“Mental health”– this very common term has failed to receive complete acceptance by our society. It continues to be treated as an afterthought. It is usually observed that at times due to fear of public shame, people tend to live with poor mental health without realizing the adverse consequences that follow.
Why is it that despite 706 people taking away their life each day in India, only 4000 psychiatrists and 1000 psychologists are available?
What is Mental health?
Mental health means emotional, psychological and social well-being. It is of utmost importance as it determines how you handle stress or make different choices in life.
We tend to focus on physical health without even realizing that mental health has the same, if not more, importance.
If an unhealthy heart can take away your life, then depression too can take away your life. The only difference is that the latter is termed “suicide”.
Is being sad and being depressed the same thing?
The clear cut answer is “No”. We all get blues and bounce back to a normal life again. Being sad could be over a particular issue. A talk to someone may solve the issue, or time may heal you.
Depression, on the other hand, is a distinct issue. What if you don’t bounce back, and the sadness lingers on? You can have a happy face, but deep inside, you might be depressed.
Myths associated with Mental Health
- I should be okay; I am not weak.
- Depression is all in my head.
- My parents won’t accept me.
- I won’t get better ever.
- I will spend most of my time in a hospital.
I can get out of it on my own.
- It’s high time to break all these myths. Being depressed doesn’t mean you need to be ashamed of yourself.
- Psychiatrists are there for succour. With the right treatment, you can lead a productive and healthy life too.
A Ray of hope – Deepika Padukone
Despite the stigma and shame which is normally attached to mental health by our society, one of the most popular actors – Deepika Padukone, bared her heart and talked about the anxiety and depression she had suffered from.
Deepika highlighted a few key points:
Acceptance: Acceptance is a sign of strength. A person needs to accept his mental health’s condition. One needs to understand that mental health is just as important as physical health.
If someone in your family is suffering from depression, then stop being ashamed about it. One out of four people suffers from anxiety and depression. The problem is that people continue to suffer rather than take help. Family can play a key role by being supportive and understanding.
Depression is not about materialistic goods:
It doesn’t matter if you have an expensive car or a posh bungalow. You can still suffer from depression! According to Deepika, “It isn’t about what you have or don’t have.” Many times people need to talk about it.
Mental Health Foundation, India
MHF is a non-profit organisation working exclusively to promote mental health to better people affected by mental illness. It’s a great initiative that is working relentlessly to help the affected people.
Let us all take a pledge to change our attitudes towards individuals having mental health issues.