“I fight for my health every day in ways most people don’t understand. I’m not lazy. I’m a warrior.” Anonymous
Why is it difficult for people to reveal or seek help if they are facing mental health issues? We live in a society where mental health is not a priority and is often stigmatized. No matter how we feel, we are supposed to portray an image of a perfect person who can have everything under control. Studies have shown that Around 800,000 people die of suicide every year; that equates to one every 40 seconds; this is shocking and alarming at the same time. Why do people prefer to kill themselves rather than seek help? Experts say that sometimes people are not able to handle the daily pressures of life. Life has always been difficult; however, nowadays, people feel alone and can’t share their burdens with anyone. This belief that I have to bear it all alone, what if someone knows, I can’t show my real life to anyone, the fear of Judgement and discrimination. These pressures are further heightened by social media, where there is constant pressure to be perfect and get validation from people who are not a part of your life and people who will not be there when something goes wrong. What is mental health? And what should we do about it?
The World Health Organization defines Mental health as a state of well-being in which the individual realizes their abilities can cope with the normal stresses of life, work productively and fruitfully, and contribute to their community. We can say that it is an individual’s capacity to feel, think, and act in ways to achieve a better quality of life while respecting personal, social, and cultural boundaries. So as long as we can cope with what life throws our life, we have good mental health, and the moment we start feeling overwhelmed by our daily activities, it is time to stop and reflect. Sometimes, it is hard to accept that we need to take care of ourselves. Self-care is essential, and it focuses on helping us understand that we matter. We need to help and support our friends, family members, co-workers, and any other person we feel or know is having difficulty coping with life.
Some early signs of mental health issues:
- Eating or sleeping too much or too little
- Pulling away from people and usual activities
- Having low or no energy
- Feeling numb or like nothing matters
- Having unexplained aches and pains
- Feeling helpless or hopeless
- Smoking, drinking or using drugs more than usual
- Feeling unusually confused, forgetful, on edge, angry, upset, worried, or scared
- Yelling or fighting with family and friends
- Experiencing severe mood swings that cause problems in relationships
- Having persistent thoughts and memories, you can’t get out of your head
- Hearing voices or believing things that are not true
- Thinking of harming yourself or others
- Inability to perform daily tasks like taking care of your kids or getting to work or school
- Learn more about specific mental health problems and where to find help.
Some ways to help :
- Listen and validate
- Check-in regularly with them
- Offer help
- Give full attention and support
- Don’t dismiss their feelings as something trivial
- Don’t try to control their situation
- Don’t be confrontational
- Don’t use stigmatizing language like “crazy.”
- Encourage them to seek professional help
- Encourage them to talk about what they are going through.
- Celebrate their wins
- Create awareness
Let’s not stop at reading but take action. Share and campaign about Mental Wellbeing. Remember, Change starts with you!
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