Men­tal ill­ness aware­ness week

Asian Journal - - LIFE & MORE -

Men­tal Ill­ness Aware­ness Week (MIAW) is an an­nual na­tional pub­lic ed­u­ca­tion cam­paign de­signed to ed­u­cate Cana­di­ans to the re­al­ity of men­tal ill­ness. The week was es­tab­lished in 1992 by the Cana­dian Psy­chi­atric As­so­ci­a­tion. This year it falls on Oc­to­ber 1 - 7.

The modern life style gives a lot of stress, men­tal tension and men­tal ill­nesses. Stress do not cause men­tal ill­ness in it­self, but can trig­ger it in peo­ple who are pre­dis­posed. With so much of men­tal tension in our daily life, it is nec­es­sary that we all know the symp­toms, causes, types and avail­able treat­ment for men­tal ill­nesses. Be­cause of lack of knowl­edge, it be­comes dif­fi­cult for peo­ple to rec­og­nize the symp­toms of men­tal ill­ness. Hav­ing proper knowl­edge helps in the treat­ment of the pa­tient. Men­tal ill­nesses are so com­mon these days that every one must know their symp­toms, so that as soon as these are seen in some one, fam­ily doc­tor is con­tacted and the ill­ness is di­ag­nosed and treated in its early stage. It is always easy to treat the ill­ness in its early stages than in chronic. Men­tal ill­nesses cause phys­i­cal ill­nesses and vice versa. The im­por­tant thing is that ev­ery­one must have the proper and cor­rect knowl­edge. Be­cause of lack of in­for­ma­tion, there are a lot of mis­giv­ings about men­tal ill­nesses like, jadoo, toona, evil spirit, evil eye, black magic, ghosts, bhoot, pret and curses. I have seen that when some one gets sick ev­ery­one starts giv­ing sug­ges­tions. Though these sug­ges­tions are meant for the bet­ter­ment of the pa­tient, most of the times they strengthen their be­lief in these mis­giv­ings. There are many peo­ple who claim they can find so­lu­tions to these prob­lems through su­per­nat­u­ral pow­ers. The truth is that there is no rem­edy for these prob­lems ex­cept through proper med­i­ca­tion.

Be­cause of the ig­no­rance about men­tal ill­nesses, if a mem­ber of the fam­ily gets men­tal ill­ness, we con­sider it to be a dis­grace to the fam­ily. It be­comes dif­fi­cult to ar­range mar­riage in the fam­ily. So, we try to hide the dis­ease. We qui­etly take the pa­tient to de­ras of sadhs, tra­di­tional heal­ers or astrologers for the treat­ment and waste valu­able time and hard-earned money on use­less rit­u­als. By the time pa­tient is taken to the doc­tor, dis­ease is in its chronic stage. Now we have sci­en­tific proof that like phys­i­cal ill­nesses, men­tal ill­nesses can also be treated with proper med­i­ca­tion.

Just like phys­i­cal ill­nesses there are many types of men­tal ill­nesses like worry, anx­i­ety, sad­ness, de­pres­sion and delu­sions. We all know a lot about phys­i­cal ill­nesses and how to re­main phys­i­cally healthy, but the knowl­edge about men­tal ill­nesses and how to re­main men­tally healthy what hap­pened in On­tario in June, when Doug Ford’s Con­ser­va­tives took 61 per cent of the seats with only 40.5 per cent of the vote. Doug Ford also doesn’t have to work with any­one else, hold­ing 100 per cent of the power. New Brunswick also ex­pe­ri­enced a dis­torted re­sult on Septem­ber 24, when the Lib­eral Party re­ceived a sig­nif­i­cantly higher num­ber of votes (38 per cent to the Con­ser­va­tives’ 32 per cent) but the Con­ser­va­tives won more seats. is lack­ing. To keep our­selves phys­i­cally healthy we take care of our diet, take reg­u­lar ex­er­cises, do reg­u­lar blood tests for su­gar, choles­terol etc. In the same way we ought to take care of our men­tal health. Be­cause of the lack of knowl­edge, many peo­ple are be­com­ing men­tally sick.

To keep our­selves men­tally healthy we ought to take care of the fol­low­ing:

1. We must feel good about our­selves. That means, our sen­ti­ments, like fear, anger, at­tach­ment, love, jeal­ousy, wor­ries etc. should be in proper limit. Too much of any of these sen­ti­ments can dis­turb the men­tal bal­ance.

2. We must feel good about oth­ers. That means up to cer­tain ex­tent our re­la­tions with oth­ers should be good. We should not cross the limit of de­cency, dis­re­spect, anger and in­sub­or­di­na­tion in our re­la­tions with oth­ers. We should not feel that no body is my friend, no one likes me and no one trusts me. We also should not feel that oth­ers do not like me and do not trust me.

3. We should be able to pull out of dif­fi­cult sit­u­a­tions of life with­out any prob­lem.

Con­sult your fam­ily doc­tor if you or any mem­ber of your fam­ily or friend is suf­fer­ing from men­tal ill­ness.

Dr. Kala Singh worked as Psy­chi­atric Doc­tor in Africa for 21 years be­fore im­mi­grat­ing to Canada where he worked in Van­cou­ver Coastal Health and Fraser Health. Now he gives re­li­gious and spiritual coun­sel­ing and psy­chother­apy to clients with stress, fam­ily prob­lems, do­mes­tic prob­lems, re­la­tion­ship prob­lems and men­tal health prob­lems like anx­i­ety and de­pres­sion. For more in­for­ma­tion he can be con­tacted at 604-327-5253.

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