Mental healthcare is one of the most neglected health fields in Pakistan. For this reason, mental illness is afflicting approximately 50 million of the country’s citizens. A large majority of this population is women. Depression, Schizophrenia, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and Anxiety are frequent results of this. Only a small percentage can afford treatment. To add to the problem, a visit to the psychiatrist is often frowned upon due to cultural and societal norms. An individual can not gain complete social acceptance with presence of poor mental health. Let us learn why mental health care is so important.
So why should you care about your mental health?
Firstly, mental health strengthens and supports our ability to maintain physical health and well-being. Your physical wellness depends affects your daily life. Physical problems often arise due to mental health issues. You may not be able to do the activities you enjoy, which can lead to stress, anxiety and depression. Notably, people with physical issues are thrice as likely to seek mental health care than those without physical conditions.
Excessive anxiety and stress can contribute to physical problems such as heart disease, ulcers, and colitis. The illness can also reduce the strength of the immune system, making people more vulnerable to conditions ranging from the common cold to cancer. As a result; studies have shown that people with untreated mental health problems visit a medical doctor twice as often as people who receive mental health care.
Undiagnosed psychological problems can increase the likelihood that the individual will make poor behavioral choices which can contribute to many medical problems. Smoking, excessive alcohol or drug use, poor eating habits, and reckless behavior can all result in severe physical problems and the need for medical services.
Impact on Others
When you’re lacking in mental health, it affects not only you but also your family as well. The children of people with mental illness are at greater risk for abuse, neglect, and a wide range of emotional and behavioral issues, for when they become older as they can’t look up to their parents for help and advice, and they most often isolate themselves from other people.
Some studies suggest that people with untreated mental conditions often commit violent crimes. In many cases they become the victims themselves. Drug or alcohol overdose increases this risk substantially. Close relatives or friends fall victim to these crimes in most cases.
Efficient productivity and performance at work increases positive mental health. Furthermore, it is due to consistent work attendance, and fewer workplace accidents. In addition, people suffering from a serious mental illness earned at least 40 percent less than people with good mental health. Many individuals with untreated mental disorders may have to face a variety of economic struggles including declaring bankruptcy or becoming homeless.
People with even mild mental health problems run the risk of having a lower life expectancy. When we are free of depression, anxiety, excessive stress and worry, addictions, and other psychological problems, we are more able to live our lives to the fullest. Caring for your mind as well as your body means you’ll not only live longer but better especially in a country that is already casualty to many ills, the weight of neglecting mental health can no longer be refused.