MENTAL ILLNESS IS NOT CONTAGIOUS. YOU WON'T CATCH IT BY BEING KIND.
Every year world mental health day is observed on October 10. But still, people with mental health issues are some of the most stigmatized, marginalized, and disadvantaged members of our society. It is easy to post about mental awareness on social media and being an absolutely different creature on the other hand when it comes to practicing.
People around us with mental illness are seen as negative, lazy, thoughtless, and dangerous people.
We now use the term mental health problems and intend it to be synonymous with other terms such as mental health needs, mental ill-health, mental health conditions, or mental disorders. The World Health Organisation defines mental disorders as a broad range of problems, with different symptoms, which are generally characterized by some combination of differences in behavior, abnormal thoughts, emotions, and relationships with others.
People with mental illness face sets of challenges. On the one hand, they have to struggle with the symptoms of their illness and on the other hand facing the consequences created by the stereotypes and stigmas of the people.
Rest it results in the lack of jobs for them, better understanding, lack of self-esteem, self-confidence, and self-control.
WE NEED TO UNDERSTAND THAT WE AS HUMANS CAN DO A LOT MORE INSTEAD OF JUST BEING JUDGEMENTAL.
What impact does the mental health of individuals have on the lives of the person itself and on the family members, friends, and people around them?
It's not very strange now to see people who are suffering from mental illness, do not open up and people around them don't even know what they are going through. Mental illness is not only defined by a major disorder of the Brain. It consists of people suffering from even slight depression, anxiety, panic attacks, and overthinking.
Such People slowly become socially introverted. They would eventually lose interest in the things they used to love and do the most. So what happened? Why such a drastic change in their behavior?
We often tend to let go of such things, considering it as a “normal phase of life” and suggest the other person take time and things will get better.
That's where we lack. And I consider 2 important factors leading to such major changes in a person's life.
1. Lack of Communication
I read somewhere that, "Effective communication is essential in building rapport and developing therapeutic relationships."
What does it mean?
Even when you are not stressed you can totally explain yourself to someone about something that's really very important to you and they don't understand it or are not paying enough attention to the things. Even Such incidents make you feel useless, unimportant, and alone. It's the human tendency. You will get hurt no matter where it is coming from. Be it your friend, family, or your professional life.
We want to be heard, and not just Listened to.
These little things keep piling up within the mind, and eventually, the person doesn't feel like opening up to anyone.
2. Active Listening
A Listener Needs a Listener Too. Listening is a key component of communication. If any of your friend, family member who is not doing well for some time, and you notice certain changes, TALK TO THEM.
They won't open up easily, but keep talking. Keep asking them about their days and the activities.
It has been said that Good communication can even help speed both physical and mental recovery.
Just be patient enough with them. They ain't doing that on purpose. Help them deal with some things. Your one act of kindness can save a life.
MY JOURNEY OF SELF HEALING - RECOVERY IS AN EVOLUTION, NOT A MIRACLE.
I've always been a very challenging person. I can't limit the source of knowledge coming. I remember the times when I hated being mediocre. I always thought that I have to do at least something new every day. And at times when I couldn't do something different, I just used to self-analyze before sleeping.
I never knew that the pandemic would teach me such an important lesson of life that no one else could.
During these hard times, I tried to maintain the same routine. Since I came back home from the hostel, it was a bit of a different scenario. I could not help myself and used to do nothing in the idle time.
I started to overthink. About almost everything - Academics, social life, family, money, and so on. At times, I used to cry a lot because I had no balance in life and I felt useless. I almost ruined my good healthy relationship with everyone. I could not study properly and could not even enjoy outings. I started to compare myself, and thinking that I know I could have done better, then why do these bad things keep happening to me?
I created so much chaos inside my mind that there was no space for understanding. I almost lost control over my mind. After some time, I realized that this uncertainty inside me was just because I wanted myself to look like someone inside my mind, under so much pressure. And there was no use in getting up daily and being upset the whole day.
I was filling myself with negativity and toxicity. And was not even grateful for the good things happening to me. And the Best thing that I realized was that it's okay to not do anything some days. And it's okay to take rest for your mind and body. It's OKAY.
And then I decided to finally get rid of this person. Because IT'S NOT OVER UNTIL IT'S OVER.
So I started with some certain things during the Lockdown:
The very first thing I needed was peace of mind. I couldn't find another way and thought of giving it a try. And to my surprise, the changes I felt within 15 days were so peaceful and brightening that I could feel that I was becoming a little better version of myself.
2. Talking to my Friends and partner, a little more.
It takes a lot more than courage to open up about your insecurities to someone. But there are at least a bunch of people who want you to be happy. If you have such people in your life, where you can open up and say everything, JUST DO IT.
3. Started doing my Favourite Hobbies again.
I never really thought about what I was leaving behind while trying to become someone better. I loved dancing and drawing. But I actually never practiced it after I went to college. I was trying to become better at something I never thought of, and neglected the fact that I am so much better in these things.
This was a big reality check for me.
4. Stopped comparing myself.
Your social media doesn't define you as a person. So, stop believing everything you see about someone on social media. It can look like they are having a pretty amazing life but remember no one posts about their failures and bad past.
You have got yourself, buddy! Trust the process.
5. Kept myself Busy.
And for the most important and tough task, kudos to myself. It was the most challenging part for me. I had to find ways to keep myself busy so that I don't think about something unnecessary.
But, this helped me way too much.
6. Pursued Reading as a Habit.
A decision I will never regret. There were so many things that I was unaware of. This was a turning point in my life. And usually, now most of the captions for my pictures on my social media are from the books I have read.
7. Started music and Cooking
I wanted to do things that just don't waste my energy but give me some experiences. And music and cooking did that for me.
8. Accepted who I am the way, I am.
Accept yourself and your body the way it is. But yes, consider your health issues. If you want to go to the gym, gym for yourself and not for the sake of competing for the pictures and wishes.
SAY YES TO POSITIVITY SAY YES TO FREEDOM.
Some things will never be easy to let go of. But, if it is causing harm to your mental state, YOU HAVE TO.
Simple things can make a huge difference. A genuine smile, a good long walk, asking them for coffee, adding them into group conversations, planning a small outing with them, sharing music interests, or a food recipe. It won't cost you to be a kind person.
Stop Being judgmental and ignoring your friends if they say that they are depressed. You can conclude it later on if they were depressed or not but LISTEN TO THEM. TALK TO THEM. ASK THEM WHY ARE THEY FEELING SO.
And to the ones Struggling with certain things, remember this is not the end. And you have a long way to go. Don't give up on yourself. I know it is very hard to stay motivated and feel happy when things ain't easy around us. But, seek help. Talk to your close ones. If they don't understand, talk to a doctor or a therapist.
Life isn't easy. But you have to remind yourself of being worthy at the end for everything you have gone through or going through.
There are people who love you so much. Your parents, friends, some random school teacher, or your partner.
Don't try to run away from problems, thinking that they will end themselves. You will be caught up by the illusions your mind will create later.
To the one reading this, I hope you don't give up on yourself, and stop comparing, and find a real motive to live and become the bestest version of yourself in the coming days.
JUST DON'T GIVE UP YOU DIVINE SOUL. <3
Written by - Jhanvi Thakur
Your mental health matters as much as your physical health. Don't hesitate to take a step towards your mental well-being. If you’re looking at talking to a professional, book your Initial Consultation with us on https://www.themoodspace.com/freeconsultation or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Take a step towards bettering your mental wellbeing because you deserve it!