The mentally ill, the emotionally disturbed and those with severe personality disorders bear not only the anguish of their suffering but also the additional burden of society’s indifference and ignorance. In spite of falling victim to false beliefs and deeply rooted misconception, the issue of mental health features very low on our society’s list of priorities. In terms of government, India undoubtedly subscribes to the democratic principles. However, its provisions for its mentally ill fall short for putting the principles into practice.
In the south of India where I come from not many people care to talk about mental illness they regard it as a curse from the Gods because of sins their fathers or fore fathers have committed. Family and family life Families who have a loved one suffer from mental health especially ADHD,Autusim Bipolar to name a common few do not really accept they or their children have a problem which need to be dealt with. In fact many claim ignorance or refuse to accept it. Family members have trouble understanding any difficulties the person is having, or they tell themselves that the person will “snap out of it” if given time, support and encouragement.
Families become angry and frustrated as they struggle to get back to a routine that have previously been taken for granted. How much easier to believe everything will go on as before, rather than to focus on the changes and adjustments the person and the family must make. This behaviour often results in the family going from crisis to crisis, without any plan to deal with the situation. They become more and more frustrated and bewildered because both the ill person and the family have no control and no understanding of what is happening. Obviously such constant stress and concern creates serious family problems.
Family life gets to be unsettled and unpredictable Culture Depression is one of the most common mental health problem that exists across cultures across time. Herein india family morals are held in high regard especially in joint families and if any sort of mental health issue is addressed in public it is looked upon as a faultier of that family . Even though people are educated their norms and beliefs prevent them from getting treatment. In the Asian culture people talk more about what is happening in their body rather than in their head.
Social determinants From infancy through old age, the conditions in the social and physical environments in which people are born, live, work, and age have a significant influence on health outcomes. The fast pace globalization, industrialization and modernization of society has resulted in stress, broken families and unstable relationships. The sudden demise of a loved one and other such unexpected happenings lead to depression and frustration as well as to mental disorders and behavioural changes. The natural delay in the identification and diagnosis of mental disorders has further contributed to the maturity of the illness.
Social Attitudes Social acceptance is affected because of lack of awareness and education among the people on the illness . People in general often associate mental illness with violence and “insane” behaviour. The family, who are more often considered to be the primary agents of socialization, shy away due to fear of being identified with a mentally ill member due to the embarrassment and shame they anticipate with their social circle. Therefore, the space for social acceptance and socialization becomes limited when there is lack of involvement from family itself.
The health care system and health care practices We have many health care practices for physical illness but not many for mental illness. The lack of economic resources and professional interventions for the mentally ill in addition to the apathy of the government’s health and welfare departments has not helped people suffering from mental illness hence Many families turn to herbal treatments ,acupuncture meditation and prayers for healing of a loved one as these are more accepted norms for treating the mentally ill which is believed to have visible improvements.