Mental health in the COVID-19 pandemic

mental healths

(Dan Meyers, Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The Sting by one of our passionate readers, Ms Parisa Ijaz, student at the University of Engineering and Technology, Taxila. Pakistan. The opinions expressed within reflect only the writer’s views and not The European Sting’s position on the issue. 


No one would ever say that someone with a broken arm or a broken leg is less than a whole person, but people say that or imply that all the time about people with mental illness – Ellen R Saks

Do you feel jittery all day from the inside out and have a constant feeling of doom with intrusive thoughts; that run through your mind like a merry go round. Dizziness, vertigo, the feeling as though you’re going to pass out, racing heart – which can race for hours if untreated. Irritability, sweating palms, insomnia, feeling as though a vice is around your neck slowly suffocating you, tremors and facial tics?

(Now that you’ve resolved the threat, you can return to a state of peace)

“Caring for your mental health” is at the forefront of many brands’ messaging right now in an attempt to sell us more products even in the midst of historic economic fallout. Although many of us intuitively know we won’t find mental peace via FoodPanda, it’s hard to articulate what “mental health” truly is.

Let’s talk about what mental health is not:

Mental health is not simply the absence of mental illness. Many people without symptoms and diagnosis  aren’t exactly mentally healthy; their lives are soaked in stress, rumination, obsession or self-loathing.

However, a person may have a diagnosis of anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, or any other mental disorder – and still be mentally healthy. Infact, many people with mental illness diagnoses are frequently more mentally healthy than those without because they’re forced to maintain a mental health routine to manage their symptoms.

But mental health is also not the same as happiness – for example, a person experiencing a maniac episode or delusion could feel high level of happiness, but their sense of reality endanger themselves or others. However, it’s fair to say most people feel happier when they’re mentally healthy than when they’re not.

The World Health Organisation defines mental health as: ” a state of well-being in which an individual realizes their own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.”

…I see some problems with that definition. As most grandiose accomplishments can sometimes have the most banal of origins.

Is someone not mentally healthy; if they’re disabled, unemployed or otherwise unable to “work productively” and “make a contribution”? What if they just don’t want to? Do we truly believe the mental health is a reflection of our ability to produce?

The World Psychiatric Association seemed to have the same concerns I listed. In 2015, they challenged the WHO definition in their article “Towards a new Definition of Mental Health”, primarily citing the observation that WHO definition is centered on the values of Western countries. Most places in the world don’t view “productivity” as the be all and end all, much less the single determinant for mental health. To sum up their lengthy definition: mental health is the ability to feel your feelings, good and bad, and to respond to those feelings via healthy coping methods and expression.

The problem with being in a bubble is that it only takes one prick to burst it.

Although a Himalayan salt bath with a Lush face-mask doesn’t automatically make everything better, here is something you can do to look after yourself: Let those closest to you know you’re having a rough time, and tell them what they can do to help you. More importantly – Accept their Help

Moral maze: It’s far “healthier” to look your life in the eye and decide things for yourself – to risk being battered at the hand of the universe, coming out a little weathered on the other side – than sit idly inside and accept what’s delivered to your doorstep with a smile that barely hides that perpetual sinking feeling.

Ride it like a wave.

Think of your mental health as the boat you ride on the seas of life. You aren’t always guaranteed smooth sailing, but a good boat will carry you through the waves, so you don’t drown. Depicted in a very cozy way: a mentaly sane must have a huge heart and a distended aorta through which pumps a vast lake of compassion and human kindness.

.

Join the Hive!

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

COVID-19 tracing apps: MEPs stress the need to preserve citizens’ privacy

Coronavirus: Commission launches data sharing platform for researchers

Mental health in times of a pandemic: what can each individual do to lessen the burden?

Can we put a price on clean air? Yes, we can

EU security and defence industry prepares positions for ‘producers’ and ‘customers’

Here’s how the EU is doing on gender equality

UN urges protection of indigenous peoples’ rights during migration

UN agencies welcome green light for Rohingya projects in northern Myanmar; urge ‘more effective access’

Combatting terrorism: EP special committee calls for closer EU cooperation

Italian elections: a long political limbo is ahead

The European Sting @ European Business Summit 2014 – the preview

The dangers of data: why the numbers never tell the full story

How climate change sparks innovation for fragile communities

Car rentals: EU action leads to clearer and more transparent pricing

How to build deforestation-free supply chains: lessons from Indonesia

Financing economic recovery, written by United Nations Under-Secretary-General

The Shifting Rhythms of Harmonious China: Ancient, Modern & Eternal

Alternative proteins will transform food, mitigate climate change and drive profits. Here’s how

Coronavirus: How worried should we be?

The online junk information grows, but so we shall

Somalia advancing towards ‘inclusive and peaceful future’ for women, deputy UN chief

We should look to nature for solutions to the global water crisis. Here’s why

Coronavirus: Commission boosts urgently needed research and innovation with additional €122 million

GSMA Mobile 360 – Africa on 16-18 July 2019, in association with The European Sting

Apple’s tax avoidance scheme remains as creative as their new iPhone

Polluted lungs: health in the center of environment discussion

A Sting Exclusive: “The Chinese economy is steady and moving in the right direction”, Ambassador Yang of the Chinese Mission to EU underscores from Brussels

Mobile technology saving lives: changing healthcare with simple technology solutions

Social Committee slams the 28 EU leaders for false promises

Turning challenge into opportunity on the course to becoming the first climate-neutral continent

Main results of European Council of 18/10/2018

How artificial intelligence is redefining the role of manager

Local innovation, international impact: SMEs and the ITU Telecom World Awards

What makes a great CEO? The people they surround themselves with

Historian Niall Ferguson on what the pandemic means for the global economy, geopolitics – and parties

EU allocates over €22 million to help Palestinians in need

Digital business is Europe’s best hope to get back to growth

Mental Health of Health Professionals Facing COVID-19

How blockchain can cut the cost of new medicine

Trump asked Merkel to pay NATO arrears and cut down exports ignoring the EU

How digital can transform healthcare in Asia for millions of people

The Venezuelan exodus to Roraima and its repercussions

Criminals thrive on data abundance – here’s how we’ll catch them

Brexit kick-off: a historic day for the EU anticlockwise

UN food relief agency airlifts aid to DR Congo province hit by Ebola outbreak

EU Migrant Crisis: Italian Coast Guard Headquarters and Italian Navy to give host national opening addresses at Border Security 2016 in Rome

Paris is building the world’s greenest business district. What can other cities learn from it?

EU trade agreements: delivering new opportunities in time of global economic uncertainties

Women outliving men ‘everywhere’, new UN health agency statistics report shows

What universities can learn about citizenship in the COVID-19 pandemic

Libya: UN Mission condemns deadly attack against police in country’s south-east

Human rights: Chad, Haiti and Armenian prisoners of war in Azerbaijan

How COVID-19 accelerated the shift towards TradeTech

The key takeaways of G7 Summit in Canada

AI strawberries and blockchain chicken: how digital agriculture could rescue global food security

This is the hidden connection between smuggling and climate change

The secret to Bangladesh’s economic success? The Sheikh Hasina factor

EU steps up its strategy for connecting Europe and Asia

‘Alarmingly high’ number of children malnourished worldwide: UNICEF report

Being blinded by labels stops social change. Art helps us see a better future

More Stings?

Comments

  1. Interesante . Aprendo algo con cada blog todos los días. Siempre es grato poder leer el contenido de otros bloggers. Me gustaría usar algo de tu post en mi web, naturalmente pondré un enlace , si no te importa. Gracias por compartir.

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s