Mental health is caused by external factors - GulfToday

Mental health is caused by external factors

Birjees Hussain

She has more than 10 years of experience in writing articles on a range of topics including health, beauty, lifestyle, finance, management and Quality Management.

She has more than 10 years of experience in writing articles on a range of topics including health, beauty, lifestyle, finance, management and Quality Management.

mental health 2

Representational image.

Sometimes you can’t stop feeling angry or upset. Sometimes it’s extremely difficult to prevent yourself from saying something you feel needs to be said or doing something to yourself that you know is harmful to you.

Anger is an emotion that is hard to control at the best of times and even harder to control when nothing seems to be in your favour. But I should make it clear, from experience, that being upset is very unlike being angry. Whereas both may lead to the same crying and weeping, whereas one may lead to getting really angry and hurting yourself or smashing something, the other just results in puffy eyes and blocked sinuses from the non-stop crying. The person crying is not feeling sorry for themselves but feeling like, no matter how much they ‘put up with it’ or hope for things to improve, in reality nothing will ever change unless they take drastic measures which may hurt people they do not wish to hurt. In many cases, it’s true that nothing will change.

Mental health can be very problematic for many people. But before I go on, please let me make it clear that mental health issues are not just related to being a sociopath, schizophrenic, having multiple personality disorders, madness or any of the other really scary mental illnesses that are out there. Someone with mental health issues can be someone who is so overwhelmed with the problems they may be facing on a daily basis that they’ve become depressed or are upset and impatient or they simply don’t want to do anything because they feel negative about everything all the time.

There are so many articles written about this and emotions, anger and upset on the net by mental health experts but reading them is like reading advice that you may already have tried and know it doesn’t work. And that may make you angrier still. One psychiatrist suggested not questioning your doubts. For example if you keep saying to yourself that I’m giving so-and-so this good advice but they are not following it and that is resulting in more issues for the both of us, turn it around and instead say to yourself, so-and-so IS listening to me…etc. But surely, the overall outcome is the same whether so-and-so is listening to you or not?

This advice has the horrible underlying message that it is you who are the problem because of the way you are reacting to it and not so-and-so who is not listening. So the takeaway is that I should change the way I think even though I’m still going to have to suffer the consequences of someone else’s decisions because they are not listening?

How bad is that advice? Most psychiatrists and mental health experts will advise you to speak to someone, whether it’s a friend, a close family member or even a professional. Whilst that is good advice, it only works for a limited number of times. In my opinion, family members are completely off limits because they have a tendency not only to judge you but to tell you they judge without actually telling you they judge you.

Close family members also have a tendency to divulge to other family members not because they are doing it intentionally but because they can’t help it. In fact, this is more prevalent in some cultures than others.

Speaking to a close friend is only viable for a limited time because, even though they are your friends, they may get fed up of hearing about your problems and feel that your negative vibes are bringing them negativity too. Unless of course it is a really close friend with whom you’ve had an excellent personal relationship since you were children or even in college.

They are the ones who will ask you how you are getting along and how you are coping without you ever broaching the subject first. If you do have such a friend, I would strongly suggest cherishing that friendship because it is rare.

Speaking to a professional may also help if you have that kind of money to spend and most people do not.

Writing your angst in a diary helps to some extent but only if it is to deal with your feelings about something someone might have said to you or about you or how you were treated on a particular day. Getting it down in writing is often like speaking to someone. You can say whatever you want, however you want and in whatever language you want and no one needs to hear it or see it.

That being said, if the problems you are facing go beyond just your feelings or perceptions then none of the above is going to help you because no matter how many times you write things down or speak to someone or tell yourself the opposite of what you’re thinking, the environment will not have changed.

The physical conditions in which you live will not have changed. Until they do, it pains me to say that the problems will continue.

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