Mental health is often overlooked despite being crucial to our overall well-being. While many devices detect physical health, no instrument measures mental health. Neglecting mental health can lead to depression and frustration, so prioritising it is essential.

Noam Shpancer once said:

Mental health is not a destination, but a process. It is about how you drive, not where you are going

These lines depict the importance of our mental health. Since childhood, we have been taught that a sound mind is in a sound body, yet no one has ever thought about it critically and practically. People care much about physical appearance and have invented many devices to detect physical health. This equipment can measure the stability and variations of their physical health parameters, including glucometers, sphygmomanometers, MRIs, X-rays, etc. yet no one has invented any instrument to detect the states of mental well-being or illness. It is the mind which defines the superiority of a man to an animal. The success, strength and survival of human beings lie within their minds; however, they underrate their mental health and work like machines leaving their selves depressed and frustrated in the end.

Mental Health

A person’s mental health controls his emotions, behaviours and thoughts. A slight fluctuation in it may spoil his mood in the blink of an eye, so there is an immense need to heed this issue. In Pakistan, mental illness is considered something to be ashamed of, which deters the victims from seeking support. As Pakistan is a developing country, most people aren’t educated enough to comprehend this issue. Thus, they fall into their meaningless beliefs, which act as the stigma to mental health. In most of the cases, the main causes leading to mental illness include:

  • Social pressure
  • Gender Biases and discrimination
  • Belief in phantasmal forces
  • Lack of awareness

Here is the description of the above-mentioned factors. In Pakistan, the people who face anxiety disorders, panic attacks, schizophrenia, PTSD, etc., are considered under the influence of supernatural forces and are taken to religious traiteurs for healing, which brings no result. The lower literacy in Pakistan results in misconceptions regarding severe mental traumas. In other cases, victims’ families hide their problems as the people consider them insane and whacky. Other significant reasons which trigger mental illness include gender biases.

In western countries, men and women are treated equally; however, the eastern countries like Pakistan, people are conservative and reserved. Men are dominantly brothers, husbands and fathers, while men’s ruling power suppresses women’s calibre. Women have to tackle shame and suspicion when they are divorced. They are mentally tortured by their husbands regarding dowry or negligence in domestic chores and have to face abuse inducing emotional and mental sickness. Furthermore, boys are told in their childhood not to cry, which incites their aggression and develops a mindset that men are feeling less, distorting the harmony of life in society.

A lot of students commit suicide in case of failures in examinations and the fear of not meeting the expectations of their parents. This mental illness has turned plenty of future scientists and economists into psychotics triggering them to give up on their life. Even then, only a very few people take short notice. Our community lacks awareness of the hazardous and killing factors of mental, psychological, emotional and personal maladies. It is the foremost cause of the downturn of our country, as the heart of a nation lies in the well-being of its individuals.

Self-care and emotional resilience

To develop a healthy mindset, heart set, and soul set, one should have a well-nourished mind full of positive energies, free from emotional instabilities and nervous breakdowns. It can only be possible if people invest in themselves and deepen the roots of their self-esteem. Once they acknowledge that emotions are not their weakness, breaking the unhealthy traditional rituals won’t sadden their late ancestors, divorces can’t ruin their lives, failures aren’t the end of their lives, and that every person has a living right, then they will realize the real sense of freedom and pleasure. Once people open up to each other, discuss the elements affecting their mental health, cease making fun or criticizing comments about others, and listen to each other earnestly and empathetically, society will be mentally and emotionally resilient.

In addition, meditation, exercise, sparing time for one’s self, thinking positively, connecting with others, spending quality time with family and friends, enhancing relation with nature, working honestly and timely, maintaining good terms with colleagues, saying no when required, focusing on the aims rather than fears, all these steps will assist oneself in control and directing ones life leading to peace and sustenance.

Lalah Delia said:

“Self-care is how you take your power back.”

Just like physical health, mental health is also in our control. Combating mental sickness and emotional cut-off depends on our vulnerability and inner strength.

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Aimed at Promoting Positive image of Pakistan.

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