Friday February 22, 2019
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Lack of awareness causes mental illness in over 6% Indians

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New Delhi: Union Health Minister JP Nadda on Tuesday presented stats in Rajya Sabha mentioning that over six percent of Indian citizens had a mental illness like schizophrenia and bipolar disorders due to lack of awareness. The National Commission on Macroeconomics and Health had conducted an assessment back in 2005, which revealed that approximately 75 million people in India had mental disorders like stress, depression and anxiety.

“In 2005, the National Commission on Macroeconomics and Health reported that 10-20 million (1-2 percent of population) suffered from severe mental disorders such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder and nearly 50 million (5 percent of the population) from common mental disorders such as depression and anxiety, yielding an overall estimate of 6.5 percent of the population,” the Union Minister wrote to Rajya Sabha, according to a newspaper.

Though, the Union Minister mentioned that the data was examined in 2015, thus, a possibility of change in figures must be there due to changed lifestyle. He also gave the reasoning for the high ratio saying that the lack of awareness of symptoms of mental disorder is one of the biggest problems. The majority of the people suffering from mental disorders in India are unaware of them suffering from such illness.

There is a need to make people alert about such disorders and also treat patients suffering from it. Nadda mentioned that institutes and hospitals which treat such patients can be helpful. There are three centrally-run mental health institutes, 40 state-run medical hospitals and 398 departments of psychiatry in various medical colleges (183 in government and 215 in private) in rural and urban areas. Adding to the list, he also listed District Mental Health Programme (DMHP) (in 241 districts in all the 36 states/UTs) has been started by the government to treat mentally ill citizens. The DMHP offers help in school, workplace and also gives counselling on suicide prevention etc.

Moreover, common apprehensions of the illness are said to be emptiness or feeling sad or anxious, feeling hopeless or negative, irritability or restlessness, lack of interest in hobbies and other activities, loss of appetite and hallucinations in the case of schizophrenia. If one seems to have similar symptoms then there are chances one suffering from mental disorder and should consult a doctor.

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People Around You Influence Your Body Image

Body dissatisfaction is ubiquitous and can take a huge toll on our mood, self-esteem, relationships and even the activities we pursue. 

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People Around You Influence Your Body Image . Pixabay

Are you surrounded by people who are not that body conscious? Then there is good news for you as a new study suggests spending time with people who are not preoccupied with their bodies can improve your own eating habits and body image.

In this study, examining how social interactions influence body image, researchers found that in addition to the previous findings that being around people preoccupied with their body image was detrimental, spending time with people who were non-body focused had a positive impact.

Non-body focused people are those who are not preoccupied with their body weight or shape or appearance.

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Youth who resembled one another were more likely to remain friends from one year to the next. Pixabay

“Our research suggests that social context has a meaningful impact on how we feel about our bodies in general and on a given day. Specifically, when others around us are not focused on their body it can be helpful to our own body image,” said Kathryn Miller, postdoctoral student at the University of Waterloo in Canada.

For the study, the team involved nearly 100 female undergraduate students aged 17 to 25.

They measured the participants’ frequency of daily interactions with body focused and non-body focused people, their degree of body appreciation (how much one values their body regardless of its size or shape), and body satisfaction, and whether they ate intuitively in alignment with their hunger and cravings rather than fixating on their dietary and weight goals.

The findings, published in the journal Body Image, showed that body dissatisfaction is ubiquitous and can take a huge toll on our mood, self-esteem, relationships and even the activities we pursue.

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If more women try to focus less on their weight or shape, there may be a ripple effect shifting societal norms for women’s body image in a positive direction . Pixabay

“It’s important to realise that the people we spend time with actually influence our body image. If we are able to spend more time with people who are not preoccupied with their bodies, we can actually feel much better about our own bodies,” said Allison Kelly, Professor at the varsity.

Also Read: Here are Some Food Tips That Can Change Your Hair Health

In addition, they also found that spending more time with non-body focused individuals may be advantageous in protecting against disordered eating and promoting more intuitive eating.

“If more women try to focus less on their weight or shape, there may be a ripple effect shifting societal norms for women’s body image in a positive direction. It’s also important for women to know that they have an opportunity to positively impact those around them through how they relate to their own bodies,” Miller suggested. (IANS)