Two people close to me are suffering from mental health issues. To understand what they are going through and help them, I need to educate myself. I have casually read about anxiety and depression over the past few years. But my understanding is very shallow, and I plan to go deeper. I will document my learnings on this blog in a series of posts.
Here are some questions I will explore:
What exactly is mental illness? What are its different forms? Where does it come from?
How to precisely define anxiety and depression?
Apart from the above two, what are the other forms of mental illness? How serious are they?
How to distinguish between ordinary stress and depression? What is the process of diagnosis? What are the major symptoms?
If someone feels they or someone they know is showing signs of anxiety or depression, what should they do? What are the initial steps? Who should they discuss this with? Do they go see a therapist or a psychiatrist immidiately?
What are the paths to recovery? How long does it take?
What exactly is the role of therapy? Can't the person just talk to someone they love rather than have a therapist?
What are the different kinds of therapy?
Why do doctors prescribe medication? What is their role? Who needs it? Are they addictive? If a doctor recommends anti-depressants, how to decide whether to take them or not?
What role does family history and genetics play in determining mental health?
What should caregivers do to help those suffering from mental health issues? What can they do and what can they not do? How to talk to people they are caring about? What should they know to not alienate the people they are caring for?
How do caregivers take care of themselves?
How to know whether the person has recovered? Is there a sure shot way to know? When to stop taking professional help?