10th October marked World Mental Health Day, which is a great initiative to raise awareness about issues related to mental health.
Living in a contemporary atmosphere, one would think speaking about what troubles you would be easy. However, there are still many people out there who feel that they are not able to come out and speak about their problem due to the stigma attached to mental health issues.
There are still people who suffer silently and may be afraid to seek medical/professional help. Their first attempt of seeking help is usually by trying to talk to someone who is close to them; be it a parent, a sibling or a close friend. Yet, many are left dissuaded by what they get to hear in return. “You seem fine to me”, “It’s a phase, you’ll get through it”, or even “just get over it”, or “cheer up”. Most of the time, the attempt of trying to “cheer” someone up by merely telling them to “cheer up” can do the actual opposite, and cause more damage, even making them more aloof or reclusive.
There are many who suffer from depression or anxiety who are made to feel like they are overreacting or just being plain difficult. The lack of sensitivity around the issue is quite baffling, and worrying as well. And having to hear such comments from people who you assume you are close to, can be even more frightening for those who would like to seek help but do not feel like they have it in them to keep going.
Having said that, there are many family members and friends who go out of their way to ensure that their friend, sibling or child gets the help they need. Having that support from a loved-one can make a very big difference in your battle against your mental health condition.
If you know that someone is suffering in silence, speak to them about it; that’s the least you could do. Helping them by letting them speak about their problem is the first and a very important step. It is vital to ensure that they feel they have someone whom they can trust and turn to in times of despair, and that they are not alone, even if they feel they are.
For those battling with their condition alone and feel like they have no one to turn to – there is help always available. It may seem daunting at first and the fear of the unknown may grip some of you, but eventually, the first step into seeking professional help will lead you to the path of recovery.
Speaking about your problems should never be a taboo, especially in this day and age. It is nothing to be ashamed about either. Mental health exists, just as how physical health exists as well. No one should be made to feel small for their condition.