Why talking about mental health is still a taboo

Hi, I talk a lot about mind, anxiety and self confidence, couple of days ago there was an incident of suicide which have attracted a lot of attention. Suicides are a reflection of poor mental health, many people argue over this issue, gives various causes of poor mental health, for example social isolation, discriminations, illiteracy etc but I think one of the major causes of increased vulnerabilty of mental health which leads to suicides and other mental issues is lack of awareness about mental health.

About 800,000 peoples commit suicide every year, out of which around 17% are Indian.

WHO in 2018 declared India as one of the most depressed countries, research shows that a large part of the population is genetically vulnerable to depression, interaction of genetics with the lack of awareness about mental health and social environment together makes it a huge medical threat but unfortunately a lot of people are either not concerned about mental health or they feel insecure and afraid of coming out and seek help because talking about mental health is still treated as taboo.

Mental health is very important as the physical health. When we have a stomach ache or hurt our legs we know the cause and feel no insecurity or anxiety to ask for treatment, but most of the time many of us are confused about emotions,anger,anxiety, depression and panic attacks. What makes it more vulnerable is we find it difficult to share and ask for treatment. Some of the major causes behind failing to share and ask for treatment are :

  • If we share with family and friends, many times they do not give it much importance.
  • There is a stigma associated with mental health, if someone share about any mental problems, depression or anxiety people may think they are are mentally weak or crazy.
  • If one reaches to psychiatrist the society doubts if the person is insane, crazy.
  • In some societies people do not marry or keep the person suffering for any mental issues, even if it is not serious, thus many people find it very difficult to talk about it with others.
  • Parents are less educated about mental health. So when a teen share his/her problems with parents, they hardly understand the problem.
  • Less number of mental health professionals.
  • Lack of exposure to mental health.
  • There are various mental issues ranging from minor panic attacks to OCD, bipolar, schizophrenia, depression, anxiety, people are not aware of where to seek help.

How to deal with this ??

  • When you are having some mental issues whatever it maybe, depression, anxiety or anything else just reach out for help, it’s your life, do not think about what others may think, what stigma is behind this issue, if you are an adult you can secretly reach for psychological help.
  • In case of a school student, there are guidance counsellors in many schools, do not feel ashamed or insecure to share with your parents or teachers.Teachers and parents must be more concerned about the child’s psychology.
  • There are many NGO which are working in this field, apart from these there are helpline numbers to seek help.
  • There are national mental health and suicide prevention help line number in every country.

Please share your views in the comment section about how the taboo associated with mental health in many countries can be removed and any helpline or any information you know about that can help others.

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