How Are You?

9:32 AM


Mental Health

What do we really mean when we say how are you ? If I ask how you were, what would you say? A quick google search lead me to best replies for this simple question - I’m fine ; I’m okay ; Not too bad ; and a lot of other things that essentially mean that your shit is together. There are a bunch of videos too if you really need to know the answer to that. While it is true that most people don’t want to really know what is up when they greet you, even if they did, would you be honest? I am assuming most of you would not, because if you did, the rest of this would look pretty stupid.

According to National Mental Health Survey 2015-16, only 30 million are seeking help out of the 150 million that are suffering from any kind of mental illness. There are a lot of mental illnesses, but right now I would like to focus on depression. It is an illness which many people confuse with sadness. Clinical depression, in one episode, can lead to a general loss in interest, depressed mood, and reduced activity for at least two weeks.  It should not be confused with temporary feeling of sadness brought upon by a single event such as losing a job. Obviously, a person who just lost his job will be sad. He has a definite reason to be sad. Sometimes, people are sad for no reason at all. The only difference is that it goes away. It does not mean his sadness is not real or is trivial. It just means that someone with depression need help which he cannot get at home.

We humans are not solitary creatures. I am in no way discrediting introversion but you must keep in mind that introversion is a spectrum and while introverts mostly keep to themselves, they do have a close circle of friends. Everyone needs friends, someone to talk to and share things with. And that is where the problem lies. Friendship is not just going out on weekends and drinking. While drinking often loosens inhibitions and leads to more talk, often the topic of the talk is not mental health. Even if it sometimes, drunk people don’t give the best of advice(that's my personal opinion). 

Ask For Help

Asking for help is quite difficult, believe me I know. How do we tell others that we need them? Often people try this amazing technique of asking people to fuck off and hoping they don’t. While clever, it often fails. This happens because we are afraid of many things and accepting that something is wrong with us is one of those things. We would rather suffer in silence than ask for help because somehow it solidifies the problem. This is what most people do because they know that they will be misunderstood if they talk to people about how they feel. We need to build a society that is non-judgmental, right now it is not and that is the reason most of the people don't share even when they are going through depression. 

Depression is as real as any physical illness and you can’t wish it away. Some of us need professional help. If you think you need help, don’t let the stigma stop you. Know that you are not alone. The more people come out and accept help and support each-other, the more common it gets for others to seek help.

TALK

Coming back to the topic of the role of friends, even talking about certain problem helps. Talking about suicidal tendencies for example reduces the risk of it actually being done. So go ahead, talk. Talk to anyone who you think will listen to you and will not judge you. Talk to anyone who you think needs someone to talk. Talk to a psychiatrist if you feel you need one or to get tips on how to help a loved one who is suffering. Talk. 

I genuinely feel we as a society have a long way to go when it comes to mental health. But we have to start now. 

Written By Anirudh Pratap Singh 

Words from the writer - I am in no way an expert on mental health. I am just another person who is hesitant to talk to people but is trying to come out of his shell. I do not claim to know how you feel, but I sure aim to understand.

You can find me on Instagram. Let me know how you are.

P. S - This is the first guest post on my blog and I would like to encourage more people to write about the topics you genuinely care or feel about. If you are interested to write send your write up on manishajhalaan@gmail.com . I will review and post with credits, it can be in any language and by that I mean Hindi and English. 


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