Why is your mental health important and why you should talk about it?
With the kind of responses I’ve been receiving after my previous article on depression, (You can read it here https://medium.com/@frqlkhn/depression-is-curable-just-dont-runaway-d62520795111) I feel there’s a need to emphasize on the importance of mental health, as there’s a stigma associated with the mental illness. Mental illness is not a myth, there are more than 200 forms of it and we should start talking about it just like any other illness, as one in every four people globally has some or the other form of mental illness at some point of their life.
“Mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of, but stigma and bias shame us all.” ― Bill Clinton
Mental health is just as important as physical illness. We seek medical attention and treatment for any form of physical illness, or disease, but why do we neglect mental illness? One major reason is the stigma associated with the mental illness, which can be social stigma or the perceived stigma/self-stigma (we’re currently carrying out a study to understand this better, you could also involve yourself, follow the link to know more https://medium.com/@ishangoel_80223/awareness-of-mental-health-in-the-world-eeca9b472ad0), being a free thinking society, we have a responsibility to eliminate the stigma, which can be achieved by improving people’s attitude towards mental health, and increase the willingness to talk about mental health problems. Stigma in any form, around mental illness would only worsen the problem, it can change perceptions and will make one feel vulnerable.
One great way to overcome this is by acknowledging the importance of mental health and well-being and talking about anxiety, depression, distress or any other form of mental illness. Take the first step towards eliminating the stigma and improving yourself, just talking to one person (be it your parents, partner, siblings or any friend) who stands by you can get rid of worries and gives you strength, so next time don’t feel alone, and talk to the person who’s really close to you, we’re all in this together . If the problem persists reach out for medical intervention as you’d do for any physical illness. Remember, mental illness is common and can be treated, and do not let the stigma stop you from getting and retaining your treatment. Good mental health results in better physical health, improved productivity, lesser strain on the family, and a happier life.
Let’s take steps towards eliminating the stigma and Let’s Talk.
Farooq Ali Khan is a postgraduate from NIPER and has been extensively involved in drug delivery, drug-discovery and public health policy. He worked as the Executive vice president of World Health Congress 2017.