I have mentioned before that being healthy is not only physically healthy, but also relationship with family and friends healthy, emotionally healthy, spiritually healthy, financially healthy and mentally healthy.
Among all these areas, I think mental health is one of the most difficult to diagnose of all. For physical sickness, you can go for medical checkup like X-ray, blood test, urine test, ultra-sound test, MRI test and etc. But for mental sickness, it is not the same. First of all, we might not even aware that we have mental disorder. Some of the mental disorder patient look perfectly normal from the outside but the next day news came out that this person committed suicide. Although we now have this neuroimaging scan (i.e. MRI scan) technology to diagnose mental disorder, some mental disorder like bipolar disorder remains a clinical diagnosis, and no imaging study or other lab test has yet been established to confirm its diagnosis or guide its treatment. (Source).
Secondly, mental disorders are among the most expensive of all health problems (Source). Thirdly, while physical deadly diseases like cancer are scary (Imagine what if the doctor told you that your cancer is at terminal stage and you only left about 6 months life?), mental illness could be scarier. As mentioned, someone might look normal but the following day he/she can commit suicide. And for those who got Antisocial Personality Disorder, they have no empathy, leading to no morals, or no emotion at all. The ones who have emotion, but no empathy, are extremely dangerous. They make excellent liars, are often charismatic, and feel no remorse for any harm they cause anyone. As you might imagine, most Antisocial patients become involved in crime. A majority of serial killers have been diagnosed with this disorder (Source).
Check out some video to understand more about mental disorder and its symptoms.
These are some of the pointers I learned after reading this book “Rejoice Always” by Dr. Michael Shapiro and Dr. Mary Shapiro. The first step is we need to acknowledge that we have mental disorder. Don’t feel ashamed about it or think that you are crazy. Actually the mental disorder also can have mild or severe category. Probably you are just at the mild category. Secondly, find help by talking about it to your close and trusted family/friends and to the professional (doctor). Talking to your good friend is important because they are the one who know and understand and care for you. Their love, support and encouragement can help you a lot emotionally. The reason why we also need to consult the doctor (especially psychiatrists) can professionally and effectively diagnose what types of depression that you are having now which your family/friend unable to do so. And the doctor will try not to first prescribe anti-depression drug/medicine to treat you unless it is seriously needed. This is because those anti-depression medicine will cause you to be dependent on it in future. Actually, there is a controversial about using this anti-depression drug which you might want to also check it out.
I remember there was once I took out my courage to tell my GP that I think I have depression. Then, I told her that I will wake up sometimes during midnight sleep. I couldn’t concentrate well and my digestion not so well and have other depression symptoms. Then the doctor told me to something like to pour out my problems to my family/friends first. I asked if I needed any medicine and she said mine is considered mild type of depression and do not need first unless my depression is so serious until it totally affect my sleep too seriously, then only medicine is needed. Well, thank God, after that, I am much better. I could sleep well since then until now.
I believe there are too some of us have some mild version of depression but the minimum thing we should do it to first acknowledge it to yourselves and the a few people whom you are close with. If you do not have someone to talk to, you may contact BeFrienders. It is 24 hours online. Or if you are non-Muslim, you can also consider to visit or join our Christian community where we will try to be a support and encourage one another.
Depressed person most likely have more unhealthier lifestyle, for example eating too much or too little, sleeping too much or too little, lack of exercise and most likely also don’t care much also what nutrition is needed. But to be better and healthier, healthier lifestyle has to be redeveloped. For example have exercise and taking healthy balanced food, herbs supplement (i.e. bee pollen, lingzhi, john wort and valerian root) which can help to repair the nervous system and promote better sleep. Why bee pollen is because it has more than 200 nutrients and for Yung Kien Bee Pollen, the B group vitamins are so abundant that they are many times more than those of other Pollen products. For lingzhi, it can improve symptoms of anxiety, insomnia and depression and improving symptoms of neurasthaenia, a condition characterized by nervous exhaustion (Source).
Don’t let your depression or mental illness keep getting deeper and deeper. This is because by that time, it is very difficult to treat it at the very serious stage 🙂