Published On: October 11, 2017 12:58 PM NPT

Is mental health taken seriously in our society?

Is mental health taken seriously in our society?

Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. Mental illness could simply be referred to as being different in a way that is uncomfortable to others. This is a state that affects a person’s thinking, behavior, emotions or moods resulting in anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, personality disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), and so on. 

Mental illness is not a matter of choice. Having odd quirks and a different lifestyle than most do not correlate to mental illness. But when daily behaviors start causing major problems in a person's daily functioning and social interactions, then it is a problem. People suffering from mental instability can not only hurt themselves but also those around them. 

To understand the youths’ opinions toward mental health and illness, Aaditya Neupane and Sumit Pokharel of My City interviewed seven people on the streets of Sundhara on the occasion of World Mental Health Day, on Tuesday. Following are the edited excerptions from their conversation.

Samir Shrestha 
We can’t help mentally instable people unless we stop calling them crazy or hungry for attention. We should treat them as a part of our society and provide them with love and care. They don’t deserve mistreatment because it is not their choice to be mentally ill. People need to be educated about mental health. We need to spread the word about mental illnesses and create an amicable environment for all kinds of people to live together in harmony, even if they are different than most of us. 

Sangita Roka 
Mental illness is the disorder that affects a person’s thinking or behavior. A mentally ill person has to go through stress, mood swing, panic attacks and so on. We should try to abolish people’s negative attitude toward mental illness. People may suffer from mental illness due to various reasons like social pressure, family environment and trauma, among others. Mental health is a neglected issue in Nepal, so public awareness is important. Mass communication mediums like radio and television should spread awareness about mental health.

Narayan Parajuli  
Mental illness is caused due to stress caused by different kind of problems where an individual goes through emotional trauma. It might not be visible to everyone if a person is mentally instable. But people have been suffering in silence due to mental health issues. Mental health is an important part of an individual’s life. Reasons for mental illness could be a result of constant pressure from home, school or work. Other reasons could be bullying, constant critique and trauma. 

Veshraj Poudel
A mental health condition isn’t the result of one event. Research suggests multiple, linking causes. Genetics, environment and lifestyle influence whether someone develops a mental health condition. A stressful job or home life makes some people more susceptible, as do traumatic life events like being the victim of a crime. Biochemical processes and circuits and basic brain structure may play a role, too. Recovery, including meaningful roles in social life, school and work, is possible, especially when you start treatment early and play a strong role in your own recovery process.

Pradeep Pandey
In Nepal, people mostly take mental illness lightly and don’t realize its impact in people’s lives. People often tend to believe that anxiety or depression are just a state of emotion and will pass away. They don’t pay adequate attention to mentally unstable people or to those who’ve been subjected to metal trauma. We still feel uncomfortable talking about our mental health in public. People are more or less ignorant of the whole issue.

Ambika Nagarkoti
Mental health is very important and should not be ignored. Mental illness is still a taboo in our society and people start judging and calling names if they find out that you are mentally unstable. This creates a fear among those affected as they cannot express their mental health issues. Even I went into a brief spell of depression and people around me told me to ‘grow up’. Although I’m okay with telling my state of mind to others, but there are many that hesitate. The society’s reaction makes it worse.

Keepa Matri Tuladhar
Mental health is an important aspect in one’s life because a stable mind means good social life. A mentally fit person is capable of being a part of the society more easily, while the mentally instable are discarded and left to fend for themselves. If someone I know is facing mental illness, I would offer my support and do my level best to help the person recover. The government should acknowledge mental illness as a serious health issue and promote ways that ensure sound minds.

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