What is a Panic Attack?

A woman named Bella in her mid 30’s was once rushed to the emergency room of a nearby hospital. She was profusely sweating and she felt like her heart was racing at one instance, such that she was unable to take a breath. She and her husband were certain that, she had a heartache. But, […]

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Internet Addiction

Do you play video games on the Internet in overabundance? Are you enthusiastically shopping online? Can’t physically quit checking Facebook? If your answer is yes for any of these questions, you may have the internet addiction.   The world which we live in today is full of advanced technological inventions. Nowadays education, entertainment, communication, and […]

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Is Schizophrenia Genetic?

All of us are aware of how genetics plays an important role in various illnesses. But, have you ever imagined as to what has heredity to do with Schizophrenia? This is one of the common questions many people ask whether schizophrenia is a hereditary disease. The answer is yes and no! Yes, Schizophrenia does have […]

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Guide for caregivers for Schiz...

Schizophrenia can affect an individual to an extent that they turn incapable to taking care of themselves. At this time, the role of a caregiver, family or friend, becomes important. Taking care of an individual with schizophrenia can be very difficult as they can get aggressive or rigid suddenly due to their symptoms. Medications and […]

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Food Addiction

Is your loved one eating in excess, or even more than what is essential for their proper nutrition or a healthy living? Then, it may be a sign or indication of food addiction. Here a person perpetually engages in ravaging behaviors of overeating. This is the reason for which some people cannot sway themselves around […]

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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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