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Experts have long known that stress complicates a host of health problems. From worsening blood sugar levels to deteriorating heart conditions, stress can take a real good toll on your body. Does this mean stress can lead to diabetes? stress and anxiety don't merely exacerbate disease, it actually can cause it. Today, on World Mental Health Day, TheHealthSite.com spoke to Dr. Saurabh Mehrotra, he is a Senior Consultant and at Mental Health Division, Institute of Neurosciences, Medanta, on the topic. Here's what the doctor wants you to know about the importance of managing stress and anxiety to live a healthy life.
According to the doctor, Mental health is all about an individual's thought processes, about an individual's behaviour as well as about an individual's emotions. So, how we think, or how we feel, and how we manage the situation in our everyday life are the three important ingredients of mental health. In mental health disorders, invariably, either of these or all of these is likely to be affected. So, for example, if somebody is suffering from depression, then as far as mood is concerned, the person experiences persistent sadness of mood, a complete disinterest, low energy levels. As far as the thought process is concerned, they may be having pessimistic thinking, they may start overthinking, which may proceed on to a very negative thinking zone. As far as the behaviour is concerned, the people are most likely to be withdrawn, they do not interact, they prefer to be alone. So the key domains of mental health are the emotions, thought processes, and behaviour of the individuals.
As far as mental health is concerned, as a nation, we are not doing great in India. An estimated 14% of the total population of the country is suffering from some of the other forms of mental health diseases. That would mean 1 out of every 7 individuals in India is battling these disorders. That clearly shows how high the numbers are when it comes to mental health issues.
On the other hand, we have a not very good infrastructure when it comes to dealing with mental health issues. Coming how serious the mental health conditions are in India, Dr. Mehrotra said, it's immense. We say there is a pandemic of COVID, but it is also a pandemic of mental health problems. Also, everybody is in a state of mental health problems.
The lack of proper knowledge in India is the main culprit and the low investments in this sector by the government. The mental health literacy of the population in India is extremely low. They do not understand the psychological disorder or are able to spot and understand the symptoms. Then there is a lot of stigmas, going out and talking about the problem is hardly seen in the country. Nobody talks about mental health issues, they feel it means the person suffering from the condition is 'mad'. Which is not true at all!
Treatment options in India for mental health issues are really great. Just like medical disorders, where you need medical help to bring your high blood sugar levels under control, your hypertension under control, in psychology also, you need to take proper help from the physiatrists.
Yes, chronic stress can worsen some of the very common and serious health conditions such as blood pressure levels or hypertension, blood sugar levels, cardiovascular diseases, etc.
What I would like to say here is that it is important for everyone to recognize the signs and symptoms of psychological disorders, this is very very important. We will have to take care of our mental health. Your mental health is linked to your physical health. People who are in a state of stress or simply in state anxiety are more prone to suffer from physical disorders such as hypertension, diabetes, cardiac problems, heart attacks, all of it. So, if your mind is stressed, it will have a significant impact on your body, it will have a significant impact o your productivity. This is irrespective the age, sex, and other categories.
When it comes to what can be done, I always suggest to people that 'communication is the key'. Keep talking to somebody. Have a support system, share your thoughts, share your feelings. Try and reach out to your near and dear ones, try and talk to them about what you are feeling, what is bothering your mental peace. Include more positivities in your life, through support and assurances from your family and friends. See that your lifestyle is in place, you are giving your body enough sleep, exercising regularly is another great medicine to ward off complexities of stress and anxiety.
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