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Why we need to start talking about Mental Health

Mental health.

Why is is such a taboo to talk about it freely and openly? Why do people instantly judge you when you say you suffer from mental health problems? Our brain is an organ, and just like any other organ in our body it can malfunction.  Depression and Anxiety are no joke. It is scary. It is scary when you can not control your mind. It is scary when you can not understand your emotions. And it is even scarier when you feel you can not talk about it to someone, which is why we need to start being open about mental health. We have to make sure those who suffer with it are not alone. It feels terrible to be trapped in your own mind. To be alone. To feel worthless and useless. And they need our help.

Depression is not a choice. Who would want to “choose” to be depressed? Anxiety is does not mean you are anti-social or you are afraid. Anxiety is when you want to go out into the open but you can’t. Mental illness is not a switch that you can switch on and off whenever you please.

We need to break the stigma that surrounds mental health

Humans tend to avoid topics they do not understand. If they have not experienced it themselves it doesn’t matter to them. They trivialize the matter by joking about it, by making fun at it. The first step in breaking the stigma is to stop treating mental health as a joke. If your friend is suffering from depression and you crack a joke about depression  in front of them, how do you think it will make them feel?? Things like this stop them from coming out and seeking your help.

We need to stop treating mental health patients with irritation. We need to start believing them when they do come out and express their fears with you. We need to make sure they know that the are not alone in this world.

Statistically wise, nearly 60 million Indians suffer from mental illnesses. 5% of the entire population suffer from depression and anxiety.  With the number of people in my country, that falls to a roughly 50 million people and note, these statistics were taken from a survey in 2005 so in the past 12 years the numbers have risen.

It is hard for people who suffer with this. The least we can do is to make them know they are not alone.

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