Importance Of Seeking Professional Mental Health Help
Disclaimer : These are observations made from counseling sessions and shared to create awareness towards supporting Mental Health.
The practice of self care and love is well painted as a healthy coping mechanism across the globe. This global conversation that allows Mental Health awareness and advocacy today to be a less challenging task. Yes! People are talking about about Mental Health but who is coming for therapy / counseling or when in their journey of self care they seek Mental health support ? Answering these questions , during rapport formation the clients were asked
“ what made you seek therapy/ counseling “?
The answers were from range of our spouse/ caretaker/ parent said to do so I was curious to know what happens in a session , I am fine actually My HR wanted me to speak to someone , it was just a disagreement with a colleague Etc. etc
These answers and the fact that the individual continued to be present along with the therapist/ counselor showed the resistance still to seek help was there in the person which is influenced by the interaction and opinion form from society.
In the journey of self love and care when an individual forms a foundation of practising it . They also create a false positive and delay the individual to seek Mental health support.
So when to seek Mental Health support , when despite following and practising a robust self care and love routine things are not improving for you –
- The first is when you have thoughts, emotions or behaviors that are overwhelming to support despite the meditation and mindfulness you have incorporated in your routine, especially when they are affecting your relationships, your work or your sense of well-being. Never feel embarrassed to ask for help at times when you are upset or overwhelmed by feeling the loss of control over your thoughts.
- Next is when you are struggling to deal with life events that are challenging even for psychologically healthy individuals – such as a major illness, the loss of a loved one, divorce or job problems. These issues may be your own, but could also include those of others you care about. The coping mechanism learn to face challenges is to do with having an intrinsic vs extrinsic motivation that again ins influenced by environmental and cultural interaction.
- The third is when the use of alcohol or drugs interferes with your health, your emotions, your relationships, your job or your ability to fulfill your daily responsibilities. The increase of alcohol or drugs consumption on a regular basis and giving it a celebratory tag every-time should raise a concern towards your own well being.
- Another is when you are confused, fraught with emotions and need the perspectives of a caring yet unbiased person to help sort among difficult choices. And you have talking to friends , support givers and family yet the emotional conflict is not being resolved by these conversations.
- And lastly, when you feel that life is no longer worth living, that you are hopeless and have reached the end of the line, and you would rather die than feel the pain of the present. In the midst of such distress, you are not prepared to make life-or-death decisions. You have thoughts of dying and questioning life choices or in the false positive way of self care and love indulging in high risk taking behavior.
Mental Health issues are of increasing concern on a global scale. The conversation is critical at a national level as India has highest population one in five people may suffer from depression in their lifetime. This is equivalent to 200 million people, yet only 10-12% of these sufferers will seek help.
This is largely due to the stigma associated with mental illness and limited access to professional help. India is hardly alone in this. The tag of a stigma is changing same media and social conversation that have created the stigma are helping unruffled the tied up perception.
Negative societal perceptions can discourage people from speaking openly about their mental health. This leaves many people feeling as though they are to blame for struggling with their mental health or mental fitness or the belief if they are doing self care and love practices they are mentally healthy!
Luckily, the conversation around mental health is growing. There are now more options for those seeking help and support for their mental well-being. And the stigma and biases around mental health concerns is shifting.
The importance of addressing anxiety, depression, and overall mental fitness / well being is undisputed. Yet, the idea of seeking professional help can sometimes seem daunting.
In India, especially urban areas from where I operate as a psychologist, tides are changing , the enquiry calls towards seeking help are increasing , people landing up and maintaining a therapeutic relationship are a shade better than a decade before when I started my practice.
Much of the world is taking progressive steps toward ending mental health stigmas and biases. While more people are given the tools and support they need to manage these conditions , the globalized influence of the work force and a a common umbrella of corporate etiquette is encouraging Mental Health support seeking to be normalized as it is for taking treatment for common cold!
As both adults and children continue to suffer from mental health conditions, despite being encouraged to practise self love and care seeking treatment can greatly improve both their personal and professional lives, as well as overall well-being and happiness.
The hierarchy of seeking Mental Health Support is
– Your immediate treating physician ( MBSS Dr ) a General Physician or other specialties clinically observe your persistent emotional , mental and sleep patterns.
– Then visiting other specialist ruling out eye , ears and neurological issues
– Visiting a Psychiatrist ( A MBBS , MD degree holder licensed to prescribe medicines if required )
-Consecutively first working with a Clinical Psychologist and then coming into maintenance therapy/ counseling with different kinds of Psychologist.
– Psychologist who are trained in specifics areas after the neuro-chemical brain functioning of the individual is resorted with supervision of the Psychiatrist and Clinical Psychologist
-A trained and certificated Psychologist uses various therapies and modalities to restore emotional and mental functioning in daily life while encouraging better sustainable coping skills and mechanisms in the individual.