MENTAL HEALTH-an area of concern

They say life is a carnival, but do they celebrate?

They say life is precious, but do they value?

They say life must be lived, but do they cherish?

In my first book ‘Introspection’ (link at the end of the post) I had written about the impact of upbringing on mental health and how it is silently molding the morale of the society at large. Every day we are coming across the alarmingly increased statistics of distorted mental health, especially in India. It is not 'OK' to be ‘unhappy’ for an indefinitely long time, it is not 'OK' to be feeling worthless all the time.

Now, why do you think Indians are easy victims of mental disorders? And what is to be done?

My take….

1. Social Stigmas attached

A down cycle in your mental health can start from different insecurities, which are largely inflicted by the societal structure.

  • ‘You are thirty and not married yet?’

  • ‘So many years of marriage and no kids?’

  • ‘Your son will change after marriage!’

  • ‘Women must learn to prioritize personal!’

  • ‘She is seen with many men these days, she is woman of questionable character!’

  • ‘Don’t speak out about abuse, what will the society say? Who will marry you?’

And these are just few. Numerous questions, exclamations, suggestions and judgments are passed every now then, without gauging the mental repercussion. Our children are growing amidst this distorted atmosphere, and we expect social reform, isn’t it quite an oxymoron?

Social pressure, often don’t allow us to own our decisions, leading to generic dissatisfaction towards life. And to catalyze the reactions further, our workplaces do not allow us to think radically and derive satisfaction. Just like the society is norm driven, many of which do not hold true in today’s scenario, our offices are often boss driven.

While most of us on a daily basis, fight insecurities and give it back to life, many fail to do so. But the idea of seeking help for mental health, is so vague in our country that many a times extreme pain is neglected just because it’s not perceivable to the naked eye. Also since there is a hush-hush about this topic, many prefer to push it under the carpet. However in the west, therapy and counselling is extremely common.

2. Bridge Culture

I think Indian culture is going through a radical change, which is happening subtly. I call it the bridge culture. While globalization has exposed us to many cultures and ideas, and we are learning to embrace the goods of it, there is immense rigidity in a certain section of the society. This tug of war has created an imbalance, which is gradually going to balance out with time. As more and more people, start feeling responsible for raising a socially aware gen-next, by inculcating humanity, equality and empathy, generic respect towards the opposite sex, breaking stereo-types and having respect for all kinds of work, we can expect a change, however slow it might be.

3. Live and let live

The ancient Indian culture has been known to be one of the most open and enlightened cultures of all. Invasions and adulteration have inculcated insecurities, which in turn has turned us into quite a judgmental race. Although this post is not about women empowerment and gender equality, but I must confess that women are judged much more than men. And hence the depression rate in Indian women is substantially higher than men.

Character assassination of rape or abuse survivor, too much attention to physical beauty, easy questioning and eyebrow raising without having the empathy of putting oneself in his/her situation. These needs to be avoided, let’s not judge anyone from a distance and let positivity prevail, I believe in ‘live and let live’ theory.

4. Social Media

These are the most fake mediums of emotional exchange and are creating a havoc on mental health. Social media like Facebook, Twitter etc. capitalize on human insecurities. While the conscious mind knows that it’s not real, but the subconscious is often hurt, betrayed by posts on these mediums. The ruthless trolling, fake appreciation and complete lack of empathy must be taken as warning signals and every one must learn to use these judiciously without concluding something from posts, creating opinions or spreading negativity. We must retort to communication which is not public, which is one on one, empathetic and humanly. Otherwise relationships will go on a toss.

5. Television

As movies have censorship, television soaps should also have. They often serve age old beliefs, extinct thoughts and regressive mentality. A small house, in the remotest corner of our country has a television and hence access to these thoughts. Although I agree that it is a business, but no money making machine should be allowed to run impacting the generic mind set and mental growth of a Nation in the negative light. Heavily pancaked faces, adultery, reincarnation, black magic, everything finds place in these, and we are talking about empowerment?

6. Lack of sex education

In a country with the kind of population, sex is a tabooed subject, which itself is an area of concern and often an area of mental harassment. What is right and what is wrong, let’s not get into that. But at least the ideas of safe sex and consensual sex must be known to all. Many a times people do not perceive violations at all or otherwise have a misconstrued view of it.

Often perpetrators and predators use victim’s lack of knowledge or social prejudices as shields to hide their crime. It is important that everyone has a feeling of safety and god forbid if some incident happens, the environment shouldn’t judge and shame the survivor. It is important to understand that these incidents often leave never healing scars on the mental health.

These and many other factors are contributing to the mental pressures that each of us are subjected to. We need to fight then together, open-mindedness in the society as a whole and reestablishment of humanitarian touch is required. Mental Health is an issue we all must face. Large corporates like ‘Reliance Industries limited’ which I am a part of, are taking special care on this front.

It is ‘OK’ to be mentally unwell, remember the brain is also a part of your body and may need restoration time and again.

If you see anyone around you showing signs of depression, reach out and hand hold. We cannot grow as a society if we are not mentally fit as a society.

Few tips, for you and me!!

  1. Don’t attach sentiments to social media.

  2. Exercise daily and fight the hormones generated by stress.

  3. Let others not decide your state of mind.

  4. Be at peace with all, but befriend the people who actually care for you. Good company is a must.

  5. And stand by your friends and family no matter what, solidarity is equivalent to peace.

  6. Don’t make work your life, it’s often not worth it.

  7. Pursue hobbies and create a positive world of your own.

The link for my book on amazon : INTROSPECTION

pics courtesy : google images


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