While going through my Instagram feed last week, I read a post on depression which described all the ups and downs that one goes through. It made me feel a little less alone. There are people out there who feel the same kind of pain. I don’t know how and when I started seeking out painful content.
Curious and hoping to combat my loneliness, I started reading the comments section. There was one that stuck out: “There is no time for depression, move on”. Shocked, I re-read it. Maybe I misread.
Then it occurred to me, this person mirrors the society we live in — both the ignorance and stigma of mental illness and mental health issues. Giving him the benefit of doubt, I tried and explained to him, “It’s a clinical condition, you can’t really move on from it”. I took a deep breath pushing my anxiety away for a few minutes. The phone beeped again, and there was a reply, “I disagree! There’s no need to be depressed. Just take a break and come back to the hustle.”
Even though he was only a stranger, his ignorant words lingered in my mind. Maybe I’m still in a state of shock? Perhaps this has become my way of reacting? Replaying moments in my mind until I can’t bear it anymore. How did we get to all this mental health stigma as humans? No one tells a person on their deathbed to “not die and move on”.
People with physical ailments are believed, whereas people struggling with mental health are seen as “playing the victim”. Why would anyone invite monsters into our minds? The monsters control us — sucking out the joy, energy, empathy, and ability to make sound decisions. We’re conquered like castles and left on a deserted island to barely survive.
My monster has erased seven years from my memory, cut ties from the people who matter most to me and made it difficult to resist impulses. Can I really just move on? Can I really just take a break and return to the hustle? If it were that easy, I would find my solace. Maybe the solace is a world where people feel safe and supported enough to treat their mental health.