Analysis: MUMBA MWANSA
IN THIS article today, I would like to pick up from where I left on the issue of mental illnesses by going into details on what leads to this ailment and how we can successfully deal with it.Like I highlighted in my previous article, we all need not to belittle mental illness as it affects so many of us that in most cases, we do not even realise that we are falling in that category.
After having been educated and researched on this issue, I feel obliged to share my knowledge as obtained from various experts in this area.
Mental illness has been said to refer to a wide range of mental health conditions – disorders that affect one’s mood, thinking and behaviour. Some examples of mental illness are depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, eating disorders and addictive behaviours, which include alcohol and drug abuse.
Experts say that many people have mental health concerns from time to time, but it becomes a concern when ongoing signs and symptoms cause frequent stress and affect one’s ability to function.
Mental illness can make one miserable and can cause problems in one’s daily life such as at school, work or in relationships.
In most cases, symptoms can be managed with a combination of medications and talk therapy (psychotherapy).
Here is Peter, who has just failed his exams at school and members of the family and community are not embracing his feelings.
Peter may resort to becoming reckless by becoming an alcoholic or even become a drug addict. He is doing so simply to run away from the reality.
Some of the common causes of mental illness are having a family history of mental illness, life stressors like divorce, financial constraints, academic stress, traumatic past, future expectations vs realities of life, loss in its all forms, retrenchment, and accident experience, among others. Experts say most of these causes may result from issues that touch on psychological, biological, social and physical factors. In life, no one is born sad, angry, violent or moody, but as we grow up, that happiness gets dented by life experiences like giving, schooling, meeting rejections, bullying, dating strains, and our bad past, among others.
When we meet situations where what we wished to be does not come to reality, we burn out a lot such that we develop wrong coping mechanisms until we think we are right, mainly by developing emotions like anger, impatience and addictions, which keep on recurring and weighing us down.
Such experiences may in turn result in disorders like depression. Therefore, it is best an individual seeks professional counselling to calm and tap into one’s inner source of greatness, where the counsellors can tap into the inner being of a person – the soul.
Experts say because one’s soul is so broken and wounded, it reacts after a particular time, with some getting nervous breakdowns yearly or after two years.
The soul needs to be healed and keeps sending symptoms like feeling unloved, rejected and misunderstood and unhappy.
For the soul to heal from any of the disorders, there is need to search oneself and heal from the deep wounds that have been created. Seeking God’s intervention is vital, especially that one is dealing with the soul.
Failure to seek healing from God, one can find that the body cannot keep holding that bottled-up pain from the wounds in the soul and they may end up either with a mental breakdown or a heart problem.
Doctors say that 80 percent of people in hospitals today cannot be cured with medicine. They are being destroyed by sinful fear, hatred, anger, unforgiveness and bitterness, among others.
Most people get mental disorders and nervous breakdowns because of deep unhealed wounds in the soul that may be known to the conscious mind or hidden in the sub-conscious mind.
We, therefore, as a society need to be more alert and be a brother and sister’s keeper by offering support and care when we see such symptoms in our loved ones.
It is important to always support a mentally ill family or friend and be kind.
However, do not overdo it to a point where one begins to irritate the patient. Let’s love, respect, care for, communicate with and give support to patients with mental illness.
The author is a Zambia Daily Mail sub-editor.
Analysis: MUMBA MWANSA