Persons with mental illness fear being branded crazy, says psychiatrist
Kohima, Dec. 10 (EMN): Consultant psychiatrist and chairperson of Kohima Educational Society, Dr. P Ngully on Thursday said that treatment for persons with mental illness is available and recovery is possible.
The psychiatrist discussed at length ‘mental health and psychosocial issues of Covid-19’, during a virtual programme held as part of the Covid-19 Academy Nagaland.
He pointed out that most of the people with mental illness are not willing to access healthcare or seek professional help because of discrimination.
“They would not want to meet doctors themselves. One must understand that persons with mental illness are also suffering and is not trying to bring shame to the family,” he said.
The doctor said that people with mental illness fear that if they seek professional help,’ they would be branded as crazy persons by others.’
“They are scared that people would ostracise them if they openly talk about their illness. All these fears would make them resist from seeking any professional help,” Ngully pointed out.
However, medicines plays an important role for people with mental illness and it has to be taken, he added. In addition, maintaining a proper diet is equally important and one must avoid using substances, he advised.
While sharing his professional experiences, he said that many patients having mental illness would come forward for treatment only after gathering enough courage to be treated. Meanwhile, he observed that over a period of time, ‘discrimination against persons with mental illness is dying out.’
“Mental health is not only about the brain but is inclusive of all parts of the body,” he said.
“When Covid-19 came, everyone was stressed out and was left in confusion and ambiguity, which depletes one’s mental energy. In such stressful situation, the option is either to flee from the situation or respond to it,” he added.
He advised that ‘one have to learn to respond to such stressful situation, as that will produce better result. ‘
Responding to a query of starting a conversation with a person with mental disability, the doctor said that one must ‘vibe to their level’ and try to have a conversation without antagonising them.
The psychiatrist also spoke about the importance of having good sleep.
“For persons having anxiety disorders, sleeping is very important,” he pointed out.
Researchers have done studies on sleep and concluded that one should sleep seven to eight hours in a day, in order to release the stress in the body, he added.