Mental illness awareness week

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Part I

 

By Dr. Kala Singh, MBBS
Kala SinghOctober 5-11 is mental illness awareness week. In this article I will discuss how to remain mentally healthy. I give spiritual psychotherapy, in which emphasis is given how to manage some mental illnesses and remain mentally healthy through Gurubani. I will discuss some of these concepts also in this article.
The modern life style gives a lot of stress, mental tension and mental illnesses. Stress do not cause mental illness in itself, but can trigger it in people who are predisposed. With so much of mental tension in our daily life, it is necessary that we all know the symptoms, causes, types and available treatment for mental illnesses. Because of lack of knowledge, it becomes difficult for people to recognize the symptoms of mental illness. Having proper knowledge helps in the treatment of the patient. Mental illnesses are so common these days that every one must know their symptoms, so that as soon as these are seen in some one, family doctor is contacted and the illness is diagnosed and treated in its early stage. It is always easy to treat the illness in its early stages than in chronic. Mental illnesses cause physical illnesses and vice versa. The important thing is that every one must have the proper and correct knowledge. Because of lack of information, there are a lot of misgivings about mental illnesses like, jadoo, toona, evil spirit, evil eye, black magic, ghosts, bhoot, prĂȘt and curses. I have seen that when some one gets sick everyone starts giving suggestions. Though these suggestions are meant for the betterment of the patient, most of the times they strengthen their belief in these misgivings. There are many people who claim they can find solutions to these problems through supernatural powers. The truth is that there is no remedy for these problems except through proper medication. Because of the ignorance about mental illnesses, if a member of the family gets mental illness, we consider it to be a disgrace to the family. It becomes difficult to arrange marriage in the family. So we try to hide the disease. We quietly take the patient to deras of sadhs, traditional healers or astrologers for the treatment and waste valuable time and hard earned money on useless rituals. By the time patient is taken to the doctor, disease is in its chronic stage. Now we have scientific proof that like physical illnesses, mental illnesses can also be treated with proper medication. Even the Gurus rejected the concept of superstitions and treatment through supernatural powers.
3rd Guru Amardas Ji built a hospital to treat sick and 5th Guru Arjun Dev ji built hospital to take care of leprosy patients.

For more information Dr. Singh can be contacted at kala.singh18@gmail.com
Dr. Kala Singh did MBBS degree from Delhi University, India. He worked as Psychiatric Doctor in Africa for 21 years before immigrating to Canada. He also gives Sikh religious and spiritual counseling and psychotherapy to clients with stress and mental health problems.