Mental Health

Does not select just anybody : it affects everybody!

Mental Health, sadly, is STILL a stigma today despite much research backed by evidence. We still seperate physical health from mental health, and yet, our bodies work in tandem with our brain.

Our brain can be used to the detriment of others in being the most powerful weapon in the world eg whose idea was it to destroy the Twin Towers using aeroplanes and innocent passengers? But, it can also be used to our advantage eg Bill Gates designing Microsoft. In other words, we have the capacity to do anything if we put our minds to it eg “mind over matter”. However, it is imperative we take into account our emotions : our brain instructs our muscles to respond but only because our emotions provoke a reaction. All done at lightening speed, it is difficult to work out who is the cause of what?

Whilst tabloids, insurance companies, and drug companies are keen to embellish mental health in a negative way, we as individuals are not keen to pursue and understand a highly stigmatised and negative topic. Mental Health is regarded by many health professionals as the Cinderella compared to its sister, physical health. Mental Health is also so poorly understood and few people wish to be associated with it. Even those professionals who work with it on a daily basis are little supported when their own mental health deteriorates.

When we talk about physical health, we talk about it as an umbrella covering all aspects of physical ill health and physical illness. We certainly do not talk about it with fear and suspicion as we do when we talk about mental health. Is it not time that we clarify that mental health is also the same umbrella term for mental ill health and mental illness? Surely yes in this decade!

Perhaps it is easier to define and understand if we start with what we know and understand of physical health. Physical ill health would be the common cold, flu, chicken pox, german measles, broken leg, a migraine,etc. So then mental ill health would be feeling low, irritable, tearful, anxious, stressed, reactive depression, obsessive compulsive disorders, eating disorders, drug and alcohol abuse. Physical illness would be chemical imbalances and diseases from diabetes, asthma, cancer, kidney dialysis, etc. Mental illness would be drug induced pyschosis, Huntington’s Chorea, dementia, bi-polar depression, schizophrenia. Both physical and mental illness require medication to stabilize and stem deterioration to give the individual a better quality of life.

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