Break the silence, End Mental Health Stigma
The importance of our mental Health cannot be over emphasised. It is one part of our psychology and physiology that has been given little or no attention until recently when suicide became rife and people began to look deeper into its causes and proffer possible solutions.
The bedrock of mental health Stigma has been majorly the “silence” it is plagued with. Our mind is an integral part of our genetic make up, Yet. It has been one part of us that little attention is given to.
The things that we feed our mind on build a web around our feelings and emotions and by extension our reaction to events and happenings.
The Stigma attached to mental health is a different ball game entirely! People with mental health issues have become stigmatised, victimised, shamed and discriminated against just like every other type of sickness like HIV/Aids.
A friend of mine Dr. Gbonjubola said and I quote “The average person either has wrong information about mental health or doesn’t have information at all.
When it come dto mental health, ignorance is not bliss. Hence, we should be willing to learn, unleann and relearn about mental health”
She also highlighted some myths l about mental heth sickness which includes:
- Your village people are the ones causing you mental health.
- You are too fine to have mental illness-it is only for poor people.
-Your past sins are haunting you. That is why you have mental health illness.
-Mental illness is a sign of weakness.
- If someone with a mental Illness bites you, you might have it.
-Mental illness cannot be treated.
It is imperative to know that all these are myths about mental health and not in anyway true.
Those days when you feel like locking yourself up in a dark room and not in the mood to talk to anyone, times when your chest palpitates so fast you could literally feel your heart coming out of your chest and times when you feel lost and unable to think? are days when your mental health is in a mess and hey! It’s okay not to be okay.
What you should do on days like that is to find someone to confide in about your feelings. Do not wallow in self – pity thinking no one would understand because truth is, someone will understand. Look around your circle and choose the right person to have the discussion with.
Breaking the silence on mental health begins with you. Do not let depression eat you up! so it does not get to a point whbe you begin to hear Vouces in your head. Speak out, seek help, and find your healing.
On the flip side, do not let the Stigma stick with you. People geger tend to put up a strong front and act like all is okay, hence they laugh at your vulnerability or display of weakness when you voice out about your feelings of loneliness, despondency or worthlessness but the truth is, the people who speak against your vulnerability are also fighting battles themselves.
DO not get to a point where the will to live becomes a fantasy, normalise talking about your mental health from time to time. Normalise seeing a therapist or seeking the help of a cousnellor. It’s usually a tough fight, but it’s a fight worth fighting. Your life is worth fighting for because at the end of it all, you actually do not want to take a life you sis not give to yourself. But to fight this fight of strength, you just break the silence by speaking out and seeking the much needed help.
Whenever your back is against the wall, it’s like a dead end… The road would seem closed, you are in a completely dark place. And people would get talking, saying all sorts to further demoralise you. Words like “You are not the only one going through stuff,” “Man-up, people are going through worse”, is it only you”… These words and more may be trhworn at you to make you feel even more worthless, truth is, the Stigma never nevers but never allow them get to you! Mister the strength to speak your truth and break the silence of wallowing in self pity. In your strength, is your power and ability to rise above the pain you are feeling and give life another chance!