How well do you understand mental health? Is a person who has mental health issues a mad man or woman? Do you have mental health issues and may not know? According to statistics, there are close to 450 million people living with mental health in the world but that does not mean they are mad. So, what exactly is mental health? The World Health Organisation defines mental health as “a state of well-being in which an individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.” From this, we understand that good health means confidence, sound mind and peaceful state of mind whereas bad mental health comes with anxiety, depression, low self-esteem and the likes. The WHO has discovered that out of the 21.6 million people living in Ghana, 650,000 suffer from a severe mental disorder and a further 2,166, 000 suffer from a moderate to mild mental disorder. That is to say 98% of the entire population are likely to have some form of mental disorder.
Let’s take a quick look at some different types of mental disorders.
Depression: This is where a person usually wants to be alone, has no interest in things or situations around them. This can go on for days and years on end.
Anxiety disorder: This is when a person has so much fear and worry that it affects their activities throughout the day.
Bipolar disorder: This has to do with excessive counts of mood swings.
Dementia: Some symptoms include memory loss and judgment in the way of life
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder(PTSD): This is where a person doesn’t recover after going through something very scary or bad. For example, witnessing an accident.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder(OCD): This is when a person finds himself liking something too much, they become obsessed with it and make decisions concerning that thing without necessarily thinking through it.
Here are some ways by which we can help people with mental disorders of any kind:
Being extra patient and supportive: People with mental health disorders are to be dealt with patiently at all times.
Learning about mental health: Most people think being aware of mental health is for doctors but it’s for all of us so that we can help those who deal with it.
Respect: People living with mental disorders are usually more sensitive so it’s important to treat them with love and respect at all times.
Mental health is not a “white man’s” topic. It can happen to anyone. Try your best to rest well, be at peace with yourself and most importantly put your nebyal state first in all situations. Be kind to those who are battling with mental health issues and go the extra mile to show you care.