12th Class Biology Drugs, Drug Dependence, Mental Health Mental Health

Mental Health

Category : 12th Class

There is a general feeling that if you are and not ill you are healthy. A truly healthy person is the one who has a sound body, lives in harmony with others, has the ability to face stresses and strains and holds certain moral and spiritual values. Body and mind are intimately related. Any disturbance in one has its effect on the other. Like the body, mind too can be come ill.

It is estimated that 1 percent of the world population suffers from serious mental illness and 10 percent from mild mental disorders. In India, there are \[67\] million people with incapacitating mental disorders.

Characters of Mentally Healthy Person

If potential conflicting instinctive drives. A mentally healthy person has (1) Self respect. (2) Knowledge of one's capabilities and limits. (3) Independent personality but comfortably placed in hierarchy in work, family and society. (4) Feeling of friendship and trust for others. (5) A purposeful life with reasonable goals to achieve. (6) Potential to perform all the daily chores and not dependent on any other person. (7) No tendency in decision making to get swayed away by emotions, fear, anger, love or guilt. (viii) Ability to meet all the demands of life, solving problems as they arise. A mentally sick.

Mental illness

It is a state of mind in which a person is not able to think, behave and interact with others normally. On set of mental illness is exhibited by (1) Changes in behaviour and personality due to abnormality of thoughts, memory, feelings, perception and judgement. (2) Difficulty in adjustment with family members and colleagues. (3) Inability to carry on daily business, with signs of tension, trembling, depression, aggressive behaviour, fear, phobia, etc. There is thus social and vocational dysfunctioning.

Characters of Mentally Sick Person

(1) Inability to concentrate. (2) Absence of sound sleep. (3) Worrisome behaviour. (4) Short temper. (5) Unhappiness. (6) Mood fluctuations from depression to elation. (7) Tendency to get upset by a change in routine. (8) Apprehensive nature. (9) Bitterness. (10) Dislike of others. (11) Considering others to be wrong. (12) Children getting on nerves. (13) Feeling of pains / aches in different body parts without any actual ones.

Types of Mental illness

Mental illness can be grouped under three broad categories – psychosis, neurosis and mental disorders.

(1) Psychosis / Insanity / Madness : It is a serious type of mental illness in which the patient loses touch with reality. Psychosis may be caused by disease of central nervous system. In some cases it is associated with diabetes, hypertension and tuberculosis. The patient in not aware of illness and refuses to take the treatment.

(2) Neurosis : It is less severe form of mental illness where the patient is aware of the problem and tries to seek help. There is abnormal anxiety, fear, sadness, vague aches and pains. Neurosis develops due to stress and anxiety in patient's environment. The patient shows excessive / prolonged reaction to a given stress, e.g., anxiety neurosis, hysteria, obsessional neurosis, reactive depression. All of us have tendency to become neurotic. Rather neurosis is mode of overcoming certain problems like worry, fear, anxiety, feeling of insecurity, etc.

(3) Mental Disorders : The disabilities are caused by physical, physiological and psychological defects like (i) Injury (ii) Infection from worms tuberculosis, measles, leprosy or encephalitis. (iii) Nutritional deficiency during development of infant. (iv) Radiation damage during neural development. (v) Toxicity of lead and mercury. (vi) Degeneration due to ageing. (vii) Tumours or neoplasms. (viii) Poor availability of oxygen glucose / blood supply. (ix) Excessive intake of alcohol. (x) Excessive use of psychotropic drugs.

(i) Epilepsy : It is a mental illness characterised by abnormal electrical discharge in a part of brain often leading to warning cry, fits of convulsions like jerking, stiffness, tongue biting sensory changes, loss of bladder and bowel control, ending in loss of consciousness falling down and sleep. The condition epileptic attack is called seizure. It may recur with biorhythum, photic stimulation, musical composition, tactile stimulation, reading, etc. Proper treatment can cure epilepsy in most of the cases.

(ii) Parkinson’s Disease : (Paralysis Agitans; Parkinson, 1817). It is a sporadic disorder of middle and late life which is characterised by stooped pasture, stiffness and slowness of movements, fixity of facial expression and rhythmic tremor of limbs (most pronounced in hands) which subsides on relaxation or actively willed movement. Relief can be obtained through regular medicine, physiotherapy and surgery.

(iii) Alzheimer’s Disease : A progressive degenerative disease of brain which is caused by senile plaques and neuro - fibrillary tangles resulting in loss of choline acetyltransferase activity. First sings are subtle changes in personality, memory disturbance and trembling of hands. It is followed by progressive increase in dementia over next 5 – 10 years. The disease commonly appears after the age of 40, through it can occur in any age group.

Schizophrenia : It is a type of mental illness or psychotic disorder which is characterised by progressive deterioration of personality, shallowness of emotional life, auditory hallucinations, delusions, illogical thinking, sense of being influenced by others and feeling of being controlled by outside forces. Schizophrenia can be caused by excessive dopamine production, alterations in neuropeptides, increased ventricular brain rations and decreased frontal lobe activity. Recovery is possible with regular use of chlorpromazine alongwith psychosocial therapy.

Causes of Mental illness : Mental illness is caused by a variety of factors acting singly or together. These cause are :

(1) Changes in Brain : See mental disabilities.

(2) Home Atmosphere : Fight, quarrel, cruelty and lack of warmth affection and accommodation in the family often lead to mental illness.

(3) Hereditary Factors : Tendency to develop mental illness is influenced healthy heredity. Chances of a schizophrenic child are 40 times higher from a schizophrenic couple than the normal one.

(4) Childhood Experiences : A balance of guidance, encouragement, affection, love discipline and companionship  is a must for healthy mental development of a child. Lack of any of them and repeated unpleasant experiences lead to mental illness.

(5) Socio - Economic / Special Factors : A number of Socio – economic factors lead to mental illness. They include disparities, hunger, poverty injustice, lack of opportunities, cruelty, insecurity etc.

Treatment of Mental illness

Social Therapy : Mental health is governed to a large extent by adjustment of an individual in the community and the attitude of an individual towards the community. Sympathy shown by family members and community is extremely useful to an individual to overcome misery and adjust to stresses and strains. Curing a mental patient requires a lot of recreational opportunities, companionship, compassion and understanding by family members and society.

Psychotherapy : It is treatment involving psychological techniques like psychoanalysis, discussion, explanation, reassurance, etc. Psychoanalysis (founded by Freud) is method of reviving past and forgotten emotional experiences of a person so as to find out the reason for mental illusion and helping the patient to readjust attitude to causal experiences. Group psychotherapy is also resorted where a group of mental patients are allowed to speak out their problems before a psychiatrist. Suggestions made by the different patients help individual to understand one’s problems and their remedies.

(1) Drugs / Psychochemotherapy : A number of drugs are available to treat different types of mental illness, e.g., sedatives for promoting sleep, tranquillisers for reducing anxiety (e.g., valium or diazepam, larpose or lovazepam, sorapax or oxozepam, librium or chlorodazepoxide), antidepressants (e.g., trimpramine trazodone), antipsychotic (e.g., largactil or chlorpromazine, melleril or thioridazone, thiothixene, loxapine, clozapine, supiride) and anti7epileptic (e.g., epilex, carabadac, carbatol, epitol).

(2) Shock Treatment/ECT (Electroconvulsive Therapy) The treatment is useful in curing acute depression, acute mania, stuper (confusional state) and some types of schizophrenia. The treatment given by expert psychiatrists involves placing of electrodes on the head of the patient and providing an electric stock for a fraction of second by passing a current of definite voltage. It produces convulsion.

Prevention of Mental illness

(1) Companionship where worries and unpleasant experiences can be discussed.           

(2) Occasional review of one's ideas in the light of experiences and vies points of others.

(3) Awareness of assets and liability.

(4) Time for the family and children.

(5) Proper relaxation and sleep.

(6) Routine physical exercise.

(7) Avoiding undue mental strain.

(8) Healthy pastime.

(9) Proper estimate of one's potentiality.

(10) Creating small achieveable goals.



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