As kids, most of us remember being rushed to the nearest doctor at the slightest hint of fever OR being reluctantly taken to the doctor for another one of those never ending list of vaccinations. As adults, even the laziest ones among us manage to fit in a health checkup (even if it’s that free one at the office). And those help too, with all that knowledge of cholesterol, LDL and HDL we are increasingly becoming more proactive about our health- eating healthy, exercising and getting more sleep.
Let’s rack up that memory a little more- how many of us remember being taken to a psychiatrist/psychologist or even the local counsellor for a mental health checkup- EVER- as a KID or as an ADULT. Of course, for some of us that moment eventually does come- but by that time we are completely consumed with the illness, barely functioning-or worse, we don’t reach the doctor at all because we couldn’t understand what was happening with us and decided to end our life and escape the pain.
It is one of the harshest yet mostly ignored FACTS of the twenty-first century- Mental Illness or even caring for our mental health is still considered TABOO or a sign of weakness.
Why can’t we talk about anxiety, anti-depressants and serotonin as easily as superfoods, green smoothies and carbs? We are in one of the most progressive times in our country- there are more opinions, more discussions and more awareness than ever before- but MENTAL HEALTH has been swept under the carpet and as a result we don’t talk about it or discuss it or “horror of horrors” suffer from it!
Let’s put it as simply as possible- Mental health is AS important if not MORE as physical health. We need to take care of it, not wait until we are in the middle of the worst panic attack of our lives to go and google for psychologists and psychiatrists.
It starts from today- for EVERYONE-doesn’t matter if you are 11 or 71- the “forever cheerful” types or a loner- men or women- everyone needs to be evaluated, examined and if required, helped for their mental health problems (if any). If you are found risk-free, congrats, come back after in 2 years and take another assessment. That’s the way it should be- as regular as our physical check ups.
And by that, I don’t mean one of those “Are you depressed? Take this 5-minute quiz to find out” -random tests floating all over the internet which list out a bunch of symptoms for you with checkboxes and give you an automated computer generated “result”.
Add it to your TO-DO list, select a qualified professional and make sure everyone in the family is mentally healthy and happy. If not, start to do something about it today. With the deepest empathy for those who have gone through it, you don’t want to be one of those families who are completely unaware of the storm brewing in their son/daughter’s head until you find them hanging from a ceiling fan or overdosed on painkillers.
Please remember- it is not a WEAKNESS to have a mental health issue. They are treatable or atleast manageable such that the sufferer and the family can go through recovery peacefully and lead flourishing lives.
Just like sufferers of grave illnesses like CANCER have a better chance at survival if detected early, mental illnesses, if detected well in time, CAN also be helped/prevented and the suffering lessened if not completely avoided at a later stage.
And I know we all are SUPER BUSY and OVER WORKED, but the next time you have an off-day from work, think about this. It doesn’t even have to be difficult anymore.
At the risk of this entire article being termed a marketing gimmick, I would like to share that our website does completely safe and confidential mental health evaluations and counselling by qualified and experienced doctors at a reasonable cost. So, if you’d prefer to, you wouldn’t know what your husband’s or daughter’s report says- but each of you can be aware of your own mental health risks and issues (if any) and then choose to involve family or friends at your discretion.
Remember, ignoring it won’t make it go away, not for you, not for your loved ones.
Take the RIGHT STEP NOW.
Have any comments/ideas/opinions/suggestions- Please feel free to share them below!