Rethink Mental Illness by Grade X Student, Eshita Zjigyasu

“It is not the bruises on the body that hurt. It is the wounds of the heart and the scars on the mind.”- Aisha Mirza

Health is defined as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not just the absence of sickness. All of us know the meaning of physical health- staying fit, being active and not suffering from any sort of disease. But, what do we know about mental health? Mental health is the balanced development of one’s personality and emotional attitudes which enable him/ her to live harmoniously with his/her fellow beings.

Talking about mental health is still a taboo in many parts of the world. Earlier, the mentally ill were considered to be possessed by devils and evil spirits. They were chained and locked up in buildings far away from the hustle-bustle of the cities. But, the situation is much better now and people have become less hesitant in consulting a psychiatrist.

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There are many types of mental illnesses- schizophrenia, paranoia, manic-depressive psychoses and depression- to name a few. A person suffering from schizophrenia lives far away from reality and has false beliefs about everything. A paranoiac person is suspicious about everything and everyone. In manic-depressive psychoses, the person is very happy at one moment and goes into depths of sadness in the next.   

Now,  the most common mental illness that people suffer from is depression. These days, people use this word very casually. After having a bad day at work or office, or after fighting with one’s friends, they say, “I’m depressed!” Ironically the fact is that a person who actually suffers from it doesn’t say anything. But depression is much more than just sadness.

People going through depression are worried all the time and lose the will to live. Nothing seems to cheer them up and they nurture suicidal thoughts. Some women go into depression post delivery. This is actually a medical condition called post- partum blues. Nowadays, people are opening up about mental health issues.

Many actors and actresses have now started sharing the stories of their battle with depression on social media platforms.DeepikaPadukone’s Live, Love, Laugh Foundation helps the people who have mental health issues. Shaheen Bhatt, Alia Bhatt’s sister, just released a book on her experience with depression since childhood.

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Image Source: World Economic Forum

Glenn Maxwell, an Australian cricketer, took a break from cricket in July 2019 to deal with his mental health issues. Therefore, it is evident that people are becoming more open to such discussions. But still, many children and adults refrain from sharing their problems with others. Many people think that suffering from depression is a luxury only celebrities can afford, which is not true. So, there is a need  not to stigmatize mental illnesses and give as much importance to them as given to physical illnesses.

“What mental health needs is more sunlight, more candor and more unashamed conversation.”Glenn Close 

BY Eshita Zjigyasu 10 H

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