Modernity has perhaps failed us in many ways; it has its pros as well as its cons. Although we have witnessed the world moving forward, some things have still remained the same. I guess the idea of moving forward is just an illusion, and it can be very vividly witnessed in today’s mental health scenario. Everything is on paper but hardly in practice.
Almost every other day, we witness mental health awareness campaigns and helplines, but do they actually have an impact in today’s society? Recently a celebrity killed himself, and rather than acknowledging the fact that mental illness exists among humans irrespective of their social or economic status in society, the media and citizens came up with their hypotheses and conspiracy theories, which clearly demonstrate the awareness of mental health among people of our society.
When a person displays suicidal behavior or seems to be feeling clinically depressed, the people around them make their own assumptions based merely on stereotypes. They tend to avoid and make an outcast of the person by saying that they are either spreading negativity or are exhibiting attention-seeking behavior. On the other hand, if a person kills themselves, then the same people come up with their fake sympathies and condolences, saying things like “It was a cry for help” or discussing in hindsight how they could have rescued the person.
They say that it is all in your head, but if a person comes out about their experiences with mental illness, then that person is labelled as an “attention-seeker”. According to the people of our society, depression is just a fancy word used for procrastinating our regular lives and responsibilities, and only the privileged section can afford to say it.
They also believe that depression exists only in urban areas, whereas the economically lower sections of our society know their priorities and cannot afford to make excuses. This is believed in spite of the fact that many neural disorders like schizophrenia are said to be more common among the people who live in overcrowded chawls and rural areas, where the person displaying the symptoms is said to be possessed by some spirit.
Despite all the awareness being created by many professionals and NGOs, are the people of our society actually getting aware that mental illness is not just confined to depression and has a broad spectrum? It can affect someone for years and leave a significant impact upon their life. While people are being made aware that mental illness can affect anyone, do they actually realize and understand the gravity of the situation?
Even after all this awareness, many people are adamant that these are all just whims and fancies of privileged people, who simply want an excuse to run away from their responsibilities. Well, it is quite apparent that our society is just moving forward in terms of technology, but not with their mindset and thinking.