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Your Mental Health Is Your Mega Wealth

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By Duncan Duncan

Spreading the enigma behind mental wellbeing to every individual globally has been an ultimate desire to mental health teams, psychiatrists and psychologists in the world. This vision of rehabilitation has established an optimistic mandate for mobilisation, agitation and mental festival to target the existence of mental illness and tackle it in the life of people at our reach because many people do not realise that what they are going through is actually a mental disorder, while others who are exposed to this knowledge cannot diagnose the kind of disorder at stake and the others and lack appropriate psychotherapy and clinical care to relief them from the prior disease.

According to Global Mental Health Statistics, more than 1 out of 5 group of people in the world are battling with a mental disease or the other. Maximum number of youths, specifically students are distressed and miserably deranged mentally. This defeating and patrimonial illness has caused social isolation, severe stress, family crisis, bereavement, stigmatization, abuse, violence, hostility, suicide and attrition (academic failure); especially in students incessantly.

We live in a toxic-rowdy society where every interaction between man and the environment forms a significant impact on a particular individual. As a result of environmental stimulations, a signal must be inhaled and this could trigger mental activity which occur largely in the brain. What we encounter from the environment negatively can deter-the-mind and anything that is capable of taming our thoughts, leads to significant cognitive impairment which eventually mitigate our wellness and fitness. Coping with the environment is a strenuous responsibility because what we ear, see, feel, taste and perceive instigates our behavior formation as a reactant to frequent exposure in the environment by inducing social stigma (maybe as a result of coming out from gay and lesbianism), venomous relationships, family crisis, peer rejection and other extenuating circumstances. Asides the impact of the environment on our mental health, we have to glide with an indisputable fact that these mental disorders are biologically rooted and inheritable by fetal development, nutritional deficiency, genetic susceptibility and brain injuries.

Many people feels so disheartening and become deeply depressed even in depressive mental illness when they realize or being diagnosed about certain malady because of fear of not recovering from it and hereby make the condition severe in stage over time. The vision of rendering psychoeducation and rehabilitation to mental illness as now become a movement especially in this academic jurisdiction as it is noticeable that maximum population of students are constantly beaten down by this plague. There are so many choked with mental abnormalities that are finding very difficult to comprehend, cope and control the atrocious situation when it strikes.

In the academic establishment, the pedagogic activities proportionately impact the students with excitement, pride, desire to know, relief, pleasure, enjoyment and love. At the same vein, generates negative emotions that people fail to talk about, like sadness, boredom, anger, shame and fatigue, which are primary elements of a tumultuous mental state in students.

Learning is a cognitive process, when students try to take in new information, process it and make connection with the existing idea in order to generate new understanding and insights by the dimensions of mental processes such as absolute attention, perception, memory and problem-solving skills, they tend to encounter certain destructive stimulating happenstances either inert or from the external that interacts with their mental activity which subsequently may  causes turmoil to their mental state. As a result of this neurobiological reaction, it fierce social compromise, disturbance and society misfit.

The aim of this Mental Health Movement is to bring students out of social isolation, help them reconnect with family, friends and community, to stamp out the stigma attached to mental illness, alleviate disease and improve their mental health. There aren’t any medical tests that can diagnose mental illness but health care providers/clinical psychologists can easily diagnose the mental diseases via psychotherapy. There are multifarious types of mental disorders but we will briefly annotate few that is commonly diagnosed in students, their symptoms and how to seek help:

  • Anxiety disorders
  • Depression
  • Post- traumatic stress disorders
  • Substance abuse disorders
  1. ANXIETY DISORDERS: This is an increasingly mental problem among students characterized by psychological distress, panic and acute fear, caused by genetic/biological factors, school/peer pressure, social media impact, traumatic experience within the school premises/home, financial stress, exposure to new environment and new challenges.

Signs/Symptoms: Restlessness, sleep disruption (Insomnia), lack of concentration/attention to learning process, nervousness, avoidance of social situations/interactions, headache, increased heart rate, loss of appetite/nausea, lack of interest to attend classes, episodic fear of failure.

Help: Avoid alcohol that can aggravate such conditions, engage in aerobic activity regularly (physical exercise), practice deep breathing, meditation, yoga and pursue an enjoyable activity to reduce stress and improve mental health, consume rich nutritious diet (avoid excess sugar). If severe, visit a psychotherapist for treatment via talk therapy and specialists to administer antidepressant, anxiolytic and sedative medications.

  1. DEPRESSION: Is a mood disorder characterized by persistent feeling of sadness and aversion to normal activities. Depression is common and serious metal illness that negatively affects how we feel, the way we think and our reactions. A family history of depression/mental illness, stressful college events, substance abuse, exposure to dreadful incidents, self-harming behavior, poor academic performance, poverty and prior suicide attempt/sexual abuse can cause depression.

Signs/Symptoms: Trouble concentrating in class, burn-out, lack of  energy, give up easily, mood-swing, little input into schoolwork, constant fatigue, withdraw from friends or activities, suicidal thoughts, episode of anxiety, engaging in risky behaviors and lost of interest in school/sport/activities.

Help: Have enough sleep, take a deep-breathe, get extra time or extra help to complete assignments, seek emotional supports from inspiring peers and experts, take a short-break throughout the day to avoid feeling overwhelmed, engage in exercises and activities that can generate pleasure. If severe, visit mental health professionals/psychotherapists for treatments.

  1. POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDERS (PTSD): Post-traumatic stress disorder is a mental health condition triggered by a terrifying event, causing flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event. Many students who go through traumatic events may have temporary difficulty adjusting and coping with experience in violence, abuse, war, fatal accident, trauma from rape experience with lecturer, seizure attacks during past examinations, etc.

Signs/Symptoms: Restlessness, resentment, aggression towards course mates/lecturers lack of positive emotions, intense fear/sadness, irritability outbursts, fatigue, lack of concentration in class, seem detached/isolated from roommates/peer, mistrust attitudes towards everyone around.

Help: By self-care; practice relaxation skills at school when appropriate, meditation, build a support network, engage in healthy distractions and try grounding techniques to help you cope with flashbacks or intrusive thoughts.

If severe, visit a Psychotherapist to improve your symptoms, teach you skills to deal with it and restore your self-esteem via psychotherapies: Cognitive Processing Therapy (CBT), Prolonged Exposure Therapy (PET), Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing and Stress Inoculation Training.

Pharmacotherapy: Clinicians/psychiatrists can prescribe antidepressant drugs, Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs), antipsychotic drugs, Beta-blockers/Benzodiazepines

  1. SUBSTANCE USE DISORDERS: Substance use disorder is a curable mental disorder that affects a person’s brain and behavior, leading to their inability to control their indulgence in substance intake (substances like legal or illegal drugs) like heroin, opioids, hallucinogens/ecstasy, depressants and stimulant drugs. Risk factors for high-risk substance use includes family history, sexual orientation/gender identity, low academic achievement as well as childhood sexual abuse. Many students are obsessed with an uncontrollable desire to ingest some toxic substances like Marijuana/Pot/Weed, benzos, cocaine, cigarette, codeine, Vicodin, alcohol, alprazolam, tramadol, cannabis, nicotine vaping, ketamine, etc, and they find it difficult to resist the urge for intake and decease from the assumption of hard drugs.

Signs/Symptoms: Runny nose/sniffing, bloodshot eyes, depression, arrogance, sudden weight loss/weight gain, unusual odors on breath, body/clothing, irritating physical appearance/grooming habits, loss of interest in academic activities, sleep-wake disorders, bullying of people around and active in cult activities.

Help: By Self-Care; establish rules and consequences, self-discipline measure and seek professional supports.

Due to a lot of stigma and negativity associated with the term ‘addiction’ substance abuse treatment involves a broad range of services using Psychotherapy and Pharmacotherapy:

  1. Detoxification process to stop taking the substance(s), allowing them to leave your body
  2. Cognitive and behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
  1. Contingency management (CM)
  2. Medication assisted treatments like FDA approved drugs for Opioids, alcohol, tabaco, e.t.c.

Self-monitoring of mental health is an essential routine that should be obliged individually. Many students collapse, commit suicide, become frustrated and distressed as a result of some of these mental illnesses. Seeking-help/aid is therefore a relieving step to take rather than concealing problems like this until it becomes severe. As a student, these symptoms above are not strange during your academic pursuits, but while pursuing your grades/certificates, chase mental health in order to stay healthy to enjoy all your academic achievements including your life goals because your MENTAL HEALTH is your MEGA WEALTH.

You can visit our Psychotherapy Center in The Department of Psychology, Faculty of the Social Sciences, DELSU, Abraka. For more enquiries: Call Dr. C. L. Nwanzu -08063417245 Or Mr. D. M. Duncan – 08165420216

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