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Let’s awake as a society to mental health issues!

10 October, 2020 11:41:39
Let’s awake as a society to mental health issues!

A person ailing from a physical sickness is provided with medical care and subsequent after care, if required. This is so that they can get back on their feet and feel better. However, if someone is suffering from a mental illness, there is a social stigma attached to them. Instead of providing people with the required treatment, they are mocked, or called "mad". The stereotypical link between mental illness and insanity is forced on those who are not mentally "normal". This behavior and the blatant ostracism displayed towards people suffering from mental health is causing more harm than ever. 

Nowadays, more and more people are speaking up for those who suffer mental illness in the hopes of providing treatment, and providing patients the respect and dignity they deserve. This positive attitude towards mental illness is also encouraged by celebrities, some of who suffer such illnesses themselves. This is to ensure that the stigma attached to mental sickness is eradicated, and people get the help that they need. Mental illness is just like physical illness -- it stops a person from functioning at their best, and, in some cases, can even be fatal. For example, people with depression may not be suicidal, but they do exhibit suicidal thoughts and/ or tendencies. People who suffer illnesses like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, psychosis, etc., can cause harm inadvertently to themselves or others. 

It is our duty to ensure that people who suffer mental illness are provided with proper health care and treatment, and are treated with the grace and respect they deserve like anyone else. It is time that we stop ostracizing people with mental illness. The reason many people avoid asking for help is that they fear being ridiculed by their family and close ones. This is a very real fear, and it prevents people from availing the aid or treatment that they desperately need. 

The general belief around mental illness is full of misinformation and nonsensical, hurtful stereotypes - people believe that those suffering from mental illness are mad, crazy, and prone to vicious attacks. Or else people who are "sad" kill themselves. Neither of these statements are even remotely true. This World Mental Health Day, on 10th October, we should aim to educate ourselves on how to deal with mental illness, whether it is for our own sake, or for others. 

Mental illness can affect anyone, at any time. While some illnesses have a hereditary factor instilled, other mental illnesses like depression, general anxiety, etc. can affect anyone. There is no age limit; a prepubescent child has a chance of being afflicted as much as an older individual. Both environmental as well as natural factors can cause a person to suffer mental illness. For instance, in this current climate, a direct link between the rising number of suicides during the quarantine period as the Covid-19 virus rages on has been brought to light. People who have been losing jobs because of the disastrous economic meltdown are resorting to suicide so as to escape their troubles. It is vital that a person who is unable to deal with their thoughts during such turbulent times should be given a strong support system. Mental illness is exacerbated by a negative environment, unsupportive partners, friends, or families, and can lead the victim to hurt themselves. 

It is crucial that you learn how to sensitize yourself to mental health. You should take some time and introspect within your own self to check your feelings. Repressing emotions can have terrible effects. Another significant change people ought to make is the attempt to change the language concerning mental health and illness. Likening such illnesses with insanity, "craziness", "going spaz", etc., has a very negative impact on people who suffer mental illness. For instance, one should learn the difference between being sad and going through depression; "sadness" and "depression" cannot be interchangeable. People should change their vocabulary to be more inclusive of other people. One should also stop misbehaving with or infantilizing people with mental illness; people with mental illness should be accorded the respect and dignity they deserve. 

We must understand that mental illness is just as debilitating as physical illness, if not more. People do not make up illnesses; just because there are no physical scars, does not mean one doesn't suffer just as deeply. 

The United Nations declared World Mental Health Day on 10 October to be celebrated every year, with the overall objective of raising awareness of mental health issues around the world and mobilizing efforts in support of mental health.

The Day provides an opportunity for all stakeholders working on mental health issues to talk about their work, and what more needs to be done to make mental health care a reality for people worldwide.

To people who are suffering from mental illness: you are seen, you are heard, and you are loved.

Story Tag:
  • World Mental Health Day

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