2019 Jun 10
The month of May, known and dedicated to promote awareness on mental health and its effect on human beings in their day to day lives. The Rotaract Club of the University of Sri Jayewardenepura initiated “Butterfly Effect” as a Suicide Awareness campaign in 2017 which alarmingly ranked Sri Lanka with the highest rates of suicides. Understanding the importance of identification and treatment before evolving to the final stages of the situation Butterfly Effect 2018-19 expanded its wings to create awareness on mental health. Starting off with commemorating Suicide Prevention day on 10th the September 2018 with Sumithrayo, and launching a psychological First-Aid workshop to our very own task force, the final phase of this initiative was taken to address the community through social media and digital media platforms to help one another get past this stage and beat their dark cloud.
What is a Mental Health disorder?
A Mental Health disorder, also known as mental illness is a diagnosable illness that affects a person’s ability to work or carry out daily activities and engage in satisfying personal relationships (Mental Health First Aid). Mental Health includes an individual’s emotional, psychological and most importantly social well being and does not limit to any age limit, varying from childhood through adolescence to adulthood. The most common mental illnesses include anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder.
Causes of Mental Health Instability.
Many reasons have been identified as causes of mental health problems. The list includes biological factors such an injury, biochemical reactions, diabetes, cancer or heart decreases. even genetic factors. Another contributing factor would be environmental stresses that may be situational varying from financial issues to family problems or even bullying and neglect. Researchers have also found out that mental health issues can also be Genetic, which may be triggered by a series of events. Although researchers have identified the above-stated factors contributing to mental health illnesses, these reasons may vary from individual to individual, depending on their situation and the particular time of occurrence.
How can we identify a Mental Disorder?
Even though the feeling appears in an individual, it cannot be termed as a mental illness unless it affects a person’s ability to cope up with their routine social life or professional career. Symptoms to identify common mental health issues may vary and it cannot be coiled specifically as a whole. Some common identification methods would vary from sudden changes in day to day activities. Changes in eating and sleeping patterns, Sudden arousal of anger, worry, sadness or fear, Severe mood swings, Unexplainable physical aches and pains, Strange delusionary thoughts, Social withdrawal, Feeling hopeless, lonely and useless, Thoughts of self-harm and even suicidal thoughts.
You Are Not Alone!
According to a study done by the University of Wisconsin, State Department of Agriculture and Wisconsin counties cooperating, America “Some when battling a mental illness have the feeling that they are “trapped” and that there isn’t a way out.” In such situation, it is common to feel lost or confused the best solution is to reach out to a friend who you can trust, neighbour or family member and start off with a simple chat about how you feel. In most extreme cases that might have even led to suicide, people have tried beating the issue on their own. This also can be due to much naive unawareness of the people around the victim. “No one understands me”, is a common phrase iterated by victims who have tried approaching their closest circle of friends and family but nothing was acted upon or taken into serious note.
What to do? Whom to approach?
A common problem that overtakes any situation is not knowing whom to approach with such sensitive topics. Professional assistance from a doctor or mental health professional can be vital for many cases. However, let’s start small. The process of recovering from entrapment might not always happen alone and will not always be on a high-end professional level. Understanding that “You Are Never Alone” you can share your thoughts and opinion with your closest group of friends or family. If it is you or anyone around you who seems better off with some support services rendered all free of charge such as Sumithrayo foundation offering an on call 011 2696 6666 or walk-in free sessions, CCCline – 1333
How to cope up?
Sudden strokes of negative thoughts or ideas might rush into any one of us. The bitter truth is the journey is never easy to take one step back but it is okay to feel the way you feel. Some individuals may take a long time, while the others pass quickly but there is no comparison with you and the world. The step forward starts with accepting your feelings and trying your best to stay positive. Even though you may experience some unusual/ uncontrollable behavioural patterns let’s encounter them with patients with withdrawal from the situation and thinking on what to work on. Many individuals seek happiness in their own way, do things that make you happy and take some time off on your own. Making sure that you stay healthy not only physically but also emotionally and mentally starts with an adequate amount of physical and intellectual activity balanced with rest and sleep.
The real providers are the people around. It may be you, some family member or friend. The constant reminder is You Are Never Alone. Join with the Rotaract Club of the University of Sri Jayewardenepura to share this thought and create awareness on mental health within our own circles. The flutter of your wing will be the change we all need. You might be creating the difference of accepting one another and that starts within yourself.