Saturday, May 8, 2021
Editorial

Mental health

We are a society that loves to talk about nonsense issues – neighbours, politics, celebrities, gossips, etc. but are reluctant to talk about life problems. No doubt, we are living in the 21st century but we carry burdens of social stigmas and still we call ourselves a modern society. We are so scary and fearful, acting as educated illiterate that we even do not want to understand the concept of mental health. Most of the time we ignore or avoid facing the realities and we choose to remain silent and bear mental health issues in silence. Our society is so stigmatized about mental health that we take it as so rude if someone asks us that you need to see a psychiatrist or a counselor. Today we are living in a society where we choose to show off our wealth, status, pride, and show off our healthy side but we are reluctant to accept and talk about our mental health status. We as a society have evolved with so much stress in everyday lives where we feel that everything is going to be alright and it just needs time. We put out stress and issues on time and believe that time heals everything. Unfortunately, it is not the case with our mental health! Time never heals our mental scars. We struggle and carry those mental burdens every day with us and unfortunately, they harm us deep inside and they do harm us physically too. In recent times, we heard many cases where young people died because of heart attacks. Yet no study had been done which can prove that mental health was the reason behind those sudden and tragic deaths. Maybe that’s why people do not take them seriously. However, mental health issues are called silent killers, which show their final impact via physiological damages they do to our body. Living in our part of the world is not easy and day-to-day chores are full of stress, so our society and each of us need to understand and give importance to our mental health. We are not only responsible for our mental health but we are responsible for our dear and loved ones too. Although we spend hours with the family under the same roof, we have no idea about what is going on in each other’s lives, as we are completely absorbed by either television or our smartphones. We poke in people’s lives who are living thousands of miles away from us and share no relation with them or we have any kind of relational transactions with them. We never care to ask each other how are you and how was your day, and even though some might ask, we pass on by simply saying we are fine or it was ok. Our society is so much engrossed with traditions where a man hesitates to express his love towards his mother, sister, or to his wife. We forget we are human and we need love, care and attention the same way as we need air, water, and food. It’s one of the primary needs but with the cultural stigmas, we suppress it. In such a culturally stigmatized world we have adjusted ourselves just to suffer silently unless and until mental illnesses take over and we finally accept it as fate and destiny. We must understand that having a mental health issue is normal and the truth is we all at some point of life have mental health issues. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness and when the signs and symptoms are visible then we must immediately seek help. Unfortunately, we are hesitant to ask for help and even if someone wants to ask for help, he or she has no idea where to ask or whom to ask. Especially in our state, the number of counselors is almost zero and we have to overcome social stigmas too. Even if one does not find a professional counselor around but still one can share his issues with family members and seek their support before it gets too late. The recent lockdown has changed the scenario of the world including counseling, and thousands of websites offer free online counseling. We need to come out of the mentality that time heals everything and seek help.

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