Dr Gowri Kulkarni

Mental health is an essential component for the overall well-being of an individual; however, it is often ignored. Mental health challenges could occur at any age and to anyone irrespective of social, financial status, or physical health condition. Anxiety or depression can affect one’s future life or even prompt one to take severe steps. Mental health comprises social, emotional, and psychological well-being and is directly connected with the choices an individual makes. Understanding the patterns in oneself or being empathetic towards one’s near and dear ones. Over the past century, the socio-economic positions of women have drastically changed, putting the gender in leadership roles along with managing homes. While both genders deal with stress in their personal or professional lives leading to mental health conditions, some mental health conditions are more common in women than men. Additionally, according to the World Health Organisation, one in three women suffers mental health disorders like anxiety or depression. This is the month of International Women’s Day. Let’s identify measures to combat the invisible illness for ourselves as well as for our near and dear ones.

Overcome social stigma:


The social conditioning over the years has limited men and women alike to come forth and share their mental battles openly. Also, the theory that mental health problems are equal to mental illness or lunacy has developed into a major social stigma creating a barrier for people to seek help. As a progressive society, we must ensure to not ridicule or disregard anyone who expresses their emotions.

The Dominoes Effect:

We usually ignore the dominoes and reverse effect that neglecting mental health issues can also have a physical impact on the body, which is why it’s essential to address them promptly. There has to be a paradigm shift in the perception of mental health. For instance, relieving work-related stress that causes headaches and back pain can significantly enhance physical health. Common physical conditions such as thyroid disorders, obesity, or hormonal changes can have a significant impact on our mental health too.


Open forum to discuss:

Talking openly about mental health can create a more supportive and understanding environment, which can in turn encourage many others to come forth and discuss their challenges. This can help to reduce the stigma associated with mental illness too. If not professional, creating a conducive atmosphere in a household, at work, or in your friend circle can also help a person facing challenges to discuss and find solutions.

Seek professional support and guidance:

It is of prime importance to seek out professional support and guidance. There are many resources available to help women specifically with mental health issues, including therapy, counseling, support groups, and online communities. Another major reason to seek professional help is that usually the symptoms in case of depression or anxiety are vague and cannot be identified physically. Some individuals may need medications along with therapy. However, the medication has to be under prescription and not over-the-counter. Therefore, professional help is mandatory.

Self-educating the importance of self-care:

Prioritising self-care is crucial for good mental health. It is essential to prioritise activities that make you feel good, such as exercise, meditation, or spending time with loved ones. Self-care can help to reduce stress, improve mood, and promote overall well-being.

Also Read | Mental Health of Today’s Youth

Recently, the government has taken many initiatives to create awareness about mental wellness. There are government as well as private apps that can help us seek support ensuring maximum confidentiality, most of them are free of cost, and helps seeking support from the comfort of one’s home. This is a positive change in society and has helped demystify the riddle of mental illness.

Views expressed by Dr Gowri Kulkarni, Head of Medical Operations, MediBuddy.


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