You may or may not spend a few minutes here, but I thought, let’s not settle.
People generally avoid what they don’t understand. More so when it is about something that’s considered a stigma. It is normal human mentality to hate not knowing something, but it is far worse to know about something that others are going to gauge you for. So, I know, all these writings, these shout outs, and social posts, they are seen, but not talked about, not shared.
Everyone knows that you don’t want to be that person who advocates crazy.
There’s a sadness to it all. To the opinions, the reactions, the attitude towards more than half of this secretly sore world. Why must anyone hurt because they are ill? Why must they be alone? Why must a person, with an illness as real as any other life threatening condition, have to convince themselves that they don’t need help? Why do they have to disguise themselves?
Why do people around them look the other way, instead of understanding? Why? Because denial is better than dealing with troubled minds?
Well, define madness. We are all mad here. Yes, every one of us are.
But this is just not quite the same. There’s just one subtle thing that makes our brain different from yours- chemical imbalance. And then there are psychological, social causes that vary.
A person suffering from Diabetes– an imbalance in blood glucose levels. A chronic, lifelong condition that affects your body’s ability to use the energy found in food (Google helps). They are getting treatment, they are taking medications, they are trying to live normally.
We are the same. The myths about mental illness are just that. A person suffering from depression doesn’t “look depressed”. That is not a thing. They don’t write long, passive aggressive updates about death and heartbreak. They are not being dramatic when they stay quiet. They are not trying to create a scene, or looking for attention, etc.
People with mental illness, too, get help and lead an almost normal life, if they have proper support system.
Humans have learnt to deal with menacing health conditions in this world. And they have crushed most of the monsters. The possibility of an antidote, that hope- people with physical illness have that hope.
But what about us? Why is it so very different when it comes to a disease caused by some chemical imbalance in the brain, further triggered by the environment. It is, after all, just part of the body. You need lifelong treatment for a physical ailment, you need lifelong treatment for mental ailment.
So, why is mental illness treated so negatively? It looks the same, it feels the same, it needs cure, support, empathy, treatment, just like any other malady.
Do you want to understand what anxiety feels like? Yes, the struggle is real- trembling hands, cold, numb fingers, dizziness, frantically beating heart, sweating, hyperventilation- it’s hard to tell apart an anxiety attack from impending death. One can only be sure when they can breath again. As a person who goes through this rather regularly, I assure, death sounds better.
But, that didn’t make me stop. Because, I thought of my selfish reasons for writing these massive essays. The reason I started in the first place- I want to help. I have mental illness, I know what it feels like, I go through this everyday and rise back up. I can help somebody like me, even if it’s something as small as writing in support of the mind. If I don’t, who will? The colony of people who don’t know what it is, or the other part that lives in silence and fear? Or the ones who deny the very existence of mental disorder and abide to shaming?
So, I decided not to settle. Maybe you won’t give this a read, a bit of your time, a little help in spreading the word.
But someday, someone stumbles upon this, and realizes that they are not alone, that it is okay- They are okay, and they decide not to give up- That is my hope.