Time To ReTHink ‘normal’

Posted by Jaskiran Gill
June 15, 2017

NOTE: This post has been self-published by the author. Anyone can write on Youth Ki Awaaz.

‘Normal is more than ‘statistical’ nuance. BUT In the world we live today, anything that happens too often is termed as ‘normal’. Just because millions of children are being exploited every single day, does NOT make it ‘normal’, just because 90% of the people of same sex are attracted to the people of opposite sex, does NOT make the rest of 10% ‘abnormal’, just because someone in the world is committing suicide very 30 seconds, does NOT make it ‘normal’, just because a woman is being raped in some part of the world every other second, does NOT make it ‘normal’! ‘Normal’ can not and must not mean “what we see all the time” or “what we see the most of”! Nor can it mean ‘free of discomfort or any sort of distress’ as if ‘normal’ is the equivalent of being indifferent and you are ‘abnormal’ when you are susceptive, human, and real.

Millions of innocent children are being killed/injured/exploited in Syria(and other war zones), EVERY single day. Media is flooded with the videos and photos of children drenched in blood, alive yet expressionless. The children who are in the state of absolute shock such that they have stopped crying or feel anything at all. We see this happening so often that it doesn’t blow us anymore. Its ‘normal’. Happens every other day! yes, we feel sad but what can we do to stop it. Its ‘normal’. But how often do we pause to think about those children who manage to still survive. How will this atmosphere of violence effect them? Children in conflicting zones are growing up as “generation trauma.” Many have never lived a life without war. Children from war-torn backgrounds have a tendency to develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or mild to severe chronic depression as a result of the dreadful events they see every day. On top of this, children who are exposed to war at a young age are often afraid and more prone to panic attacks, anxiety disorders, bedwetting and nightmares.Or they experience what we call flashbacks and do not know whether they are in the present or past or just experiencing that again.

As described by an eleven year old child — “I am constantly tired; I always think of certain pictures and they scare me a lot. That is why I cannot concentrate at school. Then I am afraid that something will happen to my parents. Then everything hurts and I cannot eat anything.”

“ About three million children in Syria have only seen war, death and destruction in their lifetime. How has that affected them” — Deutsche Welle

NGOs deliver food and vaccinations, but ignore the fact that much of the damage is long lasting psychological trauma. Aid often patches physical wounds rather than emotional ones. This psychological damage will leave children to carry the burden of their war-torn childhoods for the rest of their lives.And these same children are going to grow up tomorrow with some kind of mental health issues and termed as “ABNORMAL” and left to live in isolation, judged, labeled and be made to suffocate(due to the stigma around mental health) by our so called “NORMAL” society!!

  • Oh ‘mental illness’? -> ‘MAD man’, someone who is to be feared and we must maintain a distance from.
  • Oh he is depressed -> weak, unreliable, ‘violent’, not a fit for our ‘normal’ society
  • Oh we want ‘super productive’, happy go lucky, fun people — I am sorry I can’t give you a job since you are mentally ill; you wont be able to handle it or give it your best
  • whats wrong with you? move on! its the thing of the past. Forget about it
  • you know what — its your fault ! YOU are not pushing yourself hard enough! You choose to be this way. You are to be blamed for your mental condition!

and its a never ending list……

I mean seriously??

What happens to a child who is made to stand outside in cold freezing rainy weather for days, weeks and months all together? — He catches cold, or falls sick, simple. BUT is it the child’s fault?? Will you blame the child for his illness?? Did he choose to be like that? I am sorry, if you tend to blame the child for this.., you got to rethink what makes you ‘normal’!

If you see someone drowning and asking for help because he doesn’t know how to swim and you choose to ignore it and walk away, you got to rethink what makes you ‘normal’ !

according to the urban dictionary, ‘A Normal human’ is : “One who seeks to improve oneself and the world around them, always respecting others and helping when possible.”

The consequences of conscience, reason, and awareness are labeled as abnormal and robotic allegiance to wearing a pasted-on smiley face and ‘i am fine’ mask is designated normal. It is reasonable to say that if you are diagnosed with diabetes or manifest cancer you have gone from a healthier state to an unhealthier state. But it is NOT reasonable to say, that it is “healthy” for you to suffer no ill affects from killing thousands of people or exploiting women and “unhealthy” of you to experience distressing consequences.The man who rapes a woman or kills thousands of people and moves on without being ‘distressed’ about it is ‘normal’ but the victim who has been in trauma as a result is ‘abnormal’. Is that what we really mean? Is that what we really want??

Its high time that we Re Think our definition of ‘normal’ and be more understanding and compassionate; come forward to break the stigma around mental health and stop judging, labeling and traumatising the ones afflicted. Sadness, disappointment, anxiety, guilt, anger, confusion, doubt, and other similar experiences and states are all expected and normal and symbolic of a healthy functioning conscience!! Of Being Human!

‘Be human and treat others as human’ thats the least you can do!

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