Health & FitnessLifestyle 13.08.2020

Change the stigma-Mental health matters!

BY Maheen Ghani

“You deserve to be heard. Your feelings validated and everyone needs a support system. You don’t have to do this alone or suffer in silence”.

Mental health awareness is crucial for changing the stigma around it. Most people suffer in silence for years because they don’t want to be labelled or are to scared to speak out. Its up to us to change that narrative. To speak about the importance of mental health and give courage to others as well. Mental health is as important as physical health. Just as you visit a doctor for a physical illness- you should be able to seek therapy for a mental illness. There is no shame in protecting and helping yourself. Self care is crucial for self development and for you to be able to evolve into the most secure healthy, authentic version of yourself. Internal contentment will only come when we are able to show up for ourselves. Heal our wounds and process our emotions. Depression or any other mental illness such as anxiety, bipolarity, co-dependency etc is an extremely difficult thing to experience, its debilitating and it’s not abnormal to feel isolated and alone. At the same time, it can drive you to feel like you need to separate yourself from others for a multitude of reasons. However, it’s incredibly important that you reach out for help. The support of others can help to remind you that you are worthwhile, cared for an needed in the lives of others. You deserve to be heard. Your feelings validated and everyone needs a support system. You don’t have to do this alone or suffer in silence. There will always be people to help you. Love and hope can never be forgotten. 

When you don’t allow yourself to feel or process emotions, they manifest in other ways. Sometimes in physicality. You internalise everything. The fears become stronger and you continuously tell yourself the same negative story. Eventually you begin to believe that negative self talk and allow your fears to fester and become your reality. The problem doesn’t go away- it becomes worse because we feel even more alone. When we don’t feel that we can turn to others, what do we do?

While it might feel like others won’t understand, there are some who will. Finding those people in your life can be key to feeling less alone when you are vulnerable. With even a single ally against your mental illness, you can find that it’s a whole lot easier to ride the currents.

So if there is anyone at all you feel you can talk to about how you’re feeling, it’s a good idea to seek them out. They can potentially assist in giving you an emotional boost, or just give you some company to keep your mind off the difficult feelings. While it might seem like a simple thing to talk to someone about your feelings, it can be a very difficult thing to do. This is especially true in regard to the stigma’s attached to mental health. Depending on where you are with the illness, you may not want to admit to having it aloud.

If you can, seek out the help of a professional. These are going to be the people who are best equipped to help you. They’re able to help you through coping, healing, processing and can prescribe medications to help with easing it, if you’re open to that route.

One of the things that can really start to fall behind when feeling low and trying to cope with mental health issues is self care. You have to be able to detach yourself from thoughts that are negative and let your logic mind tell you there in no reality in those fears you feel. Positive affirmations always help. Just remember, you can only heal and get better when you are able to prioritise yourself- allow yourself to feel. Assure yourself and believe that you are enough for yourself. There in no shame is reaching out and protecting yourself because no one else can. You are responsible for your happiness and your emotions. If you feel you cannot cope then you owe it to yourself to show up for yourself and get help. Be kind to yourself without judgment. Your journey to healing begins with self love and self care. Its only when you can truly love yourself that you can begin to find inner contentment, healing and peace. Mental health matters. Please make it a priority. If these times have taught us anything its that without health there is nothing. So look after your physical health, mental health, emotional health. And build a strong support system around yourself. You are a survivor not a victim!