Living with our mental health issues

Mental health issues are rampant across society; across social classes, across ages, across genders. They are typically the best kept secret of families. Otherwise, you might just hear someone whisper “You know… she has a depression… he has an OCD… she can’t get out of her house out of fear of people… he is autistic.”

But the thing is that there is no such thing as a clear distinction between a “normal” person and someone suffering from mental health problems. The more and more people I get to know deeply, the more I realise that it’s not just me who is full of fears and idiosyncrasies. The thing is that these are typically hidden away behind smiling confident faces.

Society in general tries to hide these issues – few people readily admit publicly that they suffer from mental health problems. However, I think we could live with much less stress if everyone is more relaxed about his/her issues – at least you would not have to carry the extra burden of thinking that you have something wrong with yourself.

Imagine seeing billboards or spots on TV saying “I haven’t got out of the house in a week… am afraid of meeting people” or “Today I am washing my hand for the 28th time” or “I’ve been continuously feeling guilty for weeks” etc. Wouldn’t it help if the media treated mental health like the other health issues?

And maybe some day we would feel more comfortable around ourselves, our recurrent fears, our relentless thoughts, our nervous tics. After all (evolutionary speaking) we have not been designed to be happy or at peace with ourselves.

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