Learn to value your mental health, says medical expert
Kohima, Aug. 24 (EMN): Mental well-being is as important as physical well-being, said Dr. Viketoulie Pienyu, Senior medical officer at State Mental Health Institute, Kohima, on Monday while stressing on the importance of mental health and its management.
He stated this on Monday at a webinar hosted by the Family Planning Association of India (FPAI) Nagaland branch on ‘Mental well-being of young people’. He told the participants that learning to value one’s mental health is very important in today’s society.
According to Pienyu stated that the amount of stress that people faces has increased today as they encounter more frustrations, challenges and stressful lifestyles; and many seriously undermine their mental health.
He maintained that mental health and mental sanity must be preserved, which he said, is ‘very valuable’.
He stated that everyone experiences stress everyday in one way or the other and that there are two types of stress that a person encounters- positive stress and negative stress.
He observed that positive stress is necessary in life and does not really harm one’s health and mental health. “A little bit of stress is necessary for our growth,” he said.
While maintaining that negative stress or distress is bad, he said when the level of stress increases and is left unattended for a long period of time, it adversely affects the physiological health as well as mental well-being.
“Too much of negative stress can be bad for our health,” he said.
Pointing at various kinds of stress prevalent among the young people, Pienyu said coping with academic stress – exams, volume of courses that is vast, and assignment — is one factor that accounts to stress.
He said young people also encounter stress through relationship- family conflict that results in high degree of stress both physical and mental. He added that “serious romantic relationship among young people” that involves lot of emotion becomes stressful when it does not go well and results in severe distress.
According to him ‘the pressure’ that a person gets from friends, and most importantly from family (parents), contributes to stress when parents are unreasonable, failing to understand a person but create unreasonable demands.
Pienyu said that in view of ‘internet overload’, where almost everyone is hooked to the internet and various social media platforms like WhatsApp, gaming, videos and others, one must be mindful of the contents that can generate negativity and limit the amount of time spent on internet, stating that it can affect sleep and mental well-being.
He observed that ‘career indecision’ among the young people with inability to decide profession to take up causes stress, and high competition seriously affects mental well-being with many getting stuck in ambivalence for career.
He also maintained that ‘personal issues’ like smoking, excessive use of mobile phones, alcohol, drugs etc. are serious problems that are prevalent and need to be tackled as it results in financial problems, self-esteem issues and frustration in relationships and other personal issues.
He stated that if a person experiences stress for a long period, it can cause psychological and behavioural problems besides physiological problem with fast irritability, shortness of breath and difficulty in breathing, headache, fatigue and high level of anxiety and unpredictable behaviour.
The officer maintained that when a person undergoes stress, they try to cope with the situations in two forms — adaptive coping and mal-adaptive coping.
He asserted that mal-adaptive coping is very dangerous; as many people opt for short term stress boosters in the form of excessive smoking, alcohol and drugs that in turn results much bigger and longer side effects. He also recommended tips for adaptive coping in the form of staying active physically to uplift both body and mental health.
The doctor also encouraged the public to stay socially engaged with family, stating that happy family life is the best buffer from stress and also gives peace of mind and calmness.
Meanwhile, he dwelled on the importance of maintaining healthy social relationships, balancing between work and rest, developing positive attitude, and indulging in creative recreational activities that boost the mental health and eliminate stress.