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What is mental health

Dr. Goyal is an expert in mental health and has some pretty intriguing ideas about it. If more people were upfront about their mental health and there was greater understanding of it, he thinks the world would be a better place. He also thinks that people should try to receive the assistance they require rather than feel ashamed of their mental illness. A significant problem in the modern society is mental health. As our emotional, mental, and social well-being, mental health is referred to as such. A licenced clinical psychologist, Dr. Goyal Rewa.He has worked with clients from all walks of life, including business executives, college students, preschoolers, and the elderly, for more than eight decades in the field of mental health. He has also published widely on subjects linked to mental health diagnosis, evaluation, treatment modalities, research methods, and the use of spirituality in therapy during his many years of active study in the field of mental health.


What is mental health? A complete guide to mental health –


World Health Organisation's mental health definition states, "Mental health is a state of mental well-being that enables people to cope with the stresses of life, realise their abilities, learn well and work well, and contribute to their community."

According to WHO mental health is "more than just the absence of mental disorders or disabilities." It clarifies that peak mental health is not only about managing active conditions but is also concerned with looking after ongoing wellness and happiness.

Every year World Mental Health Day is celebrated on 10th October to promote global mental health education and awareness.


What is mental health?

Mental health means overall cognitive, behavioural, and emotional well-being. It is about complete wellness of how people think, feel and behave.

People often cite the concept of "mental health" to indicate the absence of a mental disorder. People often experience significant troubles in their cognitive functioning, which might lead to mental disorders. Such conditions are caused due to present patterns or changes in thinking, feeling or behaving cause distress or disrupt a person's ability to function.

A mental health disorder affects or hinders a person in –

  1. Maintaining interpersonal relationship or family relationships
  2. Functioning in social settings
  3. Performing at home or in workspaces
  4. Learning at a level expected at certain age and intelligence
  5. Participating in other important activities


Mental health affects one's daily living, relationships and overall physical health. Doing so involves balancing life activities, responsibilities, and efforts to achieve psychological resilience.

Conditions like stress, depression, and anxiety affect mental health and disrupt a person's routine. However, health professionals and doctors often recognize that many psychological disorders have physical and social roots.

Mental health is essential at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood. Even though the terms are often interchangeable, poor mental health doesn't indicate mental illness. For instance, a person with poor mental health maybe not be diagnosed with a mental illness.

Why is mental health important for our overall health?

Mental and physical health is equally essential for overall health, i.e. depression may lead to other physical issues such as diabetes, heart diseases, and presumably stroke.

Likewise, being occupied by chronic conditions can increase the risk of mental illness.


Can my mental health improve over time?

Yes, you must change and improve your mental health over time, although it depends on various factors.

A person’s mental health gets impacted when the demands placed on a person exceed their resources and coping abilities. However, prolonged poor mental health can be detrimental to overall well-being. Thus, you must change and improve your mental health over time.

How common are mental illnesses?

WHO estimated the economic loss from mental health conditions from 2012-2030 is USD 1.03 trillion. The burden of mental health problems in India's disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) is 2443 per 100 00 population. Furthermore, the age-adjusted suicide rate per 100 000 population is 21.1.


What triggers mental health?

1 in every 5 individuals suffers from some mental problem. 50% of individuals' mental health conductions show up by the age of 14. By the age of 24, 75% of mental health conditions develop.

Mental issues can get triggered by multiple factors, among which social, physical and emotional factors to the most. Complexities between the mind, body and environment result in psychological disorders.


There are several reasons which trigger such mental conditions. Some of such factors could be –

  1. Long-term acute stress
  2. Early adverse life experiences like childhood trauma, assault, witnessing or experiencing violence, abuse, etc.
  3. Biological factors, genetic factors or chemical imbalances in the brain
  4. Excessive drug, alcohol or substance abuse
  5. Low energy, mental breakdowns, fear of being isolation
  6. Cognitive behaviour – destructive self-talk and consumed negative thoughts
  7. Social problems such as social status, social esteem or inferiority complex, financial issues, etc.


How do mental health professionals diagnose mental disorders?


Several problems can trigger mental health issues. A mental health condition diagnosis can be made by a psychiatrist, neuropsychiatrist, psychologist, clinical social worker or any other mental health professional. 


A mental health specialist makes the diagnosis based on the following –

  1. Your personal or family medical history of physical illness or mental health disorders.
  2. Your complete physical checkup to identify or rule out the condition that may trigger such a mental condition.
  3. Questions regarding your current concerns or factors why you are in such a situation.
  4. Personal in-depth questions regarding how events (recent or past) have caused changes in your life and their impact on you, whether positive or negative. 
  5. History of any trauma in personal or social life – relationships, work, death – affecting how you think, feel or behave.
  6. Questionnaires or other formal tests to get your insights on how you would think, feel, or behave when put in certain or typical situations
  7. Personal questions regarding habits – if you have depended on alcohol or drug for daily life or indulged in such activities in the past.
  8. Questionnaires for people who know you personally, such as parents, spouse, siblings, friends and acquaintances.

When do you need mental health treatment?

Every individual has a different level of mental fortitude; thus, every mental health condition has its own signs and symptoms. However, in general, mental health professionals can help you when you experience any of the following conditions –


  1. Excessive anxiety
  2. Prominent changes in your personality, eating or sleeping patterns
  3. Unusual or preternatural thinking
  4. Prolonged negative thoughts, sadness, depression or apathy
  5. Self-destructing thoughts or statements 
  6. Substance over and misuse
  7. Extreme mood swings and excessive anger, violent behaviour and hostility



How can I improve my mental health?

Studies have suggested 5 steps to improve your mental health and promote overall well-being.


Here are 5 things that you can try for yourself to bring a positive impact to your life –

However, if more than these tips are needed, seek help as soon as possible.

 Socialise –

Connecting with people and having good interpersonal are essential to your mental well-being. Socialising can help you –

  • Build a sense of belonging and self-worth
  • Bring an opportunity to share positive experiences
  • Provide emotional support and promote empathy.


There are various ways you can try to incorporate and build stronger, closer and better mutual relationships –

Do’s –

  1. Take some time every day to spend with your family, friends or acquaintances.
  2. Take time away from devices and indulge in a friendly, warm conversation with your loved ones.
  3. Have meals with people close to you.
  4. Pay a visit to an old friend or family member.
  5. Go for volunteering programmes.


Don’ts –

  1. Rely on social media or stick to virtual mediums of communication


Be physically active –

Being physically active is beneficial for both your physical and mental health. It can improve your mental well-being by –


  • Increasing your self-esteem
  • Helping you strengthen your willpower and ability to achieve goals
  • Releasing endorphins which help to change and improve your mood positively


Do’s –

1. Try hobbies that need physical activity

  1. Find free activities that help you get fit
  2. Go for long walks, swimming, cycling – or dancing.


Don’ts –

  1. Getting physically active doesn’t mean that you spend hours in a gym. You can add physical activities to make part of your daily life.


Learn or try new skills –

Scientific studies and researches show that learning new skills can have a positive impact on our mental well-being –

  • Helping you connect with others
  • Building new connections
  • Boosting self-confidence and self-esteem


If you are short on time or already have a lot on your plate, there are many different ways to bring learning into your life.


Do’s –

You can learn new things with these simple techniques –

  1. Try cooking yourself a new dish
  2. Try mentoring someone, guiding a junior, or lending a helping hand to someone.
  3. Invest in self-grooming, learn ways to make yourself more presentable
  4. Try something new every day, and add creativity to your life.
  5. Try a new language

Don’ts –

  1. Don’t shut your mind. Don’t begin things that don’t align with your fundamentals, either. It’s recommendable to do activities that give you joy.



Practice giving and kindness –

An act of giving and kindness can be an excellent way to improve your mental well-being by–

  • Creating a flow of warm, positive feelings within you
  • Making it easier to connect with people
  • Adding to self-worth and purpose


As Chinese philosopher Confucious said, “The journey of a thousand miles, begins with one single step”, similarly small acts of kindness, in the long run, can make you feel good about yourself.

Do’s -

1.Be grateful and thank people if they have done something for you.

  1. Participate in local volunteering programmes
  2. Visit an elderly home or an orphanage or make donations
  3. Be good to others and kind to yourself


Don’ts –

  1. Don’t consider this feeling as pride.

Practice Mindfulness –

Being mindful means the act of being in the present. Pay attention to the present moments. Time is ever fleeting, don’t worry about things yet to happen. Watch your thoughts, feelings, emotions and actions, and be careful about your mind and body and the world around you.

The art of mindfulness can help you enjoy life more and understand yourself better. It is beneficial in changing your perspective and your approach to life.

Do’s –

1. Practice self-love affirmations

  1. Meditate everyday
  2. Take cold showers
  3. Practice journaling
  4. Read books (try stoic activities)
  5. Be grateful to yourself and thank the Universe for all the privileges you have

Don’ts –

  1. Don’t harbour ill feelings or resentment towards others or yourself.
  2. Don’t entertain nasty and negative thoughts and feelings
  3. Try to bring your mood fluctuations and emotions under your control


Remember, your mental health is the outcome of your thought processes. Try a different perspective on life, and things will begin to unfold in your favour. Do seek mental assistance, don’t struggle alone. Open up about how you feel, and face things that make you feel.