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Understanding and Assessing Mental Health

Nithin A.F, Consultant – Psychologist, SUT Hospital, Pattom, Trivandrum.

We are entering a new year with new hopes and plans for a better tomorrow. The previous years had put many in mental dilemma and severe anxiety. The whole of humanity was frozen due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The coming year needs to have our collective responsibility in offering each other kindness and Let us try to make 2022 much better than previous years by our hardwork, sincerity, and truthfulness in all our walks of life such as personal, family, social, occupational, spiritual, etc.

As we examine our life in the by-gone years, we can find our own achievements and failures, good and wrongdoings, truths and lies, goodness and evil. This is the time to self-evaluate our life and reconstruct to achieve better heights in life. Self-assessment is a herculean task. It needs critical evaluations of all our behaviours in thoughts, words and actions. If you are able to understand and distinguish your strengths and weakness, and work to sharpen or fix them, you can enjoy a better life ahead. 

We all compare our life with our friends, relatives, neighbours, etc. but it leads to frustration, anxiety, and even depression. If you want to improve yourself you have to compare yourself with your yesterdays’. Without comparing you grow further with fulfillment in life.

In Psychology or Psychiatry, ‘Insight’ is very key in understanding and assessing a person’s mental state. It is a form of awareness of our weaknesses, shortcomings, abnormalities, etc.  It is a graded scale between 1 and 6. A person with a score of 6 is considered as a normal person and 1 is in complete denial.

In our daily life, we must have proper understandings and assessments about ourselves. We have to recognize our weaknesses to overcome them. Make this New year an occasion for self-assessment and put up the best effort for it. Many of you might consider New Year Resolution as a futile exercise, because of failure in full implementation or forgetting it in the latter months. Forgetting is human but the effort one puts in identifying his/her shortcomings nevertheless needs an appreciation. It is a great deal in the process of healing of lives. 

As an exercise to start, take an hour of your day to identify at least 3 of your shortcomings and note it down. Everyday take an effort in overcoming these short comings, eventually you will experience a change. If all of us do it together, our 2022 will be more meaningful and purposeful with people around us.