- If I am suffering emotionally. Where do I go to start getting relief?
Anyone and almost everyone suffers emotionally. We find the solace with out family, friends, or other strong figures who promise us a level of trust. But if we don’t have anyone we can always turn to those who are professionals at dealing with emotional havocs. These professionals are psychiatrists and psychologists. If you think you are suffering emotionally just reach out to any of the available helping hands.
2. I can’t tell if I have a “brain problem” or a “mind problem.” How can I figure that out?
So mental health is something not palpable. It is an abstract concept. But if you aren’t being fulfilled by your daily activities, if your family, your friends and your job are not giving you pleasure, if you aren’t enjoying a meal without any obvious physical discomforts, you may be having a mind problem.
3. Who are the “designated helpers” out there? What are the differences among them?
The designated helpers are of two types.
Psychiatrists and psychologists. Psychiatrists deal with the chemical part of the issue. They deal in terms of levelling the chemicals called neurotransmitters in your brain. They prod through history and devise a diagnosis to help out the patient with appropriate medications.
Psychiatrists are the other wheel balancing this treatment. They listen. They work with you through several thought processes and exercises. They help you identify and maintain the balance.
4. The current system is based on the idea of “diagnosing and treating mental disorders.” How should I think about that?
So anything that is an issue needs identification. Cognizance is the first step. And right now it works through the process of diagnosis and treatment. Many people may not like the idea of a “diagnosis” but that is the starting rung of the ladder to climb up to ultimate self-actualisation.
5. If I engage a mental health service provider I’m likely to receive a “diagnosis of a mental disorder” and be labeled in a certain way. How should I think about that label?
So many of us are diagnosed diabetics. There is no stigma associated with it? All the hypertensives, the people with heart disease, asthma, allergies, they all have a label but why is it a perfunctory one? These labels are only for medical purpose, for medical information and transferral of information. It has nothing to do with putting people in categories. Likewise is for all mental illnesses. A name is just that– a name!
6. What about “antidepressants,” “psychiatric medications,” and so on? How should I conceptualize the use of those chemicals?
Just like you take insulin for diabetes. You take aspirin for a headache. You take the chemicals to calm down your brain neurotransmitters. You are upping your happy chemicals. You are bringing down your negative chemicals. You are basically bathing your brain in a happy wine. Ain’t that good?
7. Given that “mental disorders” are “diagnosed” by virtue of the “symptoms” I present, rather than on the basis of underlying causes, how should I think about that?
Cause leads to effect. Effect are the symptoms. Correct identification of symptoms helps identify the cause. Treatment is aimed at the cause. So diagnosing with the help of symptoms is absolutely the right way to go!
8. What if my circumstances are causing a portion of my emotional pain? How should I think about that?
When a person is born, he is born with a set of genetics. Then there are the environmental influences guiding that genetic makeup to express itself. Two people with same set of genetic makeup kept in different environments grow up to be totally different individuals. We are but what our surroundings and circumstances make us to be.
9. What if my formed personality is causing a portion of my emotional pain? How should I think about that?
Most of the times it is our own selves who are addicted to the role of the sufferer. One of the most important healing processes is an ability to let go. Just keep your mind open.
10. If I don’t have much meaning or life purpose in my life, how might my emotional pain be related to that?
Who has got the meaning of life? We all are working through it as we go! Life is a puzzle to unravel daily. One day at a time. Don’t worry about not knowing the “purpose”, you driving down to get a burger is ordained and not without purpose. Look for meaning in small things. Stepping out of bed daily is as important a thing as conquering Everest. Rejoice it.
11. How should I conceptual “good mental health”? What am I actually aiming for?
You open your eyes in the morning, you look forward to the day. THAT IS THE AIM!
12. I am in a lot of pain and distress right now and need immediate help. What should I do?
Message me. Message your siblings. Seek out your parents. If you think they won’t understand make an appointment with any of the local psychiatrists or psychologists. Reach out. The only thing that you can do is make a call for help! It will be answered InshaAllah.