How About a Mental Thermal Gun?

How About a Mental Thermal Gun?


In recent times, it has become common to see thermal guns pointed at people’s heads. This is because the World Health Organisation (WHO) revealed that increased body temperature is one of the indicators for coronavirus. Since then, governments, businesses, religious houses and other public places have resorted to aiming and gauging body temperatures before giving access to their premises.

A thought crept into my mind this evening; would it not be nice if we could make a mental thermal gun? I woke up in the morning feeling a bit down. I could not place exactly where my morose mood was stemming from. Was it a passing feeling, or was I about to go down the lonely dead-end road of depression again? I pulled my blanket over and forced myself to sleep. Thankfully, the second nap was the trick; I awoke that time on the right side of my bed (lol).

However, through the day I kept thinking about what could have gone wrong. I was grateful that it was not another bout, but what if it was? Would it not have been nice for something to alert me before it spirals out of hand? Would it not be great to have some apparatus warn me when it senses depression, anxiety, rage, or suicidal thoughts? Shouldn’t there be a device that will indicate when mental health has gone awry? That’s when I conceived the mental thermal gun.

Regrettably, I am not a scientist, nor a technologist, nor a programmer. If I were, I would have designed one straightaway. I am also not a psychiatrist, nor a psychologist, nor a physician. Were I one, I would have determined the parameters and biomarkers for mental health benchmarks. Then I would have proceeded to standardise measurements of cognition and dispositions. So, I leave that to them professionals, and turn my attention to the amateur way of dealing with mental health problems.

Why may thermal mental guns be important?

Agreed there are tell-tale signs that may reveal a person’s mental state, intermittently. But many times, the signs are missed or ignored. Maybe, it is because many emotions can remain unacknowledged or very well concealed, for a long time. Or others have their own issues they are dealing with and turn a blind eye to those pointers. Unfortunately, until the damage is done, we do not connect the glaring warning signs that were displayed, like the periods of prolonged sadness that we expect the sufferer to snap out of. Or the episodes of confused thinking, which we dismissed as stupidity. Or the excessive suspicions, fears and anxieties we tagged as emotional instability and immaturity until it was too late…

My advocacy for the mental thermal gun is firstly for self-use. We may be too disturbed, too busy or too afraid to discover and uncover the true state of our mental health. However, if we had this gun, it would blare with loud noises and flashing lights, and make us very aware of our condition. The second reason is to inform others that all is not well. The vulnerable person may never seek help, but if the carers get this rock-solid notification, they may quickly find interventions and solutions for them.

I am not sure that science will go that far, it will be great if it does, but in the absence of the mental thermal gun. We could keep up sincere personal diagnostics with these steps; they are as basic as ABC…

A. Acknowledge:

You need to identify and recognise your feelings. Do not be afraid of saying “I am not happy”, “I am sad”, “I feel anxious”, “I am worried”, or “I am getting depressed”. This is the first step in your self-analysis.

B. Backtrack:

Ask yourself “Why do I feel the way I do?” “What started my negative feeling?” Many things can trigger negative emotions; it could be a harsh comment, an insensitive joke, hormones, physical illness and so on. It is good to step back and assess what you are dealing with.

C. Calibrate:

Make adjustments. You may need to briefly change environments, put on your best song, focus on a hobby… do anything to get you out of those unpleasant moods. Often, nipping wrong dispositions at the bud could save you a lot of pain.

Remember, the ABC is just because thermal mental guns are not yet in existence. However, whether they are or not, seek help. Seek help before you need it. Keep your mental health in check.

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