January 2019 \ News \ COLUMN—MENTAL HEALTH

I would like to congratulate India Empire, specially the Editor Mr. SayantanChakravarty for being a partner of the section ...

By Dr Avdesh Sharma

We know that one in four persons will develop a mental health issue at least once in their life time. The burden of disease for mental illnesses has been steadily increasing and depression is emerging as the number one disease worldwide in terms of mortality and morbidity. Anxiety, Depression, Panic attacks, Obsessive Compulsive Disorders, Phobias, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Bipolar disorder, Schizophrenia, Childhood mental disorders, Dementia, Culture specific syndromes, Addictions etc. are some of the mental illnesses which commonly afflict humanity. Similarly many subclinical syndromes, stresses and problems of living or relationships have a huge impact on the overall economic and happiness indexes. Spirituality and Religion form an important part of each cultures and actually focuses on how our values and consciousness give meaning to life in health and disease.

The World Psychiatric Association (WPA) and World Health Organization (WHO) have worked hard to assure that comprehensive mental health promotion and care are scientifically based and, at the same time, compassionate and culturally sensitive. In recent decades, there has been increasing public and academic awareness of the relevance of spirituality and religion to health issues. Systematic reviews of the academic literature have identified more than 3,000 empirical studies investigating the relationship between religion/spirituality (R/S) and health.

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