Updated: Aug 29, 2020
Mental health in India is still surrounded with stigma and lack of awareness along with limited access to professional help which does little to dispel or end the same. It led me to think around the idea of how the need of the hour was to sensitize and educate individuals globally about the signs and symptoms while normalizing the idea of seeking support for themselves and their loved ones – this led me to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology.
Back in the 1960s, there was no concrete scientific evidence-based research to provide treatments to patients, they were simply provided with antipsychotic medications or put through more dangerous forms of treatment like electroconvulsive therapy (small electric currents passed through the brain leading to a brief seizure. These cause changes in brain chemistry and can quickly reverse the symptoms of certain mental health conditions), this was extremely horrific but living in the present, we fail to understand how blessed we are. Mental Health is now treated by various forms of beneficial treatments such as cognitive behavioural therapy, dialectical behavioural therapy, psychodynamic approaches, family interventions, transference-focused therapy among other techniques. These are based on research and its effectiveness has taken a stand to treat clients suffering from certain mental illnesses. So why are people still struggling? Why do people still feel helpless? The answer is simple: we fail to take the concept of “going for therapy” or “seeking help” into consideration because of the wide-spread stigma attached to Mental Health. Individuals fail to seek out professional help either because they’re reminded or told that “your feelings are just temporary”, “it’ll all be okay”, “don’t be so dramatic”, “other people have it much worse” – statements like these, make one feel like there’s something wrong with them, like their feelings are not as important and eventually leads to the thought process that maybe I am just being dramatic. The second you drown into what other people have to say for how YOU feel, it will just get worse. People around us may state such things as a way of being concerned about us but it just leads to an idea of sounding demanding and invalidating.
It is also imperative to realize that Mental Health is as important as Physical Health. We were never taught that aspect when we were younger, we were always told to be physically strong, eat lots of protein, consume lots of calcium to build your bones but did anyone ever tell us what to do when we felt emotionally drained, how to deal with a traumatic situation, how to TREAT your mind right – it’s the same thing and it’s as important, probably even more. So why is there such a big distinction between the two? “We live most of our lives in our head and we need to make sure it is a healthy and happy place to be in.” This doesn’t imply that you’re not going to face negative situations or unpleasant emotions in your life, you will, whether it’s occasionally or on a daily basis but it’s to remind you that there are sufficient or small positive things to wake up to (doing what you love, engaging with the people you love, taking your dog for a walk, going for a run) which will eventually help you seek out more positives and tolerate the negatives and change the way you are in the world – it’s just a matter of accepting your situation just as it is. That being said, suffering from any form of mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of, it’s important to remember that it is not your fault, you are not a liability, you CAN get better and you will. You don’t have to live for the approval or acceptance of other people, you just need to learn to live for yourself and your mental health. It is yours, it doesn’t belong to anyone else. Ending this with a message to every individual reading this: If you have the opportunity to be there for someone, take it – the world needs more kindness and acceptance towards a cause which is unexplainably important.
“Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.” – Mother Teresa
If you feel like you need to speak to a professional with regards to your mental health, write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or Book your Initial Consultation on www.themoodspace.com/freeconsultation Written by: Antara Jain
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