It appears ‘all well’ outside. But trauma will be felt deeply inside. However, we don’t get to know about it until and unless the person expresses it or starts behaving abnormal! By then, the problem is aggravated to that extent that treatment would take more time to heal the person and sometimes it would reach the stage where healing would be difficult and the person will have to live with it!
Unfortunately, in India, mental illness is still a taboo. Most of the people find it very difficult to say that something is not right with my mind! They are scared that they would be labelled as ‘mad’ by the society and hence they hide their mental agonies to the maximum extent possible.
Mental wellness status in India:
“One in twenty people in India suffer from depression” says National Mental Health Survey, 2016. Every hour a student commits suicide; India accounts for 17% of the people who commit suicide across the world; nearly 80% of those who commit suicide are literates; 7.5% of Indians suffer from major or minor mental disorders; every two hours a person dies because of substance abuse. These are some of the statistics which show the grim face of mental wellness in India!
Mental Health Day:
Since 1992, every year the world observes World Mental Health Day on October 10th with a theme each year! This year’s theme is ‘young people and mental health in changing world’.
This is a very apt theme. The gravity of mental issues that the youngsters go through is worrisome. Stress, anger, depression, anxiety, suicidal instincts, insecurity, phobia, and so on are the common mental disorders youngsters face in today’s time.
Addiction to internet, social media and substance abuse have also been major worrying issues. In the recent times we have witnessed suicides of youngsters because of games like ‘Blue Whale Challenge’ which had created a kind of social crisis across the world. New psychological disorders like addiction for Netflix, selfie etc are also popping up!
The way forward:
We as a society should develop more acceptance for mental illness. It is just like a physical illness such as fever, cold or cough. Moreover, most of the mental disorders are curable and in fact they can be cured much easily if detected early! The family has to be more accepting and supportive which would certainly help in easy recovery of the person suffering mental disorder. As individuals we have to be more conscious about ourselves to recognize mental discomfort early! Let us move towards a mentally healthy society.
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About the author
Akshara Damle is the Founder and Psychologist at Mano Samvaada