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Saturday, May 3, 2014

Mental Health Awareness Month 2014: Mind Your Health

In the past, mental illness has often been associated with the stigma of insanity or madness. The general public believed that people who suffer from anxiety, depression, OCD, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder should just 'snap out of it' because 'it's all in your head', and that positive thinking is enough to overcome such imagined maladies. After the recent advancement in brain imaging technology , scientists have been enabling psychiatrist to have better understanding of the brains and dysfunctions that may occur to the brain. Take a look at the brain images below and notice the difference between healthy brains and those riddled with illness.

In a 2013 BBC documentary entitled "The Truth About Depression," all known facts and beliefs about depression and other mental disorders in the past has now been proven to be inaccurate. The best outcome of this technology advancement is that now psychiatrists are able to treat the parts of the brain affected by the illness instead of prescribing medications that would affect the whole brain. Patients benefit from more precise and accurate dosing of medications. Watch the video below:

The problem with having a mental illness such as depression is when the word 'depression' has been popularly used by this generation to express sadness, disappointment, heartbreak, anger and most other negative emotions. In actuality, depression is not about all of the above. It's about the absence of vitality.

Mental illness also has had an adverse affect in the workplace.

The fact of reality is that 1 in 4 people suffer from some form of undiagnosed mental illness. With modernisation, comes extreme stress and acute anxiety and without the help of professional therapist and mental health professionals, most people are not able to cope with these conditions effectively on their own and can easily spiral out into a more complicated mental disorder. The first step is to educate the society at large about what mental illness is and how important mental health is for everyone. Then, it would be easier for those who need help to admit to themselves and their loved ones of their need for assistance and come forward to receive the treatment they need.