How many of us develop a mental illness?

It is estimated that 1 in 4 of us suffer from mental health problems in our life time according to the WHO.

Why do we develop a mental illness?

Our physical and psychological make-up varies due to genetic, environmental and other factors. Hence our ability to cope with day-to-day psychological stress. The stress may be caused by work pressures, exam pressures, family and relationship pressures, money pressures, etc. If the stress continues for whatever reason, we may develop common mental health conditions like anxiety, depression, panic attacks, social phobia, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), drug and alcohol problems, etc. 

How does mental illness affect us?

In the background of stress and mental health condition, the individuals may struggle to make rational decisions and function appropriately on daily basis and thus may feel helpless. In extreme cases, we may become aggressive or develop suicidal thoughts.

Is there a cure for mental illness?

Most of the mental health conditions are treatable with appropriate treatment and support. This is possible only after a thorough psychiatric assessment to understand the problems. It is important that the diagnosis, treatment and prognosis are discussed with the patient and his/her family. Further, the participation of the patient and his/her family in the treatment decisions will speed the recovery. 

Why is my relative not getting better with treatment?

Unfortunately, In very few and severe cases, the cure may not be possible due to various factors. However the symptoms can be controlled with medications and the patient will be able to function at reasonable levels.

What help is available to support my relative who is difficult to care for?

In extreme cases, where the symptoms cannot be controlled and/or the patient is deemed to be risk of harm to self or others, and the family is not in a position to care, the arrangements can be made to admit the patient to a relevant mental health hospital for further management.