Mental health, the topic itself sends shockwaves through the spines of all those who have lived through it, and all those who had seen a family member succumb to its icy cold clutches. The topic of mental health is like a raw nerve that not many would want to touch. You can easily speak about the pain in your head, but no one seems to pay much attention to the pain that your mind goes through. Is it really a thing? Can your mind be sick too? Can you die of a mental health disorder? Yes, to all the questions.
Then why is it that the scars on your skin are a hot topic of debate, and the ones beneath do not cause a stir in the air? It is because the stigma concerning mental health is so intense that you cannot possibly cry out for help when you feel yourself slowly drifting apart from yourself.
Mental health is brushed under the carpet so that the society can wipe their soiled feet on it, talk about how cancer is fatal, and mental health a myth! You are not depressed; you are just sad. You are losing weight because you are too nit-picky about food, not because you are suffering from acute clinical depression. You are grumpy, moody, and rude; not a victim of bipolar disorder because that is not even a thing! Easy diagnosis, right?
The self-proclaimed doctors of our society are too quick to pass a judgment. That is what they do, and that is what they have been doing all their lives. Mental health does not even make it to the health insurance plans. There is not much that can be expected out of the society that likes looking at everything in black and white. Things sure are changing. Health insurance policies are undergoing amendments. Some of the plans cover mental health, but it is still not made mandatory.
It is difficult to spot a friend or a colleague, or your daughter suffering from a mental health disorder because most of the times, the symptoms are not even that apparent. This is exactly what makes it scary. When you cannot even spot the signs at a cursory look, how could you hope to treat it? Also, most of the beings inhabiting the society are ignorant of the perils of mental health disorders, and thus, the danger signs often elude the eyes. There are, though, specific signs that could indicate a mental health disorder.
– Excessive eating or loss of appetite
– Insomnia or excessive sleeping
– Withdrawal symptoms like not engaging in conversations or being a part of social gatherings
– Loss of interest in activities that used to pique the interest of the individual initially
– Loss of interest in performing the basic jobs
– A steady drop of grades in schools or drop of performance at work
– Talking about suicide casually or any suicidal ideation that might be reflected in the individual’s behaviour
All the aforementioned points are indications that your loved one might be suffering from excruciating mental agony and needs help. Watch out for the signs before it is too late, and help save lives.
Given the amount of stigma we have regarding mental health and its treatment, it should not come as a surprise that health insurance policies do not have elaborate plans for mental health. Certain modifications have been made in the policy, but it does not make it a necessary criterion. Look up for any health insurance cover, and you shall understand. Your heart is important, but apparently, your mind does not hold much significance.
Funny enough, there was a specific law passed in 2008, which required health insurances to cover the costs of mental health treatments, substance abuse, and the like. However, unfortunately, people are not even aware of the law. Health insurance companies are also known to take advantage of this and decide against providing mental health treatment benefits.
One might wonder what repercussions could this possibly have? To state it in simple words, not putting mental health on the health insurance plans neglects its importance, which is way too damaging for the society. People do not feel the importance of educating themselves about mental health and in spite of having a grieving son, or an acutely depressed friend right in front of their eyes, they miss out on the signs, and lose them eventually.
Mental health disorders eat at your existence and kill you slowly. Millions across the globe commit suicide when the weight of their existence starts gnawing at them, and it becomes too unbearable to combat the symptoms. Teenagers, children, adults or aged individuals; know that anyone, and at any point of time can fall prey to a mental health disorder. It only takes a mild nudge to lose the balance and gravitate towards a partial or complete psychosis. Acknowledging the malice that mental health disorder does to an individual, and accepting the fact that it is as severe as cancer, and needs immediate treatment will make the world a much better place.
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