Thursday, July 4, 2019

Mental Health


Mental illness:
When we hear the term “Mental illness”, we immediately associate it with mental asylum. Many of us fear to even to associate ourselves with Mental illness. We feel ashamed and do not want to discuss or disclose our mental illness to other people. This is because not many people are aware of mental illness. Some even use labels such as “Crazy”. Mental illness is just not about getting crazy and manic. You probably know someone with a mental health problem and do not even realize it, because many people with mental health problems are highly active and productive members of our communities.
It is like any other disease like diabetes and blood pressure. Like how you take medication for other common diseases, likewise in mental illness you take medication to manage your mental illness. There are different facets to Mental Health. For example, depression is very common today. Sleep deprivation, anxiety, stress, ADHD -Attention Deficient Hyper Disorder (which is very common among children). These are all related to mental health.

What is mental health?
Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.
Mental health problems are common, but help is available. People with mental health problems can get better and many recover completely.

Types of mental illness
• mood disorders (such as depression or bipolar disorder)
• anxiety disorders.
• personality disorders.
• psychotic disorders (such as schizophrenia)
• eating disorders.
• trauma-related disorders (such as post-traumatic stress disorder)
• substance abuse disorders.
What causes mental illness:
 The following factors could potentially result in a period of poor mental health:
• 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.

Mental illness and Medication:

Modern Medication:
Modern medication tries to stop your feelings and behavior with chemical doses. Some examples of depression drugs as Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), such as citalopram (Celexa), escitalopram oxalate (Lexapro), fluoxetine (Prozac), fluvoxamine (Luvox), paroxetine HCI(Paxil), and Sertraline (Zoloft).  These medications do not cure. These only treat symptoms, so if you stop them, you are likely to get your symptoms back. Ask your health care provider how much dosage and how long you might expect to take medication.  
Modern medication has various options to treat Mental illness:
1. Medication
2. Psychotherapy.
3. Hospitalization if required.
4. Group therapy.
5. Cognitive therapy, Behavioral therapy.

Ayurvedic Medication(herbs):
While there are so many modern medications available both over the counter and prescription drugs for managing mental illnesses, there is another great option to try and that is Ayurvedic medication. I know many people still do not know about Ayurvedic medication (herbs) but, it does work very well on mental illnesses. Ayurvedic medicine is one of the oldest and most natural healing which offers holistic treatments for both physical and mental disorders.
According to Ayurveda, our mind and body both are inter-related and thus if we neglect our physical body, our mind gets affected. Hence Ayurveda focuses on the overall mind and body and eradicates the problem from the root. Ayurvedic approach is to work from the roots. Its process is to focus on the root cause by changing your lifestyle, diet and by following a healthy daily routine. For example, if a person has depression and he/she has developed a negative thought which the person is obsessed with. With Ayurvedic treatment the person learns to focus on bright side of life as Ayurveda works on the persons overall health with herbs and with healthy daily routine and diet.
For many years Ayurvedic Practitioners have successfully treated disorders such as depression, anxiety, insomnia to Obsessive Compulsive, Parkinson and Alzheimer’s.
Once you approach good Ayurvedic Practitioner, they would do your (nadi pariksha) pulse diagnosis and which can accurately diagnose both physical and mental diseases as well as dosha imbalances. 
It provides you with a personalized and individual prognosis which is detailed and accurate. Several chronic diseases like diabetes, infertility, obesity, hypertension, paralysis, mental disorders, severe joint pains and skin diseases can be detected by using this Nadi pariksha (pulse diagnosis). Along with the herbs, Ayurveda also focuses on practicing Pranayama.
Pranayama is the formal practice of controlling the breath, which is the source of our prana, or vital life force. pranayama exercises & poses, which is a breathing technique also vastly helps in curing depression and several mental illnesses.

Mental illness and Lifestyle:
Here's how you can change your lifestyle towards good mental health:

1. Improve your diet:
Eat healthy food and wholesome foods like green leafy vegetables, legumes, whole grains. These foods contain Magnesium, folate, zinc and omega 3 which boosts your healthy brain chemicals.
Avoid foods like bread, processed foods, canned food, junk food, frozen food, foods which have corn syrup, too much sugar, refined flour, preservatives. Good healthy food will keep your digestion system intact and thus good impact on your brain chemicals.

2. Quit smoking and Alcohol:
Quit smoking and Alcohol. Alcohol can further add to your disease as it changes the brain chemicals, and you will experience more mood swings. Hence, it is better to cut alcohol completely.

3. Good sleeping pattern:
Good sleep produces good mood. You need at least 8-9 hours sleep per day to balance your mood. I know it is difficult when you have mental illness but here’s what you can do:
a. First thing you need to do is sleep early say around 8.30 pm. Hit the bed at 8.15pm and start reading good books (not iPad, which will stimulate your brain and not make you sleep), by 8.30pm – 9pm you should fall asleep.
b. When you sleep early, you tend to get up early with a fresh mind.
c. Drink herbal tea for sleep before bed every day. When you sleep early and get up early at the same time, your body clock changes, and you get used to the same time every day.

4. Meditation and Connecting with nature:
Meditation is an age-old therapy for good mental state. It not only connects you to yourself, but it shows you the path of self-realization. Once you start meditating, you will realize how better you feel mentally. It certainly lowers your episodes of mood swings.

5.  Enjoy the Sunrise and Sunsets:
When you see a sunrise every day, it is a great experience, it gives you positive feeling. Sun exposure otherwise is also scientifically proven to be beneficial. Sunshine helps the level of mood maintaining chemical called serotonin. It also provides vitamin D, which also helps for people with vitamin D deficiency. 

Understand your behavioral pattern. Once you realize what issues trigger you, work on it by detaching yourself emotionally with that issue or simply looking at it rationally. Whichever way you select, just know that this issue triggers your mental state and it jeopardize with your mind. Do not let that thought or issue lead your mind. Be the first to lead your mind by just defusing that thought.

Eat healthy food, avoid junk food, have your medications on time, connect with nature, meditate from time to time and most of all have a good night sleep.

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