Mental health comprises the social, emotional and physical wellbeing of an individual. Our mind is capable of processing and analysing our thoughts, feelings and emotions which arise due to our beliefs and our everyday experiences some of which may be good some which may be triggering. Our mental health is also a result of our environment and societal interactions.
Some of the emotions that an individual could experience are happiness, sadness, anger, frustration, irritability, grief to name a few.
Mood swings, issues in interpersonal relationships and family, physical ailments, addiction, the trauma would be a few others. In order to understand ourselves and to better help manage and regulate these emotions, therapy plays a vital role.
A few of the reasons to seek therapy are:
- A desire to talk about difficult topics to people other than friends or family
- A need to discuss sexuality, sexual orientation, or gender identity
- Dealing with a disability
- Difficulty adjusting to changes in life
- Feelings of loneliness
- Problems with negative thinking
- Issues with romantic relationships
- Self-harm or risky behaviours
- Struggles with identity or self-worth
- Troubles coping with a chronic health condition
- Issues stemming from racial or cultural discrimination
- Loss of a loved one, dealing with grief
- Dealing with problems of low self-esteem, behavioural problems and stress
- Substance use recovery
There are many more factors and reasons which can be observed. Seeking help for yourself or others is a sign that shows that we are ready to become more self-aware and this would in turn help in improving our mental and physical wellbeing.
Another major issue we face today is the stigma attached to mental health as well as counselling. The main cause of this is the impact of society and its impact on us. The stigma can arise from family, friends, co-workers and people close to an individual. Stereotypes are a general representation of a group of people with a certain set of values that can be negative, offensive and harsh. One of the very common stereotypes is that people who are in therapy and treatment are violent and dangerous, all others are completely normal and needs no help from an external source.
All these are due to inadequate information about mental illness, perception, old customs and traditions, fear of society, fear of judgement and perception.
These stereotypes and stigma need to be eradicated and this can happen if each one of us is properly educated and open to gaining knowledge. Being empathetic and understanding the perception of others is crucial for this change.
This article is contributed by Dr Sasna Sajeev.
Author Bio: Dr Sasna Sajeev (BAMS, PG Psychological Counselling)
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