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  • Writer's pictureAqsa Merchant

The Unspoken Power of Time in Mental Health

It all started innocently. A small rip in the fabric of your cloth. Unattended, it soon grew into a huge split, tearing the dress, and now, it's reduced to a cleaning cloth!

Consider your mind as a delicate fabric. Just like a minor wrinkle or tear can quickly transform into a significant issue, mental health disorders often go unnoticed, concealed by ignorance, societal taboos, and limited access to resources or proactive measures. Many of these conditions manifest during adolescence. However, if they are recognized and addressed before they become deeply rooted, individuals and their families can look forward to a swifter and smoother path to recovery.

The longer we wait to identify and embark on the path to healing, the more obstacles and difficulties we face. Whether it's related to our well-being, our relationships, or financial matters, the consequences can be significant. Take anxiety, for example: if the signs and symptoms are ignored, they can escalate and lead to severe repercussions in one's social life and work, potentially compromising interpersonal relationships. Prompt recognition and response to these signs can help mitigate the impact of the illness and reduce the risk of developing depression or substance abuse.

Let's explore how keeping a stitching needle readily available and using it promptly can help mend the complex challenges in the journey of recovering from mental illnesses.

Early Intervention, primarily, means to have our eyes wide open and chart a course of action as soon as we encounter the warning signs of a mental health illness. Early Intervention is all about being proactive and promptly addressing the problem with a solution-oriented mind frame. They equip us with resources and skills to help curb the disorder and encourage positive mental health. Basically, dousing the fire before it turns into a conflagration!

The firefighters here are the mental health professionals who will warmly guide you throughout your recovery and help you find ways to improve your quality of life. Procrastination is never beneficial, whether it's related to completing assignments or addressing mental illnesses. While we know this fact, understanding WHY early intervention can lead to improved well-being might inspire us to put it into practice!

Helps Improve Holistic Well-being

Mental illnesses gradually erode various facets of our normal functioning, whether through excessive rumination, unhealthy eating habits, or overwhelming stress. Addressing a disorder in its early stages can pave the way for a more fulfilling and balanced life in the future. This enables individuals to wholeheartedly engage in all aspects of life - socially, professionally, and interpersonally - with greater effectiveness and freedom.

Better Social Well-Being

In addition to personal empowerment, early mental health interventions also contribute to reducing the need for support from our loved ones, thereby promoting healthy relationships. Individuals with mental health challenges have an impact on those around them. Treatment, therefore, involves repairing the various aspects of life and enhancing the strength of meaningful connections and effective functioning.

Prevents conditions from becoming serious

Similar to untrimmed hair developing split ends, untreated mental disorders can progress, intensify, and deteriorate over time. Furthermore, they can lead to other adverse outcomes such as increased stress and anxiety, ultimately impacting your performance in your work life. Believing that mental disorders will spontaneously resolve on their own is a significant misconception.

Early intervention develops coping mechanisms

Apart from fostering resilience, with early identification and treatment, the person can devise a comfortable means to manage their mental health. With enlightenment, the path ahead becomes visible. People with eating disorders, when recognized early, can have a better diet plan and healthy nutrition thus the person gets further scope to experiment and choose what aligns with their convenience.

Save you from Breaking the Bank

Mental health treatments cost an arm and a leg. Early interventions are your toll-free highways to save your bucks and a great investment in human well-being. Before the illness evolves into something complex and enduring, requiring more expensive procedures, cutting it down in its seeding stage is easier and cheaper.

Moreover, other disguised expenses can occur when professional life takes a hit due to mental issues and there is a decline in productivity!

It increases recovery rates

Just like spotting cancer in its early stage can broaden the scope of healing immensely, so can mental health conditions. Delays in treatment can make it more challenging and exhausting. Sometimes, the patient becomes so habituated living with their sickness that they make it a part of their normal routine. This makes it difficult for them to believe that they are ill and require help.

Promoting a Compassionate Society

As more and more people discover that mental health issues need professional care and attention, the fear and guilt associated with them soon start ebbing away. Tending to mental health becomes more of a gesture of strength and self-care rather than shame and stigma for people silently suffering.

Affirming that you’re seeking help for mental health issues builds a nurturing and inspiring environment for fellow people diagnosed with disorders. It enriches the fabric of positive mental health and also helps people to understand themselves more deeply.

Early Bird Catches the Worm!

Early dealing with mental diagnosis involves individuals, groups, and institutions being mindful and investing in mental health from its origin. Be it through spreading awareness of the symptoms of mental disorders normalizing the talk on mental health since childhood through proper analysis of students by educational psychologists in schools, or ensuring a warm and conducive environment.

Let’s consciously deal with mental health disorders and make this society a more healthy and supportive one :)

Self-care is not an expense. It's an investment!

Written by: Aqsa Merchant (BA Psychology, SY, The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda)

Edited by: Rubal Prajapati (Counseling Psychologist and Ph.D. Scholar at Bharathiar University)

What do you believe are the primary reasons people hesitate to seek early intervention for mental health? (Select all that apply)

  • Fear of stigma and discrimination

  • Lack of awareness about available mental health services

  • Financial barriers and concerns about treatment costs

  • Social pressure and the desire to appear 'normal'

You can vote for more than one answer.

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