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Mental Health Through a Scientific Lens by Muskaan Duneja (Issue #2)

Mental health is one of the most controversial global topics in this societal day and age, where people are constantly surrounded by numerous misconceptions, one of them being that mental illnesses are rare. In reality, 1 in 4 adults every year suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder. This being established, another misconception that precedes in the society today is that any individual suffering from such disorders can overcome it in a healthy way by choice and personal effort. While this may be the case in some patients, this notion fails to address mental illness as an actual medical condition and the fact that several cases of such disorders may require medical attention or treatment. Mental health issues are not only developed due to physiological factors, but biological elements also play a role in provoking such conditions.

As stated by the National Centre for Biotechnology Information (NCBI)1, several researchers and scientists believe that mental disorders are partly developed due to the imbalance of neurochemicals in the brain. These chemical messengers are responsible for carrying signals between nerve cells and other cells in our body. If such chemicals are processed in incorrect amounts, they may hinder the brain from properly responding to a stimulus by hindering the communication between the brain and our body, affecting many physical and psychological functions. For example, too much stimulation of the hormone known as adrenaline, responsible for regulating muscle contraction, heart rate, and blood pressure, may lead to chronic stress, difficulty concentrating, dizziness, as well as anxiety.

That being said, there is more to mental health challenges than simply the brain’s chemistry. How people suffering from such disorders are treated and looked at is also an aspect in considering the factors that cause such conditions. We all possess the ability to change, grow and improve over time and therefore, a little understanding, empathy, and respect from individuals that do not suffer from such issues would be really beneficial in creating a supportive and accepting environment for all in need. So, check up on your loved ones and remind them that they are appreciated, because you never know who is in need of some dopamine.

Health, and Curriculum Study. “Information about Mental Illness and the Brain.” Nih.Gov, National Institutes of Health (US), 2012,

Produced by students from GEMS World Academy Singapore. Contact the team: