you want to improve and figure out what you can do to take a step in the right direction.

Listen to good music

Listen to good energetic music rather than slow and sad ones. Many pieces of research prove that listening to louder and energetic music boosts up your mood and energy. Whereas sad music leads you to remember all the possible bad and heart-breaking times of your lives.

Spend some time with a furry friend

Time with animals lowers the stress hormone – cortisol and boosts oxytocin – which stimulates feelings of happiness. If you don’t have a pet, hang out with a friend who does or volunteer at a shelter.

Feeling stressed?

Smile. It may not be the easiest thing to do, but smiling can help to lower your heart rate and calm you down.

Helping someone with mental illness

When it comes to helping a loved one with mental health problems, providing them with quality information on their disorder is essential. Many mental disorders go undiagnosed because the sufferer is simply unaware their symptoms aren’t normal or they decide not to share it with someone. They might feel the need to understand the problems they’re having rather than thinking that people won’t understand them. They might not see the pattern of dysfunction their behaviour is causing in their everyday life, but the people around them can identify and help them in better ways. It is important for friends and family to speak up when they see a problem because that’s often the only way a person will realize they need help.

  1. Talk to them in a comfortable space so they can talk openly
  2. Ease into the conversation, gradually. It may be that the person is not in a place to talk, and that is OK. Greet them with a welcoming gesture so they can feel good straight away
  3. Be sure to speak in a relaxed and calm manner.
  4. Communicate in a straightforward manner and stick to one topic at a time.
  5. Be respectful and empathetic to their feelings.
  6. Be a good listener, be responsive and make eye contact with a caring approach.
  7. Ask them appropriate questions.
  8. Give them the opportunity to talk and open up.
  9. Share some easy insights as a way of encouraging easy conversation, such as comments about the weather, the community or other.
  10. Reduce any defensiveness by sharing your feelings and looking for common ground.
  11. Speak at a level appropriate to their age and development level. Keep in mind that mental illness has nothing to do with a person’s intelligence.
  12. Be aware of a person becoming upset or confused by your conversation with them.
  13. Show respect and understanding for how they describe and interpret their symptoms.
  14. Genuinely express your concern.

Things you should avoid saying to a person who is mentally upset

  1. Just pray about it: keep this in mind that mental illness is not related to religion and you cannot simply recommend someone to pray, that is not the only solution.
  2. You just need to change your attitude: a person with mental illness is already upset about multiple things at a time, they don’t need anyone to alarm them about anything like this. Try to be gentle and humble.
  3. Stop being negative, you should just start living: they have no room to sort these things out, they need help, your help. Try to be understanding and restrain from any suggestions
  4. Everyone feels that way sometimes: at this specific time, they’ll never appreciate or follow what you tell them about yours or any other individual’s feeling. Try to be empathetic.
  5. Yes, we all feel a little crazy now and then: try not to explain anything about anyone else, they will not be able to register whatever example you have for them.

These days, clinical treatment generally takes place in the community rather than in a hospital. Anyone who has been diagnosed with a mental illness which needs treatment should be able to receive a range of clinical services in their own comfortable environment. No matter whatever the treatment and psychological therapist you are consulting, it is always about working together.

If you are getting help from someone, you need to understand that your own efforts are what matters more than any medication and treatment. Moreover, if you still need someone to talk to and get things off your chest, the best therapists in Pakistan are just one click away. Get yourself the best therapist or psychologist by going on to search the relevant doctor and help yourself.

Few Most Popular Psychiatrists/Psychologists:

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Javeria Adil Chughtai

Javeria Adil Chughtai

A journalist and a medical researcher by profession, badminton player and photographer by passion. You can call me an artist but No, I can't draw you! 😀

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