Last day, I was encountered with an old friend, and she is currently working in a Multinational Company. Her day begins at 5am in the morning and ends at 1.30 at night, and that too she finishes a professional call at that time.
She admitted that it is painful for her to bear the stress; she is single, her family is coaxing her to get married, but she doesn’t want to enter an arranged marriage just like that, she is in unresolved dilemma and feels she is going into depression with coming pressures from all side-
“I feel I am going into depression; I lack energy, I cannot find motivation in anything; I am 28 and still do not have a boy-friend, I feel quite bad on special days, when couples celebrate love, I find my friends engaged on those days, no one have time for me, I am upset, low in mood, I think I want to get married but do not have a relationship; I am struggling with my work life too. The pressure is immense, and sometimes I am losing my cool, feeling powerless and making mistakes; I am dampening my reputation myself and I really hate myself for it.
I badly need professional help, but unfortunately, I am not being able to tell it to anyone; I feel I need a friend and counsellor, but my family should not know, because if they know my neighbours and relatives will know too and there will be lot of ‘mad-shaming’ about me.
I go through some of the articles posted on facebook and other places, I think I will contact them, but I am scared what they will think of me; What will I do I don’t know, I feel frustrated”.
I tried consoling her and comforting her as much as I could, but it is true, in order to work properly and lead a healthy life, she needs someone to treat her immediately with patience and understanding; she is suffering from mental health issues but cannot reveal it, due to social stigma and taboo associated with mental health issues.
A lot of discussions are going on across the web, where people are shouting out that mental health issues require treatment and it doesn’t mean you are mad, however, the wrong notions and meaningless fear associated with the idea have not left people.
Psychological disorders are still treated with unscientific names like possession and such other things.
Anybody visiting a psychiatrist is looked at with a special gaze, and people will whisper, that he/she is mad, behind the back.
Mental health problems doesn’t get the normal acceptance in society as cough and cold which requires treatment and gets ok.
But this is getting more and more hazardous for the society itself. People are overly affected with stress these days; work pressure, balance in lifestyle, relationships, break-ups, gains and losses, demand and expectations are mounting up quantitatively and it is getting difficult for us to maintain composure and a balance mental health; as a result, anxiety and depression are finding their way to us.
What is the remedy, but psychotherapy? But we fear to be judged and hence we keep our problems to ourselves; we don’t even share them with friends, imagining they will set a taboo against us.
We like, post and comment anonymously on the internet over various such issues related to mental health, as because we feel, we can express our ideas independently, but only without a name, we need a vent and we use the social media and the web pages as modes of expression.
That is not the solution, we are unwell and we will be unwell unless we opt for a treatment. Psychotherapy and counselling services are widely available, even the new Bill on Mental Health by the Government of India, becomes revolutionary in providing insurance for mental health treatments, but alas! The society is comprised of people who are common and commonly believe that mental health issue means a person is mad; a person requires counselling means he or she is abnormal.
Healthy people require counselling too in order to understand themselves better and move towards success with better motivation.
Hence counselling services are definitely not meant for ‘mad’ people.
There are a couple of days in the calendar which are dedicated to mental health celebration; well we have a day for every other thing on earth, now, so where is the special place for mental health?
We are yet to develop a deeper learning about mental health and its problems, we are yet to modify our attitude towards those who are mentally unwell at the moment; ‘mad’ is a wrong term which misinterprets genuine health hazards, literacy should bring our knowledge and emancipation in society, and this can happen only when more people come out with their problems and discuss them in public, when more people opt for psychotherapy to have better lives and now with true identity and name.
We need a society where mental health will be accepted as a normal topic regardless of time and place, field days and social media campaigns, which fade out after a few bubbles.
Celebrities are taking a positive step towards rectifying the situation; Deepika Padukone, Illeana D’Cruz and Karan Johar have been very sporting in coming up with their stories of depression and anxiety, and we hope more of common people will come up with their health stories too.