Mental health should be given importance on par with physical health, but we live in a country where having a mental illness is more of a shame.
Why don’t my cries worry you the same way my fever or any other physical illness does? I’ve been living with depression for quite a while, and I know talking more about it or even writing this won’t help me.
It won’t bring me peace because the people I have been living with, or the society I have been brought up in, would still consider it a taboo. People are just so casual towards it that they aren’t even concerned about mental health. Indian parents and society would be worried about all the other issues but not this. Why?
Sleeping late, waking up late, not sleeping at all or sleeping but waking up in the middle of the night; all of that happens to me or to everyone who has been undergoing any mental illness. It’s not just about sleep, it’s about everything, even the tiniest thing that anyone would worry about.
Being emotionally drained, not feeling like going out, sitting in a dark room, liking being alone, and many other factors exist which I’m sure you’ve read about on the internet.
But would you ever know how it feels deep down when you know you’re not well and still have to pretend as if nothing’s wrong with you?
You have to put on a mask because the society can’t accept you being mentally wrecked, they just can’t handle the fact that one’s mental health can be affected, too.
They can’t fathom that one can be broken inside and it isn’t just a breakup or a career failure, but much more than that. They will classify your sadness, your level of illness by just a few things they’d notice.
They’re not deprived of this vocabulary and what it means; they ignore it deliberately. They will not consider your plight or they’ll say something insensitive, ‘Sab dhong hai!‘, ‘Kuch aisa waisa nahi hota hai!‘, ‘Dimaag ki kharabi hai, beta ye sab baat mat daalo dimaag me.‘ (It’s nothing but a sham!, There’s nothing like that, Don’t feed all this to your mind).
Indian parents will create a scene, and yet question you, ‘Beta, kyun pareshan ho?‘, ‘Kya hua hai?‘ (Why are you worried? What happened?)
This might be harsh on some people, but indeed they never accept that even they can go wrong sometimes. They play it naive. They blame you for everything that goes wrong and still ask you to behave as if you’re not even affected by it.
Why does this happen? Why are they ignorant?
Maybe because their parents were like that, too. Whatever it is, it has to stop. Can it stop now? Or will our parents wait for us to become parents and be supportive to our kids rather than using the phrase, ‘Tum maa/baap banoge toh pata chalega!?’ (You’ll know all this when you become a parent)
I was sitting with my hands on my head, and in so much pain when my mother came up to me and said, ‘Chordo beta, kya kar sakte hain? Tumhe pata toh hai’ (Leave it, we can’t do much about it.) about an incident that happened to me.
She asked me to stay sane when I saw my father and any other male member in my family. These are the same people who contribute nothing to the family but just brag about the money they earn.
I get furious and sad, I feel as if I am so less of a human sometimes. She asks me to be normal and get back to life.
Why? Why can’t people let us feel the way we are? Let the ones who know us feel our pain and help us heal, rather than asking us to be alright on our own.