Treatment for Obsessive compul...

Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) affects an individual’s thoughts and behaviour. Here the individual has intrusive repetitive distressing thoughts and compulsions or ritualistic mental acts or behaviour that temporarily reduces the distress. Living with OCD can be devastating as the individual is aware that something is wrong with them but are unable to control their thoughts. […]

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Is alcoholism hereditary?

Number of studies has been conducted to find if our gene is the cause of alcoholism, yet there has not been a study that confirms it. Experts have conducted twin and adoption studies to reach this goal. However what was found was; genes or heredity is not the sole reason for alcoholism, along with it […]

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Impact of alcoholism on family

Alcoholism is a well known health hazard. It impacts the individual’s health, their social status, finance and mental health too. But along with these it also affects the abuser’s family. Man is a social being and is always connected to others; the closet among all is family. Hence the family is bound to get an […]

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Alcohol withdrawal Syndrome

Alcohol withdrawal Syndrome are a group of symptoms that are life threatening and occur when an individual completely stops consuming alcohol or greatly reduces their intake after a long period of alcohol intake. These symptoms may start from 8 hours to days after the individual stops and may last for day or even weeks. When […]

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Obsessive compulsive disorder-...

“An individual looking as normal as person can be, has an ordinary simple job and lives an ordinary life. But when it comes to having meals this individual has rules; the fork has to be on the right and spoon on the left straight, salt always on the right side of the plate, food has […]

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“Dignity in Mental Health” – striking the right note

Human DignityStories galore both in real and reel life about mentally sick persons being ill-treated in hospitals or in extreme cases even being sexually abused. Different people have different perceptions about a mentally ill person. Training people how to treat mentally ill persons at workplaces, offices, public places, hospitals, etc. can go a long way in removing misconceptions and curbing tendencies to discriminate against them.

Root cause

However, for some people a mentally ill person is timid, helpless and vulnerable who can be taken for a ride and abused and ill-treated. For a miniscule section, they are people, sick, and in need of help to get over their problem. For a large section, however, ignorance about the state of the mind of the mentally ill and misconceptions about the disease is keeping them away from extending a helping hand to them. This is also being seen as the root cause of much of discrimination against them.

Dignity matters

As the world prepares to mark the mental health day on October 10, the World Health Organisation (WHO) attempts to draw people’s attention to the need of treating the mentally ill patients with ‘dignity’ assumes importance. In a bid to address the issue, some institutions have taken up anti-discrimination training for professionals on mental illness and personal experiences of people about the disease. Short duration anti-discrimination training course for students, teachers, doctors, etc., have also been launched on a trial basis.

Human rights

Much of the ongoing global initiative to curb discrimination against mentally ill persons has its genesis in the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities or CRPD. The CRPD acknowledges that “discrimination against any person on the basis of disability is a violation of the inherent dignity and worth of the human person”. A section of the experts also feel that more than legislation and legal measures, facilitating communication between general people and people with mental illness can help bridge the information gap and remove discrimination.

Game changer

Experts feel legislation can set the framework for protection of human rights of mentally ill persons. This is likely to act as an important catalytic in bringing about attitudinal changes and remove common misconceptions associated with mental health issues. People with knowledge about various facets of mental health and its impact on the patients can play a game-changing role in dealing with discrimination against mentally unwell persons.

Recent study

The serious dimension of the discrimination against mentally ill persons comes through a research study by London based Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience. More than 70% people surveyed felt keeping mum about their illness is a better option than facing discrimination. Another 64% disclosed fear of discrimination prevented them from applying for jobs, education programme. The fear of discrimination also stopped 55% from looking for any close relationships.

Striking right note!

It thus goes without saying that no problem of mental health can be effectively dealt with minus the all round acknowledgment of it as a common disease that can afflict any human being. Discrimination, stigma and social isolation related to the disease have their roots in ignorance, prejudice and behavioural issues. In this context the WHO slogan for world mental health day – ‘Dignity in Mental Health’- seems to strike the right note.

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