Impact of loss on mental health
Founder’s Insights • 18 April 2022, 9:00 AM
“Faith is trust in the unknown and trust is faith in the known.”
Your mental health is directly influenced by your faith in life & trust in yourself.
A break-up in a relationship or a failure or a disappointment in academics is one of the large emotional-impact events which generally result in breaking trust in self.
Faith in life is to have faith in the unknown. So, no matter how impactful an event is, if faith in life is larger than disappointment, trust in self is not broken in those moments when events create a ‘No Hope’ situation.
Traditionally, joint families and communities acted as a support system to bring acceptance to an outcome of an event. The emotional impact of large events was jointly shared and absorbed or supported. This kept the trust restored in self even if we had made mistakes or felt inadequate in some moments. Imperfection was normal and there was not much pressure to evolve and survive that it would erode our faith in life and trust in ourselves.
For example, when a child is subjected to the pressure for studies, he/she has the strength to take the pressure, if inside the child feels there is a support system he can trust. Again, the death of a loved one cannot be so devastating that a child loses hope for his future. But what if he did? How would he cope?
Such big impactful events in the early days of childhood or a series of small events have been the reason behind mental disorder cases in growing up years. This is where the seeds of disorders are sowed in the system. If no grounding mechanism is provided to release this pressure, it gets stored in the body. This is where the mind has to work extra to manage those emotions. This disturbs the harmony of emotion-mind-body balance. Any state of imbalance is an unstable state. Therefore, to seek stability, the person begins to withdraw from life. Withdrawing from an aspect of life that otherwise was enjoyed is a quantum state of depression. Every culture had strong and robust rituals to deal with the loss or pressure to keep the faith alive. In case of a death in the family, India has a tradition of 13 days of mourning. This is a completely scientific process of helping family:
- Emotionally liberate the departed soul to allow his onwards journey
- To accept life with the loss of the departed soul
- To decode the wisdom of the departed soul and to take over the responsibilities
- To move from grief to pain to connect with the mystery which is the source of all humanity
People from family and community used to come together to run these rituals for 13 days to help the family bounce back to life with higher acceptance, more wisdom, pain, and compassion.
The reason mental health is in question is that our loss is not acceptable to us and the family and community support system is almost negligible and rituals have become a shallow routine and are done in fear or to tick a check box rather than understanding the wisdom behind it. Now, how do we cope with this suffering when the outside support system has collapsed and the wisdom behind the rituals is lost?
For a person in depression or dealing with a loss that stays in the emotional body and requires management, an extra burden is placed on the mind to constantly manage it and survive by doing daily routine chores. This makes the surviving mind shrink for present-day activities as most part of the mind is occupied with managing hopelessness. This is a very fragile state where another exposure to any more disappointment may lead to some serious form of disorder such as OCD, Bipolar Disorder, or Schizophrenia.
On the other hand, if ego is strong, another disappointment may lead to other forms of disorder such as OCPD, anger disorder, hyperactive disorder, addictions to people, sex or substance, etc. or simply being destructive for self or for others.
In both these states, low ego or high ego state, the person dealing with loss is looking for a support system outside to survive. With the fall of the external support system, we have no other choice but to build an internal support system to cope with the suffering and reverse it. How do we do it? Is there a way?
Author, Naveen Varshneya in the book – ‘Meditation the Cure’, states that “I have just one belief. I do not believe human life is meant for suffering.” And this stands as the basis of all his research. There are simple step-by-step processes given as techniques to lead you towards the cure and help you find the root cause of the suffering. You would not need to cope with the suffering then; the techniques will take you to your realizations which will lead you to the wisdom which holds the key to the cure.