Updated: Jun 20, 2020

Part I


What is the mind? The Encyclopedia Britannica states “Mind is the complex of faculties involved in perceiving, remembering, considering, evaluating, and deciding.” In simple words, a mind is a place that helps you remember the name of that cutie across the hall, helps you decide if you should wear that red dress or the black shirt for that date or if the same red dress can be worn on a very important interview. It is all about how people think, feel, and behave. So now that we have established what the mind is let’s see what it means to keep it healthy.

Mental health refers to cognitive, behavioral, and emotional well-being. Mental health influences our everyday chores, our social lives, our relationships, and our physical health. A person who is mentally healthy is rarely insecure in public, has a strong sense of positivity, has better decision-making capabilities, doesn’t easily get overwhelmed with emotions. This is the normalcy of a mentally healthy person.

Mental health is very wrongly used interchangeably with mental illness.

Mental Illness or mental disorder on the contrary is.. well, the antonym of mental health. Like we defined mental health we can define its antonym as a condition that affects a person's thinking, feeling, behavior, or mood. This is where most of us will want to get off-board… right?

Let me tell you something, Don’t. Give me an opportunity to help you understand what all this is about.

Let’s start with the basics

What is poor mental health?

Simply put, this is when our mental health is not what we would want it to be. Finding it difficult to manage how we think, feel, act with respect to daily stresses could be a sign of poor mental health. (It is important to remember that poor mental health is common. This does not mean someone is mentally ill.)

What causes mental illness?

  • childhood abuse, trauma, or neglect.

  • social isolation or loneliness.

  • experiencing discrimination and stigma.

  • social disadvantage, poverty, or debt.

  • bereavement (losing someone close to you)

  • severe or long-term stress.

  • having a long-term physical health condition.

  • unemployment or losing your job.

At what age does mental illness start?

About half of all mental illnesses appear before the age of 14, and 75 percent develop by age 24. The current understanding of mental illness among medical professionals is that a complex combination of genetics, environment, and family history can put a person at greater risk for mental illness. A vulnerability to some mental illnesses, such as bipolar mood disorder, can run in families. But other people develop a mental illness with no family history.

Can mental health be cured?

Treatment can involve both medications and psychotherapy, depending on the disease and its severity. Presently, most mental illnesses cannot be cured, but they can usually be treated effectively to minimize the symptoms and allow the individual to function normally in work, school, or social environments.

Now that we have a vague idea of what mental health is and how it is different from mental illness, we also understand a little about its source, effects, onsets, and orientation.

When we come back again we can discuss a little further on what kinds of mental illnesses exist and how much they have haunted the many lives that live amongst us.

Mental health is equally important. Let’s work to diminish the taboo around it.

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