Mental illness has always been a fundamental subject worthy of discussion; as well as controversial. I liked to talk about this subject because it's so common and still considered a taboo. I feel like it has to be fully re-introduced, if it has been introduced in the first place, to Middle Eastern society and particularly in Lebanon. It is really so frustrating that we are in 2022 and we still can’t understand that pain manifests in different ways.
Human beings are susceptible to various illnesses and diseases. Those illnesses are categorized into: physical and mental. Most people are still denying the fact that a mental illness is as serious and harsh as the physical. The targeted areas are: mood, thinking, and behavior. Some of you might argue and ask that if I am hyperactive today and yesterday I wasn't, then maybe I am mentally ill because I have a change in my behavior. Well, that's not the case. A person can be diagnosed as mentally ill if a certain feeling (irritation, anxiety, sadness, burnout) affecting the previously mentioned areas become permanent and affect the quality of life. Mental illness refers to a wide range of mental health conditions. Examples of such disorders include depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, eating disorders, and addictive behaviors.
People take it as a joke or something normal when they say "I am depressed/severely sad/not in the mood for several days". Do you know what depression is and how severe it is? Do you know the different stages one can go through during depression and how hard the person might be fighting to get past it? Of course not, then you must educate yourself first before joking about such terms. It's not that simple to say "I am depressed" when your mom doesn't buy you the pair of shoes you saw on the vitrine of your favorite shop yesterday or because you took a low grade on your test. I don't want to focus on one disorder, but depression is highly common nowadays. To sum up, mental illness is just as important as a heart attack!
You constantly don't feel like going to your job, you are afraid of listening to loud music, you wanna scream because of life burdens, you are always tired to the extent that you want to quit everything and lose connections, you want to see nobody, you want to run from responsibilities all the time. To sum up, you want to escape life! Do they sound easy and bearable? No and a thousand no. People think that saying things like "You'll be fine, it's okay, stop worrying too much, man up, you can be strong" are a solution to such problematic issues. Well, if we consider this as true, then why can't we treat physical illnesses the same way? Imagine the chaos that would occur if we do.
"My tummy is hurting me"... "You'll be fine."
"I am experiencing heart palpitations"... "Be strong."
"I broke my leg"..."Stop worrying."
Are you able to see the difference now?
Imagine the world we would be living in if all people were aware of the importance of mental health and equate it with physical wellness? Sounds relaxing, right? Whether we admit it or not, mental illness is found around us. Then, why shut down people who talk about this? Why don’t we try to solve it and save lives? Denying this truth doesn’t make it go. Please understand this!
In a nutshell, people are still so cautious from others who fall into mental discomfort traps and try to avoid saying "I am not okay when they really aren't or they feel anxious and uncomfortable and are undergoing a special treatment to wave their disorder goodbye". Confessing about your mental discomfort now is better than committing suicide later. Talk now!