Mental illness – an issue not to be ignored

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By Faz Zia
Dear friends
WE often talk about mental health and mental illness but what do we mean by mental health and emotional wellbeing? According to www.gofal.org.uk Mental Health is a state of wellbeing in which the individual realises his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully and is able to make a contribution to his or her own community.

However it explores some attitudes specific to the South Asian community such as ‘sharam’ (shame), fear and secrecy surround mental illness. We often don’t want to talk about these things or we relate mental health with madness, a stigma which is still very present within the asian community and needs more attention. Depression is a big problem nowadays, no matter which age group you are it can happen to anyone, but if we don’t diagnose it early stage then it can overcome an individual with some taking their own life. Depression in teenage years is getting worst, with social media on the rise, we are now living in a dangerous society where comparisons of Instagram pictures are used to analyse happiness.

There is also a larger communication gap between parents and their children- parents are too busy working and are not communicating and spending quality time with their kids. Kids are therefore indulging into the digital world which is setting their examples instead of their parents.

I always say this but I strongly believe that your children are your investment and whatever you invest in them in terms of time, manners and morals, it will come back to you but if you lose out in this investment then there is a loss and it will affect your family life going forwards. Never compromise when it comes to your children!

Anxiety is beginning to rise in society today, whether it is social anxiety or just general anxiety. This can affect a person being on a day to day living, being constantly on edge to the point where an individual is unable to function normally throughout their day and begin avoiding social activity. If you’re unaware of an individual’s situation or suffering then this can be seen as avoidant behaviour, anti-social or even just rudeness. These sorts of attitudes can lead to people hiding how they feel and not asking for the support they need and deserve. This can ruin, and sometimes cost people’s lives.

Sometimes the support of friends and family is not enough. Letting them know about the support they can get from the NHS, private healthcare or organisations like Mind and Rethink Mental Illness can also be helpful. https://www.time-to-change.org.uk/about-mental-health/types-problems/anxiety-disorders

Another big issue I would like to touch upon is dementia. It is heart breaking when we see people grow old and don’t remember or recognise their loved ones, a mother whose whole life revolved around her children, that mother loses her memory and doesn’t even remember the face or name of her children.

Information on how many people in the UK population as a whole are affected by stress is very limited. However, our new survey found that over the past year, almost three quarters (74%) of people have at some point felt so stressed that they felt overwhelmed or unable to cope. The survey, commissioned by the Mental Health Foundation and undertaken by YouGov, polled 4,169 adults in the UK in 2018.
Please don’t be ashamed of your mental health or any other illness, it is a part of our body and it is normal to talk about these things and get help from doctors or mental health services. Life is important and beautiful don’t destroy it because you are ashamed of it, remove that stigma and live your life.