Each individual has a distinct personality. Some individuals are cool and casual, while others are obsessive and neurotic. Each of us is born with varied proportion of traits from our father and mother. A part of our personality is largely dependent upon the genetic inheritance of traits.
A child grows up under the influence of his parents, their fears and cravings becoming a part of his psyche. Thus the parents may influence the child profoundly, developing his outlook towards what is to be gained, what is to be compromised and what rules are never to be broken. So children grow up differently, some valuing money or material success while others may value education or artistic aspirations.
After family, the next level of influence is from the neighbourhood and the school. Peer pressure from colleagues and friends define the trends and traditions of behaviour and contribute to shape his personality. Thus personal ideology is also shaped by exposure to school mates and friends. While one child may learn to lie without guilt, another child may regard lying as an absolute misdeed.
The third level of personality shaping is at puberty, when the sexual needs take birth. Interactions with the opposite sex may be healthy and happy or may leave distaste or repressions. Self-consciousness, complexes and attitudes result from experiences. Conditioning, peer opinions go a long way in shaping the individuals reactions and responses to the events of life.
Thereafter the phases of life, namely work, marriage and child bring their own load of responsibility and stress. Each responsibility or strain can result in making an individual more content or frustrated due to inability of harnessing difficult situations associated with each phase.
The adult human is a mixture of desire, frustration, depression, jealousy and insecurity.
Desire causes lust, frustration causes anger, pessimism causes depression (sadness), inferiority causes jealousy and insecurity causes fear. Alternatively there can be contentment, peace, joy, high self-esteem and security. Varying proportions of the above differing sentiments create different personalities, some easy going and comfortable with the world, while others mal-adapted or stressed. The average human is well adapted and can execute his responsibilities at work and home and towards society.
The middle aged man is hassled by his duties to his kids, work pressures and EMI’s along with rising health issues like high BP, high blood sugar, high cholesterol, low backache and acid ulcer disease. His ageing body and rising liabilities create the ideal circumstance for mental stress. Similarly the elderly feel unwanted, deprived of attention and alienated. Their declining social exposure and increasing hospital visits create the ideal ground for mental suffering.
Just like the physical body can fall ill and recover, the human mind is also subject to ailments. Mental disorders are routine and do not imply insanity. Troubles in the mind are routine and do not signify madness. Hundreds of thoughts are processed daily and failure in adapting to an unfavourable event, or to intolerable behaviour or to an unbearable person may trigger conflict in the mind. Rumination and contemplation may either resolve the conflict or may result in turmoil and pent up feelings. Too many repressions may be hard to handle and mental chaos may result. We then say, that the individual has a mental disorder. The three major types of mental disorders are Anxiety Neurosis, Depression and Schizophrenia, in increasing order of severity. The mental discord may resolve, given mental rest, an emotional outlet or with distraction. Now the individual is said to be healed.
Anxiety is anxiousness and stress. The responsibilities of life take their toll and the patient reaches his limit of endurance and succumbs by getting jittery and nervous. He may develop physical symptoms like chest pain, tremors, breathlessness which are psychosomatic manifestations of stress and strain. His brain may be whirling at top speed and leave him with a cluster of worries and negative forecasting that all hell will break loose. This disorder settles within a few weeks and the patient soon settles his insecurities.
Depression is a state of persisting sadness and gloom. The tendency to melancholy and despair is often inherited. The patient usually has a string of negative experiences and adversities and becomes strongly pessimistic. He gets convinced that life offers nothing positive and will be full of failures and adversity. Paranoia may result and suspicion may dominate one’s thoughts. Suicidal ideations are usual and insomnia results, which is worse in the mornings. The patient wakes up in the wee hours of the morning and stays awake in bed ruminating on pessimistic hopeless thoughts. Depression is usually cyclical, each episode seldom lasting more than six months. A change of scene, an unusual experience and endogenous restoration of balance in the brain chemicals may result in resolution of the acute attack.
Schizophrenia is not as uncommon as thought, with a huge proportion of women turning schizophrenic at one time or another in their lives. Men too are avid sufferers. The sufferers are unsettled and repressed intellectuals, who start hallucinating, seeing and hearing people who don’t exist. One theory is that the patients imagine and create fake images and voices which show them what they want to see and tell them what they want to hear. Imagining and recreating desired scenarios helps in settling their minds and restores balance by curing repressions. The illness is a waxing and waning one and though longstanding, is laced with frequent remissions and respite.
All Mental disorders require psychoanalysis, emotional purging and vocalizing to a listening ear, for its resolution. Drug therapy complicates it by adding sedation, dampening of communication and reducing the physical activity of the patient. Electroconvulsive or Shock therapy just shocks the patient out and serves to quieten the patient without offering any cure. The answer lies in resolution of inner conflicts which will happen only when the patient communicates his feelings, analyses his own thoughts under a competent psychoanalyst, settles his repressions and adapts to his environment.
Natural healing advocates lifestyle modifications and methods to augment the body’s inherent attempt to restore the chemical balance within the brain, which is an absolute requisite for mental well-being.
Thus we need to understand that mental disorders are very common and each one of us may undergo some degree of mental disorder, which may resolve itself or may require active attention.
Natural Healing Principles of treating Mental Disorders
1. PSYCHOTHERAPIZE – (TALK TO SOMEBODY)
Talk your heart out to confidant/somebody
• Write in a Diary
2. ALKALINIZE – (REGULATE pH OF BRAIN)
• Vegetable Juices (Dudhi Juice)
• Stop Sour Food
3. EXPOSE TO LIGHT – (INCREASE MELATONIN HORMONES)
• 1 hour a day, expose yourself to sunshine Morning & Evening. Also see greenery of nature.
4. STOP STIMULANTS & ADDICTIONS
• No Tea
• No Caffeine/Coffee
• No Cocoa/Chocolate
• Stop Smoking
• Stop Alcohol
5. INCREASE CALCIUM INTAKE
• Eat Fruits that are high in Calcium
• Drink Milk or take Alternatives like cheese, curd or paneer
6. INTERACT WITH ANIMALS - (ANIMAL ASSISTED THERAPY)
• Buy/Adopt a Pet
• Visit the Zoo, Wildlife sanctuaries, Bird Parks and other open spaces
7. ENVIRONMENT EXPOSURE – (ENGAGE & MODIFY ENVIRONMENT)
• Meet new people
• Socialize with old friends
• Engage in a new hobby or activity
• Connect with others
8. MAINTAIN NORMAL BP & BS (BLOOD PRESSURE & BLOOD SUGAR)
• Prevent dehydration & empty stomach as these will lower Blood pressure and blood sugar. BP & Diabetes Medication should not drop BP & Sugar below normal as it will cause depression.
9. INCREASE ENDORPHINS by (EXERCISE)
• 1 Hour walk (5 days a week) +
• 30 Min Weight Training (3 times a week)
10. SETTLE THE ROOT CAUSE – (MEDITATE)
• Meditate and Contemplate
• Settle root causes to resolve repressed conflicts PLEASE NOTE: specific therapy will vary from patient to patient and cannot be discussed here.