Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Stop The Mental Health Stigma!

Somehow, one of the most ridiculous outcomes of evolution is how the society determines how ‘normal’ our actions are.

People fallen victim to mental illness (or as extremely pseudo-intelligent people like to call them, “psychos”) have also fallen victim to a lot of prejudice from the ignorant people on account of the normalcy scale. Here are some of the most common and ridiculous things I’ve heard about those suffering from mental illness.

1. “Mental diseases are contagious.”
Yeah, they sure are contagious. Because mental diseases are as simple as a cough and cold you get every time the climate is changed. You can’t be contaminated by being kind and asking how they’re doing. They aren’t caused by a personal weakness- it is caused by the person’s environmental and psychosocial conditions.

2. “It is all in their head.”
Of course, it is in their heads. Where do you think the brain is? Below the ribcage? The brain is where their memory is stored, their thoughts run. So yes, it is in their heads and it is very real. You won’t ask a person suffering from cancer to get over it. They cannot pull themselves out of mental illnesses. It is not caused by personal weakness.

3. “There are fewer people suffering from mental illnesses.”
It is a common myth that all pseudo-intellectuals suffer from: that only a few people suffer from mental diseases. The fact is that one in four people suffer from mental illness throughout the world. Mental issues eat up lives on the same pace as cancer and other fatal diseases. We choose to ignore those with mental illness and sweep their issues under the rug. Everyone and anyone of all ages can go through this.

4. “Their family would be so ashamed of them.” 
The only thing anyone should be ashamed of should be accepting the mental health stigma everyone seems to be following. Would you be ashamed of your father if he had a heart condition? Same way, you shouldn’t be ashamed of your son if he has Down syndrome.

5. “They’re a bunch of violent people. They should be locked away” 
Most people struggle with anxiety or depression. They don’t harm others more than they harm themselves. Their thoughts negatively affect their lives even though you think their lives are normal.

What people want is to be treated normal and how we treat them is far from normal. Instead of consulting a proper psychologist, people here believe voodoo and mantras by the all-rounder baba's can solve it. Most people also think that people having mental health issues never get better, but they do. With proper treatment and support from their loved ones, they do get better.

What if we treated all illness like mental illness?
 “I’m getting really tired of that cancer of yours.”
“It’s just jaundice, snap out of it.”

Isn’t it insane how we draw a line between ourselves and the people victimized by mental health issues? This society is changing and I think our thoughts towards people suffering in silence because of the judgmental society should also change.

"Label things, not people. Judge competitions, not an illness you can’t see".

Written by Durva Bhatt
A bibliophile who is fuelled entirely by caffeine, sarcasm, fandoms and random thoughts.

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