LET’S OPEN UP BY SHREYA BHATTACHARJYA

Unfortunately, in India mental is probably the most inappropriately used word. It is always used to look down upon a person, to misunderstand rather make fun of a person – although the reality is entirely different.

 

Our lives today are becoming more and more hectic by the day. Quoting Boman Irani from “3 Idiots”, “Life is a race. If you don’t run, you’ll become a broken andaa (egg).”  No matter which stage of life you are in – be it a student or a working professional, you always are under immense pressure – to perform, to achieve, to be ahead of the rest. In the process of doing so, we end up burdening ourselves to an extent which is way beyond our capacity.

What is health? Not going by the scientific definitions – health is a state where you don’t have any lag to go on with your routine. Even during that you can’t be guaranteed of being alright. There might be something that isn’t up to the level which it is supposed to be. None of the organs in our bodies are at 100% of their functional capacity at any point of time.

 

This is normal. Just like you can have this lag in you physically, you can also have lag in the way you reciprocate, feel, respond and react to life. Not being 100% fit psychologically is normal. Issues pertaining to our feelings are normal. Unfortunately, in India mental is probably the most inappropriately used word. It is always used to look down upon a person, to misunderstand rather make fun of a person – although the reality is entirely different.

We unknowingly built a stigma around mental health. We made it so taboo that there are people in our society, who find it easier to end their life than speaking about what they are going through. We have been very successful at making people ignore the void, stress, pain, agony in their heads and calling it some abnormal thing.

When we aren’t even ready to acknowledge its existence, how are we going to speak about it ? How are we going to find ways to heal from the issues? How are we going to help people heal?

 

Let us begin by speaking up. Let us slowly gather courage to acknowledge the issues. Let us tell each other there is no shame in opening up about the way we feel. We may either be the one fighting or be a witness to someone else’s fight. Every little action of ours can really make a huge difference.

I personally have been fighting these issues. I chose to break the ice and speak up. I am glad that I have this opportunity to share my experiences, thoughts, ideas pertaining to improving one’s mental health. Until I see you all again in the next edition, let us all make a resolution to be kinder – first to ourselves and then to the people around us. The world needs more love, kindness, and patience more than anything.

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