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Q. What is the importance of mental health over physical health?

Answered by
Dr. Ruhi Satija
and medically reviewed by Dr. Vinodhini. J
This is a premium question & answer published on Feb 26, 2020

Hello doctor,

Is mental health not as important as or more important than physical health? Why? What seems to be the dominant approach to treating people with depressive disorders? And, how do you think it could improve to prevent mental health crises, namely suicide? How should the topic of mental illness and more specifically depression and suicide be discussed? What role should religion or faith have in the diagnosis and treatment of depression? Is suicide morally wrong and why? How should it be portrayed in education?

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Hello,

Welcome to icliniq.com.

Sharing my thoughts based on my professional experience and expertise.

Mental Health is as important or probably even more important than physical health because most physical ailment or issue starts within the mind or if it is not for to a mental process, its tolerance and recovery depend highly on the mental state of the patient.

Depression has a biological basis of primarily disbalance of the neurotransmitter serotonin.

So, first and foremost medications should be taken which is SSRI.

SSRI (Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) which are a group of medications that help in increasing the level of serotonin and are first-line treatment of depression.

Therapy: Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is one of the most tried and researched form of therapy which works really well for most of the patients.

Therapy and medications combined are gold standards for the treatment of depression. Suicide is one of the consequences of untreated depression. Almost 80-90 percent of people who attempt suicide have been estimated to have an underlying mental health disorder. So, one way to prevent suicide is

1. Creating awareness

2. Creating resources and trained professionals

3. Treating mental health disorders early.

Depression, suicide or any mental health issue should be discussed as often as possible and just with the same approach as any medical illness because they all essentially are biological disorders. It is important to normalize the approach which helps in reducing the stigma related to mental health.

Role of faith or religion is similar to having any personal goal because they give a sense of purpose but it can be sometimes a negative influence as well because sometimes religion teaches us that our suffering is a consequence of our actions and people often are denied treatment based on this belief.

Suicide has nothing to do with morality. It is an end-stage consequence of long term suffering. It has been proven that people who attempt suicide in most cases have an underlying mental health condition that might have not been detected. It is important to address this issue and educate people as much as possible.


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