Mental Health - End The Stigma

The text ‘you are not your mental illness’ written on the back of a woman

Why do we treat mental health as if its not a big deal? Why do we say to a person in grief that ‘you are just overthinking’ ? Why do we stereotype people having mental illness being crazy? Why do we think that people who seek a psychologist/psychiatrist/therapist are lunatics? 

It is time that we set aside these stereotypes and accept that mental health is as important as our physical health, except there are no biological cause to the pain, no physical wounds, and not a physical entity that can be measured. Just think about this...whenever your stomach aches, you go to a physician or there’s some problem with your eye, you go to an ophthalmologist, or for a heart problem, you seek a cardiologist. Just as for every problem you have a specific doctor, for mind you have a psychiatrist, psychologist, or a therapist. Mind cannot be seen or weighed, but can be treated. If your mind isn’t working properly, you can’t expect your body to function right.  

The pain caused by both kinds of illness, mental and physical, can be equally devastating. But unfortunately very few understand that. It’s funny when our grandparents say that in ‘those’ days, nobody had depression or anxiety, and we, millennials, create drama! Well, first of all, mental health was never given significance in those days and people felt ashamed talking about it. Secondly, because of the problems created decades ago that we are, today, we are facing the repercussions. 

We don’t know what millions of emotions are hiding behind a person’s smile. We are always busy judging them. We have no single idea what that person has gone through or is going through. We still don’t fail in making prejudices. Is it bad? Obviously. 

There are several kinds of mental illness and if soneone is suffering from one, they are not crazy! Their internal wounds could be so severe that no outsider has a single idea. These wounds are incapable of understanding the sensitivity of the situation. People suffering from depression or anxiety or any other psychological disorder take away their lives in order to end their sufferings. Around the world, approximately 800,000 people die by committing suicide every year. 

Many young actors suffering from depression or students who cant bare the pressure of their studies, end their lives because they believe that their effort has no purpose. Recently, a famous Indian actor committed suicide due to depression, and the social media pages were flooded with stories and posts regarding the importance of mental health issue. My question is, why does it take a person to die for others to realize how important our mental health is ? Our main goal is to save lives, not take them. 

We have an important role in the lives of the people whom we know. Have we ever sat down with our family or friends to discuss about our mental health ? No, because stereotypes like ‘having a mental problem attaches a label on my head that i am mad and crazy’ stops me from discussing such grave issues. 

Friends, it is time to introspect and make others introspect on their lives. Find faults and correct them. Mental health becomes an issue when people neglect it and attach a stigma. It is us who can remove this sticker and throw it away.