Mind is a misunderstood term for something apart from the body by many people. They think that mental problems and diseases are different from each other. But it is not true. Experts say that emotions affect the physical body in a great manner, sometimes emotional stress causing even diseases manifested physically. The best example is irritable bowel syndrome, popularly known as IBS. Such diseases come under the group psychosomatic diseases which means diseases of the body caused by the mind. The same pattern may be reversed, causing disease manifesting in the mental level, cause being physical. The best example is Wilson’s disease where the neurotic and psychotic manifestation may cause the patient to be put in a psychiatric ward whereas the cause is a defective copper metabolism in the body. In this manner, both physical and mental manifestations should be considered and evaluated properly to get a real diagnosis and treatment.
Regarding mental disorders, society has a very different and unsatisfactory Idea. Psychiatric consultation is considered a very bad or taboo thing even among well educated and cultured people. A person with a mental problem is considered a shame to the entire family even if signs of depression in teenagers become higher these days. People hesitate to mingle or connect with such a family. It becomes a high concern when the person affected is unmarried, especially a girl. Problems arise in marriage or even getting invited to family functions or relatives’ places. Some parents due to ignorance believe that marriage is a part of the treatment for mental disorders. But in reality, in most cases, such an approach worsens the condition.
Signs of stress and anxiety are either suppressed or ignored leading to severe complications including suicide. In such a way, it is evident that there is no proper awareness of mental disorders even in high classes in society. Ignorance in the area is explored and exploited by many others like quacks. In many ways, money, energy, time, and peace are wasted by frauds regarding the management of mental disorders. Here the only way out is to ask professional and medical assistance in case of incidence. But if a person suspects he or she may develop a condition, healthy living and calming measures can help regulate the neurotransmitter functions in the brain causing the manifestation of disease. In some people, such approaches are beneficial and work as successful preventive measures. Prevention is better than cure. Ancient Indian medicine called Ayurveda, the science of life can help prevent the manifestation of mental disorders in many ways. Ayurveda medicines with strong philosophical theorems analyses the relationship between the body and mind beautifully. It is said that the body is like a metal pot with ghee kept in where the ghee is compared to the mind. When one of these gets hot, the other also gets heated up. This is the relationship between body and mind. While in many diseases, this relationship makes things worse, in the management and preventive aspects, let us count this as a blessing. The target can be set as a balanced state of mind and body leading to physical and mental health.
A healthy body and peaceful mind together will find ways to live in harmony with your surroundings. Here, a strong body and mind will be able to prevent the incidence of mental disorders despite hereditary or environmental factors that are predisposing to the condition. We have to admit that strength is relative either in physical or mental level. It varies according to the individual and surroundings. An obese person may not be physically strong as a slim and fit person mostly. Body weight has nothing to do with physical strength but proper nutrition and training. In the same way, mental strength may not be present or up to the mark in otherwise highly qualified or settled persons but very poor or uneducated people may show tremendous mental strength when needed. While coming to mental strength or emotional power, facing a lot of problems from childhood may empower a person to withstand any situation.
A person who has experienced only comfort and peace of mind in life may not be able to bear even small problems in life, leading to extreme anxiety or depression. But all experts agree that physical or mental trauma in childhood can lead to a higher chance of mental disorders in adulthood. So the most important step in the prevention of mental disorders should start from a young age, ensuring a supportive system in the family and close social circle, like school. Some of the clinical manifestations of mental disorders can be prevented with proper nourishment. Taking supplements like iron, vitamins, and minerals can prevent anxiety-like issues. Following a proper daily routine as per the advice of Ayurveda can prevent mental disorders to a great extent.
Food and sleep schedules have a tremendous effect on the mind. Ayurveda suggests many measures like oil massage to regulate and normalize the functions of Vaata dosha that control the mind. Also, there are explanations of therapies to be taken in each change in the seasons. This will help remove metabolic wastes that lead to physical and mental disorders. Ayurveda describes the changes happening in nature and the human body in every season like summer, winter , rain etc. A suitable diet and lifestyle are explained in detail to be followed by healthy people in each season to prevent illnesses including mental disorders.
Mental health is directly related to good social relationships. Ayurveda enlists a code of conduct or ideal and thoughtful ways of behavior for a good social life. Good deeds and behaviors like helping others, talking first when meeting a familiar person, etc. are advised. Also, sins like theft, telling lies, etc. are strictly forbidden. The connection between the chemical changes in the brain caused by the deed leads to mental disorders. So, following such advice can help a person from being mentally unstable. Some of the advice includes the following:
- When making a decision, do not be prejudiced. You should be independent and open-minded to make the right decision.
- Do not trust or suspect every person you see in excess.
- If you meet a person, be the first one to begin a conversation. Do not be shy or hesitant.
- Always listen to righteous persons and leaders
- Being a good host to guests will give you satisfaction
- Do not let winning or losing severely affect you. Extreme levels of emotions are not healthy or good. Try to keep a balanced state of mind always.
The list goes on like this. By following a routine and disciplined life, you can prevent mental disorders to an extent successfully.