Mental Health: A Taboo or the Unwarranted Perception?

Mental Health: A Taboo or the Unwarranted Perception?

When was the last time you, yes you, talked about all of what happened in your head to anyone? When did you last cry your heart out without even letting anyone know? But do you know, by not sharing your problems with anyone, you are worsening your mental health?

Opening up isn’t that easy, Right? But do you know why? Because we’re constantly under this impression that no one really cares, and this is the harsh reality of our society.

Why we talk about mental health and such important issues only when a public figure faces it or acts on it. Why does someone have to lose their life for people to be aware of it? There are many behind closed doors who are facing this problem and we can’t do anything or until now we were not even bothered about it.  Why, when people are asking for help, can’t we just lend a listening ear? Why do we belittle other people’s problems saying “why are you crying for such small things?”

Nothing is small or big, pain is pain. When someone needs help, just be there for them! You may not have a solution for their problem but sometimes just listening to someone sincerely helps them heal!

Mental health must not be ignored. More than how we look, it important is how we think. Would we laugh at someone who said they were diagnosed with the tumour? Then why laugh at someone who has mental health problems. Not everyone may be as clear-headed as you are. Shouldn’t you be someone supporting their decision? Lending an ear to them?

If you can’t do that, just leave them, rather than laughing and judging them. Most of the time, people don’t need your advice, they just someone to listen to them with sincerity and attention. You don’t need to be anyone’s therapist just being there would be enough.

Problem with our society, to be more specific the “Indian society” is that at the first instance they don’t consider there exist any mental illness or anything like that. And, if somehow, they accept its existence, they just stigmatized it and hype mental illnesses to insanity or water it down to mood swings. 

Mental illness is not related to a particular age or to a group of people, it can be there in you for any possible reason, and it can be cured if treated right, it can be cured if it is shared without fear, without stigmatizing it as mania and treating it at par with any other bodily disease. There is a need for a more humanitarian approach rather than a therapeutic approach. 

Why don’t we give our mind the same love, attention, and care that we give to our body?

Is peace of mind not vital to lead a happy and healthy life?

Schools hold assemblies and prayer meets to respect the deceased who had taken their own life.  don’t they instead teach children to be kind? Why don’t they teach children to not be bullies? We’re taught medical first aid, but no traction is given to psychological first aid.

In the era of apparent ‘modernization’, ‘advancing India’, ‘growing India’, “Digital India”, we also need a ‘Pro Mental Health India’ (and that also, not just here but all around the world).

With multiple start-ups taking the initiative to talk about mental health and giving people the required support, we also need to realize that it all starts from us. Charity begins at home, and so, checking out for people also begins – at home, from us.

The fame, success, money everything is Secondary what’s actually important is how someone feels. We need to be kind to everyone because we actually don’t know what’s going inside them. What are they suffering from? To all the people who find suicide as an act of cowardice, no offence, but please don’t judge them just because they tried committing suicide or did something to cause self-harm. I will never say it is right to do things such as self-harm, but it was not you in that person’s place, so it’s better to not judge or forms any negative opinion about them. 

Mental Health 2

Mental health is important because not everyone thinks the same things as you do. Not everyone is as clear-headed as you are. Depression can never be explained nor be felt on anyone’s part. I know how it feels when mental health pushes you in fear, isolation, sadness, and gloom. It breaks down your spirit, destroys your faith, and throws you in a state of hopelessness. Your life becomes hard because you try to solve the problems all alone. I know your thoughts are uncontrollable and I know your mind is in a bad place sometimes, but I also know that you can handle it. 

Your thoughts aren’t in your control but something else is – you can’t choose where your thoughts take you, but you can choose your thoughts. I know it’s not easy to live in peace when you have so much running around in your head. I know you feel trapped within your own mind at times and you struggle to find yourself an escape. Your heart is heavy and your mind, burdened. I know you feel restless and tired. You wish you could bury yourself in oblivion. You feel restless and impatient. I know how desperately you want to stop thinking about your troubles. You feel caged and caught up. I know your suffering because I have also been in a similar situation. 

Every eye that got on me was saying or making me feel how useless and worthless I am, and no one would cling long enough with me. I always punished myself for being me, I always imprecate being me There was nothing in this body, other than pain, hatred, insecurities and anxiety.

The society we live in barely accommodates any physical health problems, how would it accept mental health problems?

It takes a whole lot of guts to accept that you’re going through struggles with your mental health. It takes greater guts to overcome the fear of being judged for it after accepting it in front of people.

In an environment like ours, I’d be proud of someone who accepted it in front of a group of people and they also helped me a lot in such critical situations. Everyone needs to understand that their environment also impacts their mental health to a certain extent. If the environment you live in has destroyed your mental well-being, change it. Leave out the “toxic” people from your life and surround yourself with positive people, positive attitude and positive places. Your mental well-being is just as important as your physical well-being and you need to make it a priority.

Most organisms have consciousness, but Human beings are the only animals capable of possessing self-consciousness. We are not machines, hell even machines have faults/make errors. So why is it not acknowledged enough that people can have depression and anxiety and they can still go on about their day, and just because they’re laughing at your jokes or doing their jobs or going to classes, it doesn’t mean they are okay. Talk to people; don’t give up on them when it gets a bit hard for you, that’s when they need you the most. Believe me, I’m talking or more precisely, writing, from experience. It is time we start talking about depression rather than make it taboo.

To all the people who are feeling low, there is someone who loves you more than you can imagine. Your parents, your friends or someone special. They will always be there for you no matter what. Think about yourself first. You are the first person who is capable of picking yourself up and living a life for yourself. So, loads of love to everyone out there, be strong and Love yourself, you can and you will get through.

Rishav Ranjan

Rishav is a practising advocate in the Supreme Court of India. He completed his BA.LLB(H) from Amity Law School, Delhi(Indraprastha University). He has also worked in various reputed organisations like Tata Steels, Infosys, Tejas Networks Ltd as a legal trainee where his legal knowledge and skills were appreciated.

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