“Nothing is more terrifying than battling with your own mind every single day.” True that. Mental illness couldn’t be better explained than defining it as a battle with our ownself, wherein we are the warriors battling with ourselves for our own survival. Some loose, some win, it’s a battle within. You may be ill while you’re unaware, you may be victimised so beware.
Mental illness is unlike any other disease as the person suffering cannot really explain the battle, the struggle going inside him. What is glitter what is gold? How can a person expected to be treated through medications and prescriptions when he/she don’t even know what is happening? How can someone trust the doctor and tell him what’s going on inside when a person really can’t trust himself? People laugh. People deny to trust you because this illness can’t be seen like any physical injury. People mistake it as incapability. For instance, if anyone is suffering from social anxiety disorder and he/she cannot speak in front of the public, who is going to take into consideration that it is an illness. A serious illness. It’s not incapability, but a disability. It can’t be seen, it can’t be diagnosed through blood sample tests. It’s not overreacting, it’s a hell. It’s not like that an event had to occur, that leads you into depression or anxiety disorder or any phobia. You may don’t even know when it started, how it started. When did a common fear turned into phobia, when did shyness turned into autism. You will never know.
I pickup a newspaper, the headline read, “Boy commits suicide after getting failed (or maybe less marks) in the senior secondary examinations.” The headline was followed by comments of different related people cursing the board for putting so much pressure on children. But was it only the result that made the boy commit suicide? Maybe he tried to tell his parents that he cannot bear the pressure of the exams? Maybe the teachers in the school used to constantly make him ashamed of his incapability to understand some really simple topics. Just imagine a small child, bearing all this pressure of expectations, of getting ashamed, of not being understood. He tried. He tried to survive, he couldn’t get through it. And what ultimately happened is, he ended taking up his life. ‘A silent scream ineffably beseeching to be understood’ is what I will term this whole scenario, this whole topic of mental illness as.
There is one thing that is imperative to mention here before turning up to the types of mental illness and the fashionable term of today ‘depression’, which most of us use so commonly, whenever we feel low. I’ll come to that. But before that I would like to mention something about Domestic Violence and its impact. Every child’s parents fight. Maybe the casus belli is not that significant or maybe it is. But do have we ever thought what impact it has on a child’s state of mind? Hiding behind the curtain, he sees everything. He see his two best friends fight. But he can’t tell this to his schoolmates, because they’ll make fun of him. He can’t tell his parents either. Burying the scenes of fight in his heart, he moves on. Eventually the respect, the trust on his parents is lost. He’ll not share anything from now on with his parents. They are bad. They always fight. They always ask him whom will he choose when the lawyer will ask him with whom he wants to stay. Domestic violence has a very serious impact emotionally. Maybe we take it too lightly, but it is an urge for parents reading this not to fight in front of their children. They end up confining things to themselves and sometimes become so over burdened with their thoughts, that even a little event have a serious impact on them.
Now moving on to depression. Many of us confuse mental illness as synonymous to depression. Depression is a part of mental illness, it’s not whole of it. It means, a mental state wherein a person looses interest in activities and remains in a persistently low mood. All of the phobias are a part of mental illness. There are other parts too, for instance, schizophrenia, autism, post traumatic stress disorder, obsessive compulsive disorders, anxiety disorder etc.
We can’t really do something by which it can be prevented. But at least, we can show compassion and care towards to those in need. Instead of shouting at them, beating them, give them time to analyse and comprehend. Show them that yes, we do understand what they are going through. It’s high time that employers should understand that people need leaves and rest when they are overburdened or anything. They should develop their thinking beyond medical leaves wherein prescription of the doctor is important. Don’t teach the children, the youth of today to be competitive, to be a part of this rat race. Don’t instill on them the spirit of competition. Ask them to understand things. Tell them that every child, every human is unique in itself. Some illness do exist, which can’t be seen, which can’t be prescribed, which can’t be expressed.