Battling Mental Illnesses with Aromatherapy.

Mental Health is an integral part of health. Mental illnesses are a wide range of Mental Health conditions that are known to affect your process of thinking, have behavioural side effects, and also affect your mood. There are various types of mental health disorders, some of which include, anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, eating disorders, addictive behaviours, and so on. The treatment of any mental health disorder should be given the same amount of importance as the treatment of any other part of your body. Raising mental health literacy and mobilising support activities are required to address the problem. Poor mental health interferes with social functioning, is associated with health behaviour, and should be monitored as an overall indicator of chronic disease burden. The indicators of good mental health include the ability to learn, the ability to feel, express, and manage a range of positive and negative emotions.

In India, having mental health issues is shunned upon. It’s usually seen in budding teenagers, who have no one they can talk to about their mental health issues. If anyone is seen to be seeking the help of a therapist, they’re labeled to be crazy. Having issues with your mental health is not crazy, and seeking therapy does not make you a crazy person. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), in India, the number of psychiatrists and psychologists have been outnumbered by the number of people suffering from mental health issues. WHO states that in India, (per 100,000 population) there are psychiatrists (0.3), nurses (0.12), psychologists (0.07), and social workers (0.07), while the desirable number is anything above 3 psychiatrists and psychologists per 100,000 population. According to the numbers, 56 million Indians suffer from depression and another 38 million Indians suffer from anxiety disorders. India is held accountable for 36.6% of suicides that take place globally and suicide is officially the leading cause of death among women and teenage girls aged 15–19 years.

Mental health can be treated with medical help which includes psychiatrists and psychologists, but another way that it can be treated is Aromatherapy. Aromatherapy is an integrative therapeutic practice that uses natural plant extracts to enhance health and well being. It’s also known as an essential oil treatment. It is a type of medicine that uses fragrant essential oils to promote the health of the body, mind, and soul. It improves both physical and mental well-being. It is regarded as both a science and an art and has recently gained popularity. Aromatherapy works through the sense of smell and skin absorption using products such as diffusers, aromatic spritzers, inhalers, bathing salts, or facial steamers. Essential oils activate the olfactory nerve, which sends messages to the limbic system in the brain, which is involved in memories, emotions, and instincts. The release of hormones that contribute to emotions of peace, relaxation, or excitement is thought to be triggered by this stimulus. Aromatherapy essential oils can produce a wide range of mental effects, depending on the oil being utilized. While aromatherapy will not “cure” a health issue, it can help some people more easily cope with symptoms. Common issues that are often treated with aromatherapy include anxiety and stress, depression, sleep issues, dementia, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism, chronic pain, menstrual and menopausal issues.

Aromatherapy has evolved in India and Sri Satya Sai Exports introduced Panchami which produces aromatherapeutic lamp oils. They have multiple lamp oils which include British Rose, Lemon Grass, Lush Lavender, Mystic Sandalwood, and Real Jasmine. These oils have multiple benefits. They support healthy brain functions, help with headaches, promote deeper sleep, helps improve digestion, tone the uterus, and help protect from tumours, and most importantly helps reducing anxiety and depression. They also have antioxidant properties that support a healthy nervous system, relieve nausea, reduces blood pressure, and are very effective antiseptics.

Battling mental illnesses have never been easy, but one can only hope that maybe there might come a day when it won’t be such a taboo and we can look at it more positively. Aromatherapy might not be for everyone, but this decision has to be made only after trying it once because as mentioned earlier, it doesn’t cure any mental illnesses but it can help people cope with it.

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