Can mental illness be prevented

There is no sure way to prevent mental illness. However, if you have a mental illness, taking steps to control stress, to increase your resilience and to boost low self-esteem may help keep your symptoms under control.

The burden of mental illnesses has increased over the last few decades. As per WHO estimates the current global burden of mental disorders account for around 12 percent and are likely to increase to 15 percent by 2020.

Mental illnesses are caused by the complex interplay of biological (genetic, neurochemical and neurohormonal dysregulation), psychological and social factors.

 Follow these steps:

  • Get routine medical care.Don’t neglect checkups or skip visits to your health care provider, especially if you are not feeling well. You may have a new health problem that needs to be treated or you may be experiencing side effects of medication.
  • Take good care of yourself.Sufficient sleep, healthy eating, and regular physical activity are important. Try to maintain a regular schedule. Talk to your healthcare provider if you have trouble sleeping or if you have questions about diet and physical activity.

There are various risks factors apart from genetic factors which can be modified to prevent mental illness up to certain extent.

Opt for a Healthy Lifestyle: Healthy lifestyle, proper nutrition, and many other steps can be helpful in preventing these disorders. As we all know that prevention of disease is always better and this preventive measure should be implemented on vulnerable or at-risk population. If an individual has a genetic vulnerability (Family members having a mental illness), higher stress level and having poor coping skills then the risk of developing any mental illness is higher.

Be Aware Of Your Risks: Spreading awareness about various presentations of mental illnesses is the first step towards prevention. Lifestyle modifications like healthy sleeping and food habits, regular physical activity, socialization, and addiction-free life are important steps towards positive mental health. Awareness and addressing issues related to child and adolescent population and sensitizing their guardians regarding sudden change in behavior are also of utmost importance. Early intervention and getting help from specialist mental health professionals at the earliest are key to control and reduce the chronicity of these illnesses.