Mental Health- A Taboo
Mental health – A Taboo
How often have we heard the word ‘MENTAL HEALTH’? Or how many times did we come across the articles targeting ‘Mental Well Being’? Or how often have you seen movies showing therapies and psychologists?
Probably numerous times?
But are we still detached from the stigma?
Mental Health nowadays, has become a topic with maximum exposure. Drives, rallies, articles, blogs, plays, seminars all dedicated to just these two words- Mental Health. Now you must be thinking you’re completely normal and fit, far away from the word ‘Mental’, why should you read it. Stick around you’ll know.
Mental Health, according to an online site, refers to the level of psychological well-being or an absence of mental illness. It is the state of someone who is "functioning at a satisfactory level of emotional and behavioral adjustment".
Fair enough but is this all?
Who decides these satisfactory levels? Who decides whether our behavior is adjustable or not? Who will tell whether we are emotionally fit because the mere absence of mental illness does not guarantee our well-being? One can be completely fit, without any kind of disorder or anything, but still have many emotional and personal issues that might severely target one’s mental health.
Okay, let me put it this way. You call a fat girl, fat. Elephant. Obese. Bulky. And whatnot. Now you said some mere words, nothing big. But what you do not realize is how deeply did those words affect her perception of herself. She would never deem herself pretty, she’ll always have an inferiority complex, she’ll always have the idea that she is socially acceptable and this will result in complete deterioration of her mental well-being. For this sole reason, one needs to understand how important our mental health is and how trivial actions can destroy it.
But how to understand it when we ourselves are unable to even say the word Mental health out loud as if it's similar to saying Voldemort in Hogwarts corridors. As if saying merely the word will transmit some kind of lethal disease in us or the ones who are saying it are already completely mad, insane, stupid, mentally disabled, and incurable. Whenever we have any kind of another body diseases such as Tonsils, Bronchitis, Liver transplant, cardiovascular disease, genital discomfort, fracture, bone dislocation, etc. we tend to tell or actually announce it to the world, very easily, without much hesitation but, but, but, but…. If it’s the topic of mental well-being such as anxiety, depression, phobias everyone starts whispering, muttering, mumbling as if, as if our brain isn’t a body part after all. The same way how easily and rather happily and proudly does one’s parent announce when their children decide to become a doctor. A Cardiologist- will do heart operations, A Pediatrician- will help children, A Dentist- Ah! Forget cavities now, but when one says, like I did, that I want to become a Psychologist / Psychiatrist, it was as if I declared I’m mentally incapable of choosing any ‘sane’ profession and what I was made to hear was, “ What will you do, examine psycho and stupid people all day? You’ll become like that one day.” This was disturbingly hilarious on so many levels, I can’t even begin to tell you. You can’t become a surgeon if you stay close to a surgeon 24*7, you’ll never become an IAS officer if you stay with one all day, every day but if you will stay with those who are mentally disturbed due to some deep and unresolved issues in their lives, who are basically crying out for our help, you’ll certainly become one of them. How wonderfully stupid of us. I’ll tell you yet another hilarious fact. When I was searching on Google, different types of doctors, I was unable to find a psychologist or psychiatrist in the top 13 while a dermatologist and gynecologist made their way into the top 5. I mean even a non-living search engine is unable to give mental health importance, that’s the intensity of our stereotypes.
Are we all so incapable of addressing the fact that yes, yes, I am an extremely anxious person, yes, I think I’m on the verge of going into depression, yes, I still am recovering from a childhood trauma that is maybe affecting my present. Or are we all just so in love with our rock-ribbed thoughts that we’ll only act when someone is knee-deep into a disorder or is already mentally gone, or best, physically gone, then only will we act and pass snarky comments?
We need to break the wall that we ourselves have built. No, your girlfriend leaving you, your favorite dress being burnt, scoring low marks and showing everyone that you are sad for mere 3 hours does not qualify you for being depressed because us, millennial have got the definition of disorder all wrong, we’ve molded it for our own benefit.
Try thinking, accepting, speaking and if that doesn’t work, try writing. There are tons of networking sites, platforms, waiting for you to make move. Take off your hands from a knife beside you and put them on the keyboard. We’re listening. The world is listening. I am Listening.
Let’s climb our way from Taboo to Triumph.