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What is Mental Health Awareness Week?

“I feel extremely anxious about unknown things in life. I have a feeling of unknown worry for things in life. I feel I can’t handle any difficulties i

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“I feel extremely anxious about unknown things in life. I have a feeling of unknown worry for things in life. I feel I can’t handle any difficulties in life.” ~ Ambesh

“I always get tense whenever there is a challenge in life. If things are not to my liking, I get nervous. I feel I need to always have someone by my side” ~ Suriya

“My partner has severe temper issues and can’t control his anger at all. Also, he is suspicious of anything that I do” ~ Shreya

These are the common mental health issues we see around us, but tend to ignore.

Mental Health Awareness Week gives motivation and awareness about the importance of mental health. It incredibly drives people to fight against mental health issues and break the societal norms about mental well-being. The efforts in Mental Health Awareness week remain for spreading awareness and helping people who didn’t have anyone in their life as a support when they needed one. Mental Awareness Week started 21 years ago, held in the UK and organized by the Mental Health Foundation which is the chief charity organization for mental health. This is a one-week event where people from all over the world come together for support and awareness on mental health.

The Theme for Mental Health Awareness Week?

The theme for Mental Health Awareness Week changes every year. Last year, in 2021, the theme in the UK was Nature. Here, efforts for mental well-being and support through Nature was the main subject. The Mental Health Awareness Week 2022 is going to be from 9 May-15 May 2022. The topic of the Mental Health Awareness Week 2022 will be loneliness as it is one of the major concerns that is affecting people mentally in the UK.

How to Participate in Mental Health Awareness Week?

One should seriously think about participating in Mental Health Awareness Week. Last year’s theme focus was on how necessary things in life like mood, stress, focus, well-being, overall health, and confidence are related to nature. In this aspect, a few steps that we can undertake to actively participate in the Mental Health Awareness Week through heart and being are as follows:

  • Give time to your friends- take a step ahead and help your friends and relatives by just talking to them. Sometimes, simply listening to them makes a lot of change. There is no need to directly talk about mental issues; you can simply initiate a topic and see what their opinions are. You might get to know if they need help or not.
  • See a therapist- you can take some time out during the event and visit a therapist. He/she will be the best knowledgeable person to support you and guide you relating to any mental issues. Whether you need help or not, need advice or not, you will get to know about it when you meet a therapist and talk about everything that disturbs you or concerns you. You can even take a close one, who needs to be aware of mental health or needs mental support, to a mental health counselor.
  • Participate in the event- you can try to get involved in the Mental Health Awareness Week through various means. If you can directly visit the venue where campaigns are held, you can take a look at a number of books there which contain information about mental health. Advocates and volunteers offering advice and approaches for mental wellbeing visit the venue. Moreover, on the website, you can easily search for inspiring stories, graphics, and other activities to become a part of the event. Make sure that if you spot anyone needing mental support, you make them aware of this week and encourage them to actively participate in it.

Purpose of Mental Health Awareness Week?

  1. Requires special attention- mental health is a major concern. Some incidents in life can affect some people very deeply and negatively. In these cases, they feel shy to open up and ask for help. Sometimes their whole life messes up just because they did not open up at the right moment. Therefore, during this Mental Health Awareness Week, the world becomes aware that mental issues can happen and it is absolutely fine to suffer from one. It is normal to ask for help and we can try to resolve the problem. There is no need to feel ashamed of it.
  2. Serious issue- many people do not take mental-related problems seriously. They tend to ignore it. The seriousness and priority level of the situation comes to the forefront with the help of these events.
  3. Encouraging people to help- different people, when faced with the same challenges in life, can react differently. Here, people get the motivation to recognize their problems and help each other to understand their mental stability. Talking about it is not taboo anymore.

What are the different types of mental illness?

We are aware of many types of emotional problems in this world. Some of them are:

  • Mood Disorders- there are extreme fluctuations in the mood of people suffering from a mood disorder. They are always in the extreme of emotions. Being super happy is of course a bliss, but being extremely depressed and having no hope of joy in life definitely need to be addressed.
  • Anxiety Disorder- fear and terror are the two most common traits of this person. As per DSM IV, with anxiety a person finds it difficult to control worry. DSM IV defines “excessive anxiety and worry (apprehensive expectation), occurring more days than not for at least 6 months, about a number of events or activities (such as work or school performance)” (Impact of the DSM-IV to DSM-5 Changes on the National Survey on Drug Use and Health [Internet]). Signs of anxiety as per both DSM IV and DSM 5 are muscle tension, restlessness, being fatigued, irritability, difficulty in concentration, and sleep disturbance. The anxiety and physical symptoms cause impairment in occupational, social and other areas of life.
  • Eating Disorder- here, people tend to either overeat or do not eat at all and starve themselves. They get obsessed with food and their eating habits. They are worried about gaining weight or losing weight all the time. Binge eating disorder, anorexia nervosa, and bulimia nervosa are some of the common forms of eating disorders.
  • Psychotic Disorder- this kind of disorder is related to a person’s thinking. Here, two forms are very common-hallucination where a person imagines things or sounds, even sees people who are not real, and delusion where a person believes in a few things that are not true.
  • Personality Disorder- a person will experience a very fluctuating personality that often creates problems in his/her life. People suffering from personality issues behave in different ways and suddenly change their personalities.
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder- a person with OCD is obsessed about certain things and continuously strives to behave in a certain manner following his obsession. For instance, many people are obsessed with cleaning and will clean their surroundings multiple times a day despite not needing to do that.
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder- a person sometimes goes into trauma triggered by major shocks of uncertain events in life, like sexual assault, relationship deceit or death of a loved one. In this case, the person with PTSD goes numb and quiet. The main trait of PTSD is that the person will always be frightened by the remembrance of an unhappy event.

The most difficult mental illness to treat?

All the above-mentioned mental illnesses are some commonly found ones. However, we are yet to discuss the most difficult mental illness to treat. The most difficult mental illness is Borderline Personality Disorder. Here, a continuous pattern of different behavior, mood, and self-thinking become a general phenomenon of a patient. Due to these symptoms, the person concerned reacts impulsively and this creates problems for him. Common emotional issues like anger, anxiety, or depression sometimes last for a day or a few days. Generally, any person suffering from this disorder tends to show the symptoms in his teenage years.

Some of the most common symptoms of this disorder are quick change in interests of life, extreme opinion about anything, and very unstable relationships in life. This kind of disorder often occurs to those people who have a family history of such mental wellbeing problems, occurrence of any uncertain event in life that has led to shock or structural changes in the brain. It is not easy to treat this kind of disorder. However, with the latest technology and treatment, the symptoms can be controlled. Here, it is very important to refer to a professional counselor/therapist who will treat with specialized and evidence-based treatment. Generally, it takes a little longer to treat patients with Borderline personality disorder. Psychotherapy, medications, and other awareness steps are some of the necessary steps needed for its treatment.

Mental Illness Awareness Week

Every year in October, the event of Mental Illness Awareness Week comes up by the efforts of NAMI and some other organizations in the United States of America. They take an effort to raise awareness about mental illnesses and provide support to fight against them. During the Mental Illness Awareness Week, the medical advocates come together and talk about the illnesses. They emphasize talking and dealing with these conditions normally in life. You can get to watch several videos of people sharing their life experiences during Mental Illness Awareness Week. Moreover, it is extremely important to participate in the Mental Illness Awareness Week since these issues have become so common across the world that in the USA every 1 person out of 5 is suffering from at least one kind of mental illness.

Why is National Mental Health Awareness Week important?

The National Mental Health Awareness Week is going to take place on May 10- May 16, 2022, in the United States of America. It is certainly a crucial and highly relevant event since it focuses on mental health and its solutions. National Mental Health Awareness Week didn’t have any particular theme earlier, but has later started to have meaningful themes.

Whenever discussions on mental health come up, many people shy away or feel scared of being connoted as crazy/mad/mentally-sick etc. It is absolutely false that anyone who is suffering from any sort of mental health problem is crazy or absurd. National Mental Health Awareness Week talks about these issues openly and gives you courage to speak about these to others. National Mental Health Awareness Week condemns this universal delusion and focuses on the problems that need attention at the right moment and treated at the right time.

Mental Illness Awareness Week 2022 in the United States will begin on Sunday, October 2, and go on till Saturday, October 8. Mental Illness Awareness Week 2022 will coincide with World Mental Health Day which is coming up on Oct 10.

So, if you feel triggered and interested with such mental health issues and such important events catering to those, it's time that you step forward. It's time to break any myth associated with mental health and we, at Tava-Mitram, aim to break such false thoughts which are prevalent in India and worldwide. We aim to spread awareness of mental health. Through group coaching, we help you find the solutions of the emotional problems within. It's only you who can take you out of this situation in life. We are effortlessly working towards making Mental Health Awareness week a priority. If you are eager to help people around you suffering from mental health issues, consider joining us as Global Mitra Volunteer to help us spread awareness worldwide.

Tava-Mitram is an initiative/brand of IIUEF - (Inner Universe Education Foundation) and a 12A-80G registered organization. We are a non-profit organization. Ekktaa and Dr. Paras, our two acclaimed and learned master coaches, are taking the wave of spreading mental health awareness ahead to inculcate the power of the subconscious in you. If you are enduring any sort of mental health problem and are reluctant to talk about it to anyone, we welcome you here. Tava-Mitram holds group and individual coaching (donation-based) classes to heal your body, mind, and soul. We will help you in being aware of such emotional problems and guide you towards finding the solutions within you. It is very important to connect with yourself, understand yourself, realize the emotional issues and find ways to deal with those. You will surely come out of this very soon.

For any help/queries, please do reach out to us at info@tavamitram.org. We look forward to hearing from you.

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