Psychology has trouble reaching the masses in an understandable way. The bulk of society continues to confuse personalities and mental disorders. People are still staying things like, “I feel like a schizo” or “I’m so bipolar”. Personalities can indeed be related to psychological problems. But deciding whether it’s a mental disorder is a fine line that psychologists have not yet managed to draw precisely.
Everyday problems related to mental health can lead to disorders if the symptoms become permanent, frequent and/or affect all functional areas of a person’s life. Mental health is still the black sheep in public health. The taboo remains.
Mental pain versus physical pain
Mental illnesses are alterations in cognitive development or behavior disorders. They can seriously affect a person’s independence and ability to carry out their daily activities. Losing autonomy can feel like an invisible, inexplicable pain and be one reason that mental illness is so difficult to cope with. A sad soul can kill more quickly than infection.
Joy and pain are not like oil and water; they coexist. When the pain is mental, we usually suffer in solitude, locked inside ourselves. Most of the time, we don’t have anyone who can touch it or even imagine what it’s like in our minds. It’s pain suffered without witnesses.
A study recently published in Psychological Science, an Association for Psychological Science publication, concludes that mental pain affects us more than physical pain. Negative emotional experiences can cause more pain than we think. While the memory of physical pain weakens with the passage of time, we relive mental pain through our memory.
Raising awareness of mental disorders
Contrary to popular belief, mental disorders are quite common. In fact, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), one in four people will have some type of mental illness in their lives.
Our society accepts disorders if they are physical, but banishes them and locks them away if they are mental. We don’t choose the mental disorders we will have, although certain mental tendencies can trigger harmful habits.
Mental disorders are more common in people whose blood relatives also have them. Certain genes can increase the risk of mental illness. Certain life situations can also trigger it. Specifically, environmental stress factors, toxins, drugs and alcohol can cause mental illness.
Would you stop reading the Harry Potter series because the author went through a deep depression? Would not you listen to Elton John because he suffered from bulimia? Has Leonardo DiCaprio’s obsessive-compulsive disorder affected his career as an actor? Let’s learn to live together and enrich each other with our differences.