Mental health is a serious problem that most of us ignore. We decided to look into the matter and reached out to a well-known professional.
Dr. Vrushali Saraswat
BHMS, FCAH (MUHS).
A counsellor and Homoeopath by education, practising for last 18 years.
Particularly interested in mental health and hence a trainer for parenting and children issues.
A staunch believer in the strength of Homoeopathy, hence spreading it by teaching homoeopaths across Asia.
On the board of editors of National Journal of Homoeopathy.
In short “A doctor by profession and Healer by choice.”
We asked her some questions, and here is what she says.
What do you mean by mental health?
“Mental health means a sheer absence of mental illness but is not so easy, absolutely not; it also means that a person can handle all situations in life with calmness, serenity, and efficiency. It means to be able to cope with life situation easily and to keep your mood light.”
Why is it important to keep your mental fitness well?
“The sole purpose of being born Human is to interact with fellow humans and increase the value of living this is possible only if we are mentally sound therefore it is of utmost importance to have mental health. Mental health not only ensures the well-being of a person but it is the well-being of a society. If we want a strong Nation, we need mentally strong individuals.”
“This question probably requires an entire mental illness book to answer. There is a wide range of Mental Health issues which come up. However, the bottom line remains that it is the difficulty of the individual to cope with reality, in short, it is maladaptation of the individual to his current scenario.”
How can one detect a mental illness?
“When a person is not himself, a person is either avoiding or not able to fulfil his daily routine.”
What is the difference between sadness and depression?
“Sadness is just a state of mind which is a situation, it depends on a particular trigger, and a person is easily able to overcome it in due course of time it’s just a feeling of little low and feeling bad but not for a prolonged time. On the other hand, depression by definition means a state of continuous sadness for more than six months in adults. For kids, this duration is very short. It is just two weeks of continuous sadness which we can diagnose as depression.”
People still refrain from going to a counsellor. Can you reflect your thoughts on this thought process?
“Even now, people, and I’m not talking about the illiterate, but very qualified people still refrain from going to a counsellor. They also think that going to mental health physician means that you are mad that is resorting to help from a mental health physician is even now looked down upon by the society. Even the person himself doesn’t feel the need of resorting to professional help.
Mostly, we feel that we can solve our problems and people resort to help from friends rather than seeking professional advice. The point which they are missing here is the perspective from which the friend may be coming from, may not be right for you. On the other hand, a professional counsellor has an advantage of being a third party, and therefore, an unbiased view of the situation is easily possible for the counsellor. People visiting a counsellor are sometimes regarded as insane.”
What does that say about India, regarded as a progressive state?
“The taboo about seeking professional help which is counselling can only be eliminated by spreading more awareness in the younger generation. The society can be made aware of the roles and responsibilities of a counsellor. These are all initial hiccups any new profession faces in the community. However, I personally feel that the Indian community being adaptive and accommodate, and their opening up to new changes will warm up to the Counsellor community very soon.”
What are the popular, modern forms of counselling people might seek?
“The need for marriage counselling especially is going very high in our society reason being children nowadays do not find their parents responsible for the problems which they are facing in their marriage. Even the awareness of growth of self is going higher and higher day by day.”
According to WHO, 4.5% of the Indian population suffers from depression. What would you like to say on that?
“Any developing economy is going to face mental health issues just by the sheer virtue of being the youngest nation in the world and the fastest growing economy we are facing a lot of disparity in our society. Such disparity puts a lot of pressure on the younger generation. The nation’s economy plays a vital role in the mental health of its people. Therefore, India is definitely facing emotional outbursts, depression being one of the major problems. The incidences of suicides have become very high in the past ten years.”
How can we deal with the problem, that going to a counsellor is considered a taboo?
“Creating and spreading awareness in the time of need.”
She shared a conclusion of a study conducted at her clinic, Happiness Homoeopathy clinic.
Fundamental Causes of Depression
- Low Frustration Tolerance.
- Defective Coping Mechanism.
- Broken Families– Trust issues.
- Sexual abuse during childhood.
- Self-indoctrination of other’s opinions.
- Bereavement from Family.
- Death or physical separation.
This is her conclusive view.
“I would like to conclude by saying that as an individual we should be able to understand our needs and wants. Needs are the basics of survival whereas wants are for luxury. Thus, if we want to be happy we have to keep our needs above the desires.”