“I know this won’t make a difference now, but..” Every time someone famous or popular or someone who struck a chord with others, unfortunately, passes away, there are a lot of opinions on social media. Most sympathetic and sad ones usually start with the line in quote marks above.
Why does it take someone famous taking their life for us to realise how important mental health is? For us to acknowledge that no matter how rich, famous, popular, good-looking (and all other societally desirable adjectives) you are, it doesn’t matter if you’re not in a good place in your life mentally. For us to understand that no matter how envious someone else’s life looks, we’re all battling with our own demons and nobody has it perfect?
I don’t know how many more influential people will have to speak up on their own history of depression or anxiety or bipolar disorder before we realise that mental health isn’t a trend or something cool that the elite have started to talk about; it’s real and it happens to most of us, only problem is, it gets left undiagnosed because we brush it under the carpet.
I’m sure a lot of people who end up committing suicide would have at some point of their lives also thought, ‘oh, suicide is the easy way out’ or ‘why don’t these people think about everyone they’re leaving behind’ or the most amazing ‘suicide is for cowards’. The thing is, when depression hits you, it doesn’t let you think objectively. It doesn’t remind you of all the people who love you or need you, it shows you all the phone calls no one answered, all the friends who don’t care enough to text and all the girlfriends who left you. Psychological illnesses aren’t a choice; they’re a reality that we as a society have to at some point accept.
The most important thing that people need to understand is that you don’t necessarily have to be a psychologist or therapist to help. Help doesn’t always have to be professional. If a friend sitting across you says it’s been a bad day, ask why. If someone who is usually regular to class isn’t turning up anymore, call. Most of the time, we just need someone to care enough to listen. To allow us to just rant. Or to just sit quietly in solidarity during times when we don’t have the energy to even form words in our mind. If the person continues to remain gloomy or disinterested in activities he/she would earlier take interest in, it’s probably time to ask for professional help. But until then, do your bit.
If all of us were just a little bit more sensitive or inquisitive, a lot of lives would have been saved. Suicide wouldn’t have so many statistics to flaunt. Mental illnesses wouldn’t have been such a taboo, and most of us wouldn’t have to lead double lives, suppressing our issues and brushing them under the carpet.