On Mental Health & Friends


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My Dear Friends,

It pains me to find out that you are struggling. That your mental health is a cause for concern to you and the people around you.

You know what makes me proud though? The fact that you have identified what ails you.

There are so many people who spend a lifetime not realising what is wrong with them. While others live in denial of what is. There are still others who choose to look away, as admitting something would make it real.  A few decide to hide their condition, and suffer silently.

This is why I applaud you. You’ve acknowledged what is wrong, and you’ve decided to set it right.Mental-Health-Friends-SirimiriIf someone fractures their limb, they immediately see an Orthopedic Doctor to get a cast and set the bone right. If the throat is infected, an ENT Doctor is consulted. Why then do people shy away from seeing a Psychologist / Psychiatrist when they don’t feel right mentally? It is because of the stigma that still shadows mental illness.

How hypocritical is it that we look up in awe at celebrities abroad who openly announce they have personal therapists, and look down upon our friends if they share that they see a therapist. 

Does this attitude keep you away from seeking help? Or sharing that you are? I am sure it does.

I am playing devil’s advocate when I say this, but the terms ‘mental health’,‘depression’ and the like are being used so loosely these days that we are left wondering who is the one really suffering and who is the one who carelessly thinks they may be.

I guess both should be given a listening ear and the benefit of doubt, right? I have realised they should.

If each of us becomes more sensitive to those who need us to be.

If each of us reads up and educates ourselves better on mental health.

If each of us develops empathy instead of sympathy.

If each of us stops thinking of ‘Mental Health’ as a stigma or a topic that should be swept under the carpet, we have already taken the first step in standing with our friends who are weighed down by various mental issues.

I promise to.

Do you?

4 thoughts on “On Mental Health & Friends

  1. Good one Mayuri.
    Empathy is the key word here.
    99% of Indians don’t know the meaning of empathy or choose to ignore it.
    Indians know sympathy very well; look at someone and feel sorry and if need be throw a few rupees at them.
    Indians need to learn about empathy and it should start at school, I feel.
    I live alone and I suffer from chronic depression.
    My psychiatrist says I would do better if I have a support group and I reach out to so many people but I do not get a message from even one. anyone.

    1. That is sad, Harjeet. I hav also realised that a lot of people do not know how to respond to people with depression / mental illness. If you could write a post on what are your expectations, it could really help others.

  2. True, sad but this is true! The way we ignore or neglect the need of visiting a specialist for mental needs. The trauma of social stigma or one’s own devils is so high in people even today.

  3. You said it! In India, it is seen as a stigma and may be that’s why people shy away from seeing a doctor or psychiatrist. It’s very important to show your support if you feel someone is not doing right.

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