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How to Overcome Mental Health | Mental Health in Nepal

  • blog
  • 18th Jun, 2021
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Whenever people hear the term ‘Mental’, they associate it with ‘Madness’. So, is Mental Health all about madness and depression or is there more to learn about?

According to WHO, mental health is a state of well-being in which any individual acknowledges their capabilities to overcome stresses in their life which may come in different forms. Having good health leads to great productivity in work and more contribution to the society.

In a simple term, Mental Health refers to one’s emotional, cognitive, behavioral, and social well-being. Life is not always fun like when you were kids. As years pass by, people find themselves in the harsh reality of a world where stress and trouble may find you in different forms.

There are many ways one can face Mental Health issues in their life. For some lack, of a job leads to stress. For some, it’s the pressure from the study. Some find themselves surrounded by problems when they become parents. One can become mentally weak at any point in life. Failing to judge the results and not realizing the result of your actions may lead to excess stress and Mental Unstableness.

It’s very important to realize that not everyone builds the same and strong. Some people can stand stress as nothing has happened, but some people get offended and easily manipulated by small things in life. When you are more emotionally attached and concerned, there is a higher chance you might face unstable health conditions. The most common terms associated with Mental Health are anxiety, depression, and stress. These are the main reasons one loses control very quickly and cannot think properly.

In this article, we will learn what mental illness is and how to counter it!

What is Mental Health?

WHO has addressed that mental health or well-being is more than just the absence of mental disability or disorder. It is uttermost responsibility to accept this health issue as the major problem by family and society.

In many developed countries, there are many health measures and facilities provided to such patients in the form of therapy, medication. Counselling just to name a few. But the condition is very harsh and inhumane in poor countries where patients with mental health issues are treated like taboos and completely abandoned by society and families.

Even in the most powerful and advanced countries like the USA. 1 in every 5 adults reported facing some sort of mental health problem each year, which drags the attention of how serious this problem is. This also proves that the issue is worldwide and has to be taken seriously by every person – rich or poor. As per the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), about 4.5% of US adults reported severe psychological health issues.

What leads to Mental Health Problems?

It doesn’t matter whether you are rich or poor, kids or adults, male or female. Everyone is equally prone to facing mental health problems. It can be economic factors, unsatisfactory lifestyle, lack of sleep, work pressure, biological factors that may lead to the disease. Usually, people with mental disorders have more than one such issue to deal with, which makes it even more uncertain to deal with.

Mental Health in Nepal

In Nepal, about 20% of the total population is suffering from mental disorders according to The Ministry of Health and Population of Nepal. This is very serious news, and it is believed the number might go up at an alarming rate. About 18 mental hospitals are providing their service all over Nepal, but the quality of service may not be satisfying to treat the patients.

The numbers are devastating and it is about time we change our thinking about mental patients. Unless society is improved and the ill judgments are stopped, mental disorder patients will be exploited and misbehaved. This is also the reason for the increasing suicide rate in Nepal.

Impact of COVID-19 in Nepal

Mental Health issue in Nepal.

After the pandemic started, the issue is increasing in Nepal. People have lost their jobs, families causing them immense suffering leading to worry and mental health disorders. As a country vastly focused on tourism, COVID-19 has raptured the tourism industry leaving many people jobless and hopeless.

We have seen reports of increasing suicides in various [arts of the country due to COVID-19. The mental disorder issue was already bad in Nepal due to a lack of government effort. What COVID-19 has done is make it even worse with no solution at the moment to counter it.

Factors responsible for mental health disruptions:

Unwanted social and economic pressure

Our world and society are so wrongly structured that people of middle and lower-class families are treated as a minority. People of such families have to struggle every single day just to get food on the table. These factors easily lead to mental health disorders. The world is run by the rich and powerful, only the ones in power are equipped with better jobs and lifestyles. Even your degrees don’t mean anything now unless you know some powerful people. This cruel situation has certainly caused mental disorders in many students and working families.

Some factors that reduce the chances of mental health disorder in society:

  1. Proper Education with unbiased job opportunities.
  2. Good housing and lifestyle.
  3. No discrimination among the neighbors.
  4. Social activities.

The report suggests that people with “low economic status” are most affected by mental health disorders.

Biological Factors

It is not guaranteed that mental disorder passes through genes, but what we should take into consideration is that there is a probability. Research has concluded that having mental issues in the family history lead to higher chances of mental health disorder in children. Diseases like diabetics, chronic pains are known to be hereditary and these are also the major factors leading to mental disorders. So we cannot exclude mental disorder issues as a hereditary problem.

But keep in mind having sound and good health conditions in the family history doesn’t prevent you from getting mental issues after all depression or schizophrenia is the major concern among teenagers and adults.

Major mental Health Disorder 

a. Anxiety Disorder

About 4% of the world’s population are victims of anxiety. In the US alone more than 19% of the population face anxiety issues. The condition becomes even worse in underdeveloped countries.
In Nepal alone, more than 22.7% of the population are facing anxiety disorder, bear with me while I say that this number is only going to increase over years.
In the next few years, we might see the number rise to 25% in Nepal due to pandemic effects and economic concerns.

Types of anxiety disorders include:

1. Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

These are the unwanted and disproportionate worries which hamper your day-today activities. The symptoms include:

  • Restlessness
  • Interrupted Sleep
  • Tense Muscles
  • Fatigue

People with this anxiety are trapped between options and question their own decision.

2. Panic Disorders

People with this disorder are prone to frequent and sudden panic attacks. Especially people who are emotionally weak face this issue. Frequent panic disorder also leads to sudden and untimely death.

3. Phobias

Phobias come in various forms, the most common and dangerous is a social phobia or social anxiety. “The fear of what others will say if I do this” has shattered many dreams and dismantled many lives. This is the worst fear one can ever have. 

We still live in a society where people will judge every single step you take and question every decision you make, and if you let that fear control you and drive you then, you are the victim of social anxiety.

The other phobia is Agoraphobia: it is the fear of being in a certain situation and being unable to control yourself. Being on a train or bus, facing someone are some examples.

4. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

The fear and sudden urge to do things repeatedly like washing hands, arranging things in order, repeating certain words, counting, and doing meaningless things just to keep yourself calm.

5. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

This disorder develops within people after they encounter or witness some horrific and traumatic events. People bitten by dogs may lose their cool after seeing any dogs near them, being in a car accident may result in fear and nightmares. Sometimes people just lock them inside the house and fear getting outside which results in mental disorder.

b. Mood Disorders

Also known as mood swings. This disorder causes people to suddenly change their thinking. You can be smiling one minute and completely devastated in the next minute. People suffering from this disease are easily manipulated by simple actions. Examples include:

1. Bipolar Disorder

Many movies have been made about bipolar disorder. Having this disease causes people to experience sudden and unusual changes in their behavior, energy level. Your mood changes frequently for no reason, mood can be classified into two types: one is high mood and the other is low mood, low mood usually leads to depression. 

Bipolar disorder is also defined as having multiple personalities in a single person. People feel they are different people when hit by this disease.

2. Depression

Depression causes people to lose interest in most of their daily activities. They can’t enjoy doing anything. They reach the lowest point of their life where the only option they find is quitting. Depression leads to 800,000 deaths every year.

c. Schizophrenia Disorders

This disorder causes some serious fragmented thoughts, especially seen among the age group of 16- 30 years, which makes an individual unable to take any decisions on their own.

This disorder consists of positive and negative symptoms. Positive doesn’t necessarily mean good, especially not in this situation. Positive symptoms cause people to have hallucinations and delusions. Not only in the movies, but hallucinations do actually occur in real life too. Whereas negative symptoms make individuals question decisions and withdraw from any difficult situations. This also leads to a lack of motivation resulting in depression.

Early Signs of Mental Disorder

  1. Lack of interest in friends and families.
  2. Withdrawing from any social activities, you would normally enjoy.
  3. Questioning every decision 
  4. Lack of sleep or urge to sleep too much
  5. Lack of appetite or feeling hungry all the time
  6. Unsatisfied with yourself and feeling hopeless
  7. Frequent switch in energy level
  8. Having frequent negative thoughts
  9. Being confused
  10. withdrawing from daily activities 
  11. reappearing persistent thoughts
  12. sudden thoughts of harming yourself 
  13. hallucinations and hearing voices
  14. experiencing delusions regularly

Is there any treatment for Mental Disorders?

There are many known treatments that work well for many patients. Let’s discuss them in detail:

1. Therapies

Therapies or Psychotherapy have become very common in western culture. Therapy sessions are conducted by Psychiatrists or physicians where they talk to the patients for hours and discuss their problems. The main aim of these therapy sessions is to find the root cause of the problem and help solve the issues by suggesting necessary solutions to patients.

This treatment is very popular and appreciated in western countries. Many countries have made this mandatory. But this is not the case in Asian countries. We can hardly see any patient with a mental disorder going in the therapies because there are very few Psychiatrists. The thinking towards Psychiatrists and mental health is slowly changing in Nepal which might be the good news to control mental health disorder.

The main goal is to talk with the patients and make him/her feel important. Most of the time people are hopeless and what they need is just a little push and motivation.

2. Medication

Therapies are not available in many countries, in such cases medication is the perfect solution for the patient. Legal and prescribed medications like anxiolytic, antipsychotics, and antidepressant drugs widely used for such patients.

Most of the time such medicines are used to keep the brain stable and help cure hallucinations and delusions among patients. Such medicines also provide some sort of chemicals to maintain energy levels in the body.

3. Self-Help

Self-cure is the best cure. There will come a time in every person’s life where they will feel low or rejected. I wouldn’t be wrong to say everyone faces stress and problems in their life. Sometimes let down by our friends. Partners, relatives, this is where we have to adjust our lifestyle and way of thinking. It’s a fact that if we mourn over our loss or failure for way too long, it will be too late to come back to normal. Be it taking a break from work, going on a vacation, spending some time with family, ignoring social media, we have to use all the tricks to avoid getting depressed from stress and failures in life.

Having a healthy and natural diet is the key to a healthy life, drinking enough water alone cancels out most of our illness. At the end of the day, all we need is a healthy life, a fresh mind, and family to live a happy life.