Mental Health

Caving inwards

21st February, 2015 06:54:58 printer

Caving inwards

           I was angry with my friend:
           I told my wrath, my wrath did end.
           I was angry with my foe:
           I told it not, my wrath did grow.
                       
                  William Blake (1757 - 1827)
 
British poet, painter, engraver, and mystic William Blake’s concern regarding anger encompasses its volatile effect on human mind. Or in other words, the fact should be emphasized that silence, a both necessary and unnecessary mental weapon, provokes a man into the deeper portion of sorrowful situation whereas a little sharing of it can provide him with the supreme relief. Sharing is a blessing through which a man ventilates his sorrows; for it is not an easy task indeed to digest plights alone and a good deal of mental spirit is consumed to face the monster of sadness when one does the same as is being stated. The thing ails me much, in speaking something of sorrows, is the profundity of the relevant matters which most probably seem intricate to me.
Man is a creature, distinct and dignified for having the benevolence and judgment in his mind, who, by the very nature, posses so many confusions and unquenchable desires throughout life. The growing popularity of rearing illogical egos is responsible for farther disintegration of our thought. It is possible to bring out so many instances. For example, in modern time when a family is considered very importantly as an institution for sharing psychological support among the members, the nuclear families are constantly at a loss to be such an institution; for a nuclear family is like a busy office where the members are like officials. I would better avoid giving random examples. The most alarming things are to be given priority that a man faces inwardly.
Another common but volatile phenomenon is depression, a mental illness in which a person experiences deep, unshakable sadness and diminished interest in nearly all activities. People also use the term depression to describe the temporary sadness, loneliness, or blues that everyone feels from time to time. In contrast to normal sadness, severe depression, also called major depression, can dramatically impair a person’s ability to function in social situations and at work. People with major depression often have feelings of despair, hopelessness, and worthlessness, as well as thoughts of committing suicide. Depression can take several other forms. In bipolar disorder, sometimes called manic-depressive illness, a person’s mood swings back and forth between depression and mania. People with seasonal affective disorder typically suffer from depression only during autumn and winter, when there are fewer hours of daylight. In dysthymia, people feel depressed, have low self-esteem, and concentrate poorly most of the time—often for a period of years—but their symptoms are milder than in major depression. Some people with dysthymia experience occasional episodes of major depression. Mental health professionals use the term clinical depression to refer to any of the above forms of depression.
Surveys indicate that people commonly view depression as a sign of personal weakness, but psychiatrists and psychologists view it as a real illness. Apart from many other psychological and biological factors Psychologists agree that stressful experiences can trigger depression in people who are predisposed to the illness. For example, the death of a loved one may trigger depression. Psychologists usually distinguish true depression from grief, a normal process of mourning a loved one who has died. Other stressful experiences may include divorce, pregnancy, the loss of a job, and even childbirth. About 20 percent of women experience an episode of depression, known as postpartum depression, after having a baby. In addition, people with serious physical illnesses or disabilities often develop depression.
Stress, an envoy of major mental illness, is an unpleasant state of emotional and physiological arousal that people experience in situations that they perceive as dangerous or threatening to their well-being. The word stress means different things to different people. Some people define stress as events or situations that cause them to feel tension, pressure, or negative emotions such as anxiety and anger. Others view stress as the response to these situations. This response includes physiological changes—such as increased heart rate and muscle tension—as well as emotional and behavioral changes. However, most psychologists regard stress as a process involving a person’s interpretation and response to a threatening event.
Stress is a common experience. We may feel stress when we are very busy, have important deadlines to meet, or have too little time to finish all of our tasks. Often people experience stress because of problems at work or in social relationships, such as a poor evaluation by a supervisor or an argument with a friend. Some people may be particularly vulnerable to stress in situations involving the threat of failure or personal humiliation. Others have extreme fears of objects or things associated with physical threats—such as snakes, illness, storms, or flying in an airplane—and become stressed when they encounter or think about these perceived threats. Major life events, such as the death of a loved one, can cause severe stress.
Stress can have both positive and negative effects. Stress is a normal, adaptive reaction to threat. It signals danger and prepares us to take defensive action. Fear of things that pose realistic threats motivates us to deal with them or avoid them. Stress also motivates us to achieve and fuels creativity. Although stress may hinder performance on difficult tasks, moderate stress seems to improve motivation and performance on less complex tasks. In personal relationships, stress often leads to less cooperation and more aggression.
If not managed appropriately, stress can lead to serious problems. Exposure to chronic stress can contribute to both physical illnesses, such as heart disease, and mental illnesses, such as anxiety disorders. The field of health psychology focuses in part on how stress affects bodily functioning and on how people can use stress management techniques to prevent or minimize disease.
 In the perspectives of Bangladesh it is not easy to understand the depth of the problem as only a few portions of mental disorder are treated to give treatment and a larger part of mental illness remains inside the brain, silently, without exposing any notable symptoms. It is dangerous because it may expose its effect as shaping a serial killer, a characterless teacher, an educated beast or something that set questions to our conscience. So the brain worms are, dangerous.
Mahmudul Hasan Hemal is a post-graduate student at the Department of English, University of Chittagong, and is with the Daily Sun

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