ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) — While mental health means something different to everyone, 18 News wanted to dive a little deeper and hear from someone who works with it on a daily basis.

Dr. Khalid Sethi, M.D., F.A.C.S. is a neurosurgeon and entrepreneur for NeuroSciences Group, where he specializes in advanced TMS treatment for depression.

When asked to describe mental health, Dr. Sethi said to think of mental health as a disease.

“Think of mental health as a disease that impacts you, the individual, on how you process information or stimuli around you,” Dr. Sethi said. “In my mind, it’s a very structural, basic processing issue that forces people to feel differently to the same stimuli that other people might feel.”

Dr. Sethi explained how to determine when someone’s having just an “off day” and when it’s time for them to seek professional help.

“I think if you find that you are not enjoying life or how you are living it—you’re finding altered sleep patterns, you’re finding altered appetite patterns, you are not interested in food, or you’re overeating or under eating, you wake up feeling kind of down or depressed, you are no longer enjoying activities that you used to enjoy, you feel out of sync with your environment or you feel you’re more jittery, more nervous than other people around you, you’re more uncomfortable, you’re more out of your zone, you’re not in the element that you used to be—I think those are all signs and symptoms,” Dr. Sethi said. “It’s not just a one day thing. It’s something that is impacting you and it’s impacting the quality of life. It’s impacting who you want to be, and there’s a disconnect on how you’re living your life and how you would want to be living your life.”

Even the strongest of people fight invisible battles. Dr. Sethi shared what he thinks still needs to happen when it comes to ending the stigma surrounding mental health.

“People need to recognize what we term a disease. A disease is defined as an affliction that comes on to you for nothing that you have done. So if you’re diabetic, everybody recognizes, ‘I’m a diabetic. My pancreas isn’t working as well. I need medications, I need injections, I need enzymes.’ ‘I have back pain; nothing that I did but I seem to have a lot of back pain—pain I don’t like.’ ‘I’ve got heart disease, I’ve got to take care of myself,'” Dr. Sethi said. “There are behavioral modifications that you can do, but everybody accepts that as a disease. Depression needs to be recognized as a disease. It’s a true disease, it’s not somebody who’s making it up. That doesn’t make you any less of an individual or less of a human than anybody else. It is a disease that you have to battle with and struggle with, but you should not have to battle and struggle with it on your own. There’s a lot of help, but it doesn’t start until you come see a physician.”

During the interview, Dr. Sethi also shared several treatments and resources available for those in need of help, along with simple ways to give your mental health a boost.

“These are trying times,” Dr. Sethi said. “I think it’s very important for people to know that they’re not alone, that there’s a lot of help out there and we’re here to help them get their lives back.”

Watch the full interview with Dr. Sethi below.