Know why mental health is important for every individual. Also know why mental health disorders are caused, what are their consequences and how can they be treated.Many people avoid getting help for depression or other mental health disorders due to embarrassment or an outdated fear of being stigmatized. Economic Status or Legal Status are important aspects determining the standing of a human being. Being a social animal, a man’s standing in the society is determined by many things, including his mentally stability. This is where Mental Health is critical to a person and much the same way how he would spend time in earning money, time also needs to be spent to tend to any rough edges in his mental health. Seeking assistance when necessary is increasingly understood in our society as a wise and mature decision.Let’s look at an example. An individual is so rich that he owns large areas of real estate in Florida. To add to his luxury he has his own charter fleet of helicopters. In spite of having an embarrassment of riches, he still continues to be alienated from the society. The only possible reason I can see is that the individual suffers from a mental health disorder. This can include depression, anxiety, personality disorders, etc. In fact, Howard Hughes cut himself off from everyone later in his life most likely due to untreated phobias and depression.What are the causes of Mental Health Disorders?Mental Health Disorders are caused due to a variety of reasons. An individual can experience a mental health disorder for the first time due to a tragic event, long term neglect or abuse, a genetic pre-disposition to depression, or even a brain disorder that is medical in nature. The results vary widely and may need a professional to help diagnose and treat, but the most common mental health issue is depression and is experienced by everyone at least once in their lifetime. Those with a genetic pre-disposition to depression or another affective disorder like bipolar disorder, will have multiple incidents and usually require some form of treatment.What are the consequences of Mental Health Disorders?The consequences of untreated mental health disorders can be extremely damaging for an individual. At every stage of depression, the individual continues to behave less like themselves. They become more sedentary, less social, thinking it difficult to think clearly and in extreme cases may develop paranoid ideas. In all these scenarios, society tends to keep away from these individuals when perhaps they need others most.Who are affected by the Mental Health Disorder?Almost everyone will experience some form of mental health issue during their lifetime. It may be common depression, alcohol or substance abuse, relationship problems, post-traumatic stress or perhaps a more serious chemical or brain disorder. Apart from the individual, the next set of people who are impacted by this are the care-givers and the family members of the individual.How can a Mental Health Disorder be treated?One of the most effective methods to treat a mental health disorder is to seek the consultation of a mental health professional or family doctor. Mental health therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists and one’s family and social network play a big role in treating an individual suffering from a mental health disorder.Mental Health cannot be compromised by any individual at any cost. One does not need to take drugs or medication to keep it fit and fine, but should be considered when prescribed by a professional as part of a treatment plan. Recognizing these issues early can speed up recovery as long as one takes steps to deal with their mental health like one would with their physical or financial health. Society has evolved to no longer stigmatize those who seek help and perhaps have come to respect their willingness to deal with these problems head on.
Despite public awareness campaigns highlighting the issues facing people with mental health problems and the fact that no one is immune to developing a mental illness, people with mental health problems are still facing unfair discrimination, prejudice and stigma every day of their lives, not just from members of the public but also from businesses, banks, employers and even when it comes to taking out an insurance policy.The truth is, any one of us can develop a mental illness, regardless of our age, gender, location, occupation or social status. Actually, the statistics show that at least one in four of us will experience some kind of mental health problem in the space of any one year. Mental health problems can be hugely diverse in nature and can range from mild cases of depression and anxiety to more serious cases of bipolar depression and schizophrenia with the types of symptoms and the degree of intensity of these symptoms varying from person to person. However, there are problems to face in the outside world too.Possibly one of the most distressing aspects of mental illness is the isolation and social exclusion often experienced by the sufferer purely as a result of ignorance and misunderstanding on the part of other people and it is this that needs to change. If we consider insurance for example, something that most people take for granted, but not if you have had a mental illness in the past or are suffering from a mental health problem at the moment.The findings of a major report on discrimination against the mentally ill showed that Insurance companies will often deny insurance or place exemptions on an insurance policy when there is a history of mental health problems, even if those problems existed many years ago and are no longer an issue. This applies to any type of insurance and not just life insurance either, travel insurance, mortgage insurance, employment insurance, payment protection insurance, all become more difficult to obtain if you have a mental health problem or a history of mental illness.This would appear to suggest that insurance companies as well as many others still do not understand the issues or the facts surrounding mental illness or the information just isn’t getting through. For example, mental health problems can occur as an isolated case in relation to a specific set of circumstances and once treated, will never happen again, some types of mental illness are episodic in nature, and most people who seek help for mental health problems do go on to lead full and normal lives. Probably the most important point is that just because someone is suffering from a mental health problem doesn’t automatically mean they pose a greater risk than anyone else. Insurance companies calculate their insurance premiums on the level of perceived risk, which is supposedly based on medical evidence. Perhaps this is the area that needs to be addressed.So what can you do about it? Certainly, if there is a case of unfair discrimination then it is possible to sue under the Disability Discrimination Act but according to Mind, the leading UK charity for mental health, only a small number of cases are taken out under this Act and of these, few are ever successful. Similarly, the Citizen’s Advice Bureau (CAB) report that most claims against payment protection insurance fail when mental illness is involved as it is a common exclusion in many insurance policies.It isn’t all doom and gloom though, people do seem to be waking up to the fact that something has gone wrong somewhere and that people with mental illness deserve to have the same rights as anyone else. Over in the USA for example, a study by the Mental Health America Association found that the majority of Americans believe that people with mental health problems should no longer be subjected to discrimination by health insurance companies. In fact, some 96% of Americans believe that health insurance should also cover mental health. Here in the UK the government are aware of the issues surrounding mental health and exclusion and are tightening up legislation to protect people from unfair discrimination.In the meantime, we would all do well to remember that mental health problems are not only common, they are treatable, and can affect any one of us at any time. Until we insist that people with mental health problems receive the same rights in society as everyone else, the problem with insurance will persist.