A cat closes its eyes while drinking milk and thinks that no one is watching. Our understanding about mental health isn’t much different from it. We carry on with our lives indifferent to the illusion of hiding what’s really going on.
However, are we right in assuming that only unhappy people go into depression? Is committing suicide a spur of the moment thing? Surely there must be telltale signs? How do we identify them? Why can’t someone just share what’s bothering them?
A study done by the World Health Organisation (WHO) labels India as the ‘most depressed country’ since every one person in seven is supposedly suffering from mental health related problems. That’s reason enough for us to delve into the basics of how it affects us, right?
There’s still a lot of stigma around mental health. People judge you when you’re disturbed about something and when you try to get help for it, they judge you even more. First things first, this mentality of vilifying mental health as a taboo topic needs to go. Let us shed light upon the most common ways in which people misconstrue its meaning.
Mental health is a fancy term to mint money
If doctors want to milk you dry, trust me, there can be many ways for it. People spend lakhs of rupees on expensive treatments of lifestyle and other serious diseases, annually. Would anyone spend even a quarter of it on mental health?
Our body’s like a machine and our mind and heart work together relentlessly to keep it going till we breathe our last. We use healthy oils, eat nutritious food and keep ourselves fit for the sake of our heart. Doesn’t our mind deserve this preferential treatment too? There’s nothing fancy about it at all!
People use it as an excuse to seek attention
While this may hold true for other attention-seeking behaviour, faking bad mental health is an unfair and slanderous accusation. No one enjoys being looked down upon or wants you to show them sympathy.
The turmoil that goes inside one’s head can only be experienced by him and is not always felt by even their close ones. Do them a service and don’t denigrate the severity of their situation.
Happy people can never be depressed, sad or anxious
Happiness is subjective. Imagine someone having a loving family and a well-paying job, being in great shape, looking like a million bucks and still saying that they’re not happy. Would you believe them? Possibly not. Are they lying, then? Certainly not.
Sushant Singh Rajput’s suicide, although still under investigation, opened a huge debate around mental health. People found it impossible to believe that someone who thrived in the limelight and was seemingly well off could have mental health issues. That’s not really how it works.
People don’t project their vulnerabilities to keep the delusion about their happiness alive. They’re not absolved from carrying the burden of their own demons though. It keeps gnawing at them. Be gentle and don’t question their feelings, please.
Mental health needs acceptance; by the one who has issues and also by those around him. Changing our mentality can normalise it and make it open for discussion in our homes. Let us not be embarrassed or try to brush it under the carpet. We can start with communicating better with our family and friends, being there for each other and not judging anyone’s choices or reservations. Sounds doable, yes?
Disclaimer: I’m not a Mental Health expert but have gone through the grind of getting professional help at one particularly low phase in my life. I have shared my honest thoughts and feelings in this post. If you disagree with any of it, I respect your opinion.
This was my fifth post in the Health and Wellness series with #CauseAChatter. Do suggest any topics you would like me to write on. I will definitely consider them.