How to Reach Out for Help? Here Are 6-Steps for A Mental Health Diagnosis
Approximately 100 crores of people worldwide are suffering from mental health disorders, according to WHO. However, only a few of the patients receive access to healthcare facilities, and it is reported that 75% of them living in countries with low and middle-income fail to receive any scientific and evidence-based treatments. Though mental health disorders are largely prevalent, there are still stigmas associated with them, such as people being afraid of judgments, misunderstandings, mockeries, and discrimination based on what they are suffering from, making it the prime barrier for them to seek expert help. The existence of this stigma can be attributed to the lack of mental health awareness, and they aren't identified, reported, and discussed as freely and openly as other medical problems.
How does one deal with their everyday stressors, realize their potential, work productively, and contribute to their community?
It's common to find people taking offs for ailments such as fever or headache, and seeking expert references for medical problems. We could certainly anticipate normalising and treating mental health disorders as well. To attain that, it's crucial to start conversations about mental health, consider it essentially a part of overall wellbeing, and not consider it a character or a personality flaw, a limitation, or something one can easily get out of. The etiology behind mental disorders could be biological, physiological, social, or a combination of the above. It's also critical to note the strengths one possesses rather than the shortcomings because ultimately mental health focuses on overall wellbeing. How does one deal with their everyday stressors, realize their potential, work productively, and contribute to their community? If could answer the above, it could be evident that mental health has an impact on every aspect of our lives. We could have both pleasant and unpleasant emotions, experiences that shape our perspectives towards the world, and good and bad days. We could also come across someone who faces difficulties with their mental health.
Guidance to more appropriate and authentic resources such as helplines, support groups, and mental health practitioners
In moments like these, it's advisable to press the #UnMute button and talk about mental health. We can begin with how we feel, share our experiences with our dear and near ones, for example, friends or family, or reach out to an acquaintance, colleague, or guide. This attribute need to be considered the strength one could gain, the validation one could seek for their emotions, and experiences, the change in perspectives, and the required support. We need to advocate mental health more often than not. We should initiate more conversations about it, we could start with our homes, schools, workplaces, etc. We could try to be sensitive, non-judgemental, responsible, compassionate, and supportive to the ones suffering. We could be careful of the attitude we exhibit, the words we utter, and the kind of vibe we let out. We could be that listening ear or the lending hand they lacked through their struggles. We could also redirect them to more appropriate and authentic resources such as helplines, support groups, and mental health practitioners.
Here are 6 steps that could help someone striving to reach out:
i) Start with you, and the changes you experience:
Our routines tend to become mundane, but some days are harder than the rest, you would find it difficult to wake up, put on those walking shoes, make yourself a healthy breakfast or find the motivation to go to school or work or tend to any of daily chores, notice those changes, in your mood, in what you feel, how you behave, what you experience and how you think. These changes could take a toll on your productivity, academic performance, or rather feeling good about your existence. You may zone out, be drained of energy, experience changes in appetite and sleep patterns, feel irritable or anxious and become overwhelmed by the emotions and act upon them.
ii) Share your experiences:
Find someone to talk to, about the changes you’re going through, it could be immediate family, friends you’re comfortable with, or a mentor you trust profoundly.
iii) Seek professional help:
You could start by consulting your physician and ask him to refer someone whose expertise is to deal with mental health problems.
iv) Consult a mental health practitioner
The next step would be finding authentic resources such as helplines, support groups, and mental health practitioners who could lead you to a diagnosis and essentially therapy.
v) Keep your support systems close
Family tends to be worried for you more than you could imagine, hence keep them informed of your consultations, progress, and further steps, as brief and comfortable as you find. They could also act as an excellent support system in making you feel that you don't have to go through this alone.
vi) Treat mental health emergencies as significant as medical emergencies
If you feel the emotions overwhelm you more than you can handle or the situation seems out of your control, immediately contact a helpline or seek proper professional guidance as to how to deal with it. Calm yourself, and once the crisis intervention worked, seek appropriate assistance to tackle further episodes, or settle them for good.