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Recognising mental illnesses and delivering the right doses

“Your job is promising, living standard is quite high, family is healthy and happy, what else do you want in your life to feel satisfaction?,” Mansoor inquired from Danyal in a pinching tone. Danyal looked away from his friend Mansoor, opened his mouth to express his feelings but then chose to say nothing with a shadow of helplessness on his face.

Danyal, 35, a software engineer by profession, for no obvious reasons, has been feeling agitated for the last six months. His previous calm demeanor has changed into snarling attitude that is often followed by feelings of intense regret and sorrow. After all this when he tries to take refuge in the activities he once loved to indulge, he finds them uninteresting. If Danyal had consulted any doctor, he would have told him that he was suffering from simple medical conditions of Anxiety and Depression but who goes to doctors for these types of problems in our society?

Instead of arranging immediate medical attention for persons like Danyal, people criticize them. When they complain about anxiousness and lack of fulfillment they are blamed for thanklessness and when they express grief or fear over small issue, they are criticized for being coward. If the sufferer happens to be a male, people go an extra mile to criticize him. The most common admonishment a male patient of depression receives goes like “O, come on, be a man. You are behaving like women.”

Some practical souls suggest that there lies no need to consult these doctors, only willpower should be more than enough to overcome all the depression and anxiety. If only life were that simple!

But nobody advises anyone to use willpower to take care of high fever. Just like, only willpower can not cure a fever, alone it cannot offer a remedy for complex psychological disorders. The behavior of society towards mental illnesses shows that still we have not accepted psychological issues as medical conditions.

According to experts, when a proportion of specific chemicals gets imbalanced in human brain, person starts having anxious, negative or sorrowful thoughts and part of situation does not remain under his control.  Timely administration of simple medicines in very small doses covers the situation and person starts feeling better. It is as simple as treating the condition of high fever with a tablet of Paracetamol. For peace of mind, some people advise patients to turn to remembrance of God and not to opt for medication. From recitation of Holy Quran and Salah, human hearts do find peace but not going for medical treatment indeed is against the very spirit of Sunnah of Prophet Mohammad (Peace be Upon Him). Holy Prophet (Peace be upon Him) advised His companions to make the use of medicinal treatments for different conditions.

By spreading awareness and removing stigmas attached to psychological ailments we can alleviate the miseries of patients and can bring them back in main stream of life.

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