World Mental Health Day was celebrated for the first time on October 10, 1992, at the initiative of Deputy Secretary General Richard Hunter. The theme for 2022 is 'Make Mental Health & Well-Being for All a Global Priority' to provide us with an opportunity to re-kindle our efforts to make the world a better place.
Please note that the following thread speaks of mental health issues and can be triggering. It is also our humble effort to draw your attention to the fact that we overlook our mental health well-being for various attempts, but we are no professionals. Please do your share of research on the topic.
What is Mental Illness?
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), "Mental health is subjective well-being, perceived self-efficacy, autonomy, competence, intergenerational dependence, and self-actualization of one's intellectual and emotional potential, among others."
Mental illness knows no bias; it can affect both; the most well-known person in the world or homeless person. Despite this, many people suffering from mental illnesses refuse to even talk about it, much less seek treatment for it—often out of a fear of being rejected or misunderstood.
The stigma around mental issues comes from the lack of understanding or awareness of mental issues. Lack of knowledge, lack of awareness, self-diagnosis, and stigma all contribute to the increased difficulty in dealing with mental health concerns. The idea that mental health just refers to the absence of mental illness must be urgently refuted.
Slowly but surely, discussions and actions to address the problem of mental health care access and care have entered the mainstream.
Every mind is different, every person is different. We can have different reasons why we feel like we can't do it anymore, and we can conclude that something is wrong with our mental well-being. And it's ok because it is bound to get better someday. We just have to go one day at a time.
We have put together a few movies and shows from Bollywood that touch on the topic of mental health and we have also spoken around people on IF about their journey with mental health issues. Hope you find it introspective. Also, a huge thank you to everyone who sent in their thoughts and journeys, we hear you, and you guys are awesome!
Before signing off, here are a few things that you can do for yourself or someone you know who might need help.
1. Be there, but understand that you aren't the right help (unless you have an MD in psychology)
2. Check for red flags in yourself and others.
3. Eat healthily and try to maintain a good sleeping schedule
4. Seek help, even if it just means talking to someone
5. Exercise and make leisure and contemplation a priority
Write-up: AWolfandParrot and oye_nakhrewaali
Message compilation: oye_nakhrewaali
Color coding: oye_nakhrewaali
Main Tag, Dividers and Subtags: GuardianDevil and oye_nakhrewaali
Gifs: Original owners
Gif compilation: GuardianDevilEdited by oye_nakhrewaali - 5 months ago
"Movies and TV shows play a huge role in changing the way people think about mental health. You might not realise that you’re getting influenced but every time you watch any form of media, it reinforces your way of thinking. For instance, if you see a movie where a therapist is shown negatively you might associate those negative traits to all therapists without realizing it."
-Divija Bhasin, Counselling psychologist and popular internet personality
Dear Zindagi follows a tumultuous period in the life of Kaira (Alia Bhatt), a cinematographer who seeks professional help from Dr. Jahangir Khan (Shah Rukh Khan) to overcome her problems. The movie has given us an insight into the life of a person going through depression, from sleeplessness to just realizing that you feel lost and alone. The film also shows therapy in a positive light and shows that it is a healthy aspect of healing. The film also shows Kaira finding herself a way back to her loved ones after feeling distant for ages because her therapy gives her insights into her thoughts and how she is dealing with them. The film tells us to take a pause and work with ourselves while trying to "fix" the other broken fragments of our lives.
Taare Zameen Par
The film Taare Zameen Par portrays the tormented life at school and at the home of Ishaan Awasty (Darsheel Safary) with dyslexia. His family members dismiss his inability to do well at school as his laziness and use the "good-cop, bad-cop" parenting style to fix him. His school teachers conclude that "Ishaan is not well" and should seek help, but his father brushes it off because of the stigma attached to mental health issues. Ishaan is sent to a boarding school where his art teacher (Aamir Khan) diagnoses him and helps him with his disorder. The film also has a brief period of how Ishaan feels alone in the boarding school, not having anyone who can understand him. Taarey Zameen Par is a small window through which we can see that children with disabilities and disorders can have it more difficult than adults and deserve all our love and care during their healing process.
Kartik Calling Kartik
The movie is set around Karthik, (Farhan Akhtar) who is a Schizophrenic. This results in more than one trouble in his private and personal life, even after going to therapy. What’s novel about the film is that it doesn’t over-dramatize or exaggerate Schizophrenia. Karthik isn't shown as a crazy mad man, he is an ordinary person who has a mental illness and is learning how to cope with it. Karthik Calling Karthik will keep you on the brink of your seat throughout. The film rightly incorporates mental illness in the storyline via the delusions and hallucinations that Kartik has. Also, he finds support in his girlfriend Shonali (Deepika Padukone) who doesn't abandon Karthik upon learning that he suffers from schizophrenia, and his therapist Shweta Kapadia (Shefali Shah).
Chhichhore revolves around Annirudh (Sushant Singh) who doesn't realize that he is putting pressure on his only son, Raghav (Aashray Batra) about his entrance into IIT. When he doesn't manage to pass the entrance exam, even after countless months of burning the midnight oil. Raghav attempts suicide. Anirudh chooses the unconventional way to heal his son, by recounting his college memories, more precisely about General Championship, an annual sports competition whence students of all 10 hostels of the entire institute compete. The film is a reminder that being a "loser" isn't all that bad, but more importantly, it's not healthy to beat yourself after a failure. Failures can take a toll on our mental health and we have to find our way around them, and also acknowledge the effect of the pressures that the stride toward success brings with it.
Masaba Masaba (Netflix)
Masaba Masaba Season 2 starts with Masaba (Masaba Gupta) deciding to push back her personal life to rule her professional life, and in that rush, she doesn't realize that her friend is feeling depressed. After Gia (Rytasha Rathore) creates a ruckus at her party, she checks up on Gia and finds out that she has been battling depression and hasn't been to her work in 3 weeks now. Masaba promises Gia that she will find her a therapist, because she is inept to help her with her depression on the medical front, while she can be there for Gia throughout her recovery. It's a reminder that even the privileged can have mental health issues, despite having everything.
Ghar Waapsi (Disney+ Hotstar)
Ghar Waapsi talks about Depression when Shekhar has to work on a project called Baatcheet, a subsidiary of AtPeace, an online platform for people to seek help with mental health by Shekhar's company. While presenting about Baatcheet for the pitch meeting, he reminisces on how Indian families, especially the middle class overlook their own mental health and that of their children. Shekhar suggests that they use Baatcheet to slowly introduce the conversation about mental health and therapy in the Indian living room.
Kota Factory (Netflix)
Kota Factory (Season 1 and Season 2) both deal with the pressure an IIT student and his fellow batchmates face while trying to study and fit into the world of Kota. It speaks not only about the anxiety IIT preparations bring along with it, but also how changing how the body can affect the human mind (in the case of Meenu and Vartika, played by Rajan Raj and Revathi Pillai respectively) It's a go-to show for every student who feels that they are losing while the world is running away. In Jeetu Bhaiya (Jeetendra Kumar) the students find a guide with their personal and student life problems, and it shows that help is out there and you aren't alone.Edited by oye_nakhrewaali - 5 months ago
Life is unpredictable at best and worse. But one thing I've learnt the hard way is never shy away from seeking help when you need it. The pandemic has been one of the worse times we have seen as a community, and has had devastating effects on health, both physical and mental. My experience with therapy has been amazing. It feels really good knowing someone will hear you out and help you sort things without judging. Every session makes your life and thoughts more clear and help in bringing a new perspective. Keep going and seek help, it's alright.
I came across this story-message on Instagram and I feel everyone needs to hear it.
One more time - Anna https://www.instagram.com/reel/ChdTp5uK60R
IF YOU FEEL LIKE YOU'RE AT YOUR WITS IF YOU FEEL LIKE YOUR WORLD IS CRASHING AND YOU JUST WANTED TO STOP, I'M GOING TO ASK YOU TO TRY ONE MORE TIME.
EVENTUALLY, THAT ONE MORE TIME IS GOING TO GET LESS AND LESS.
IT'S GOING TO BE ONE LAST TIME AND WHEN THAT HAPPENS, YOUR WORLD IS GOING TO CHANGE.
IT'S NOT ALWAYS GOING TO BE LIKE THIS BUT IF YOU WANT TO SEE IT THROUGH, YOU CAN.
Due to a fight in one of the social media websites, I almost slipped into trauma for a whole month. The first day when I got indulged in the fight, I couldn't sleep that night. I continuously weeped and to not to let me parents hear my cries, I hid my face below the pillow. But that didn't end there. I was continuously wondering if I should say a sorry or try to move on and whenever I thought about it, I got an asthma attack. After a couple of days, I finally decided to talk to one of my friends and she did her best to calm me down. I'm so grateful that she did. After another week, I was finally somewhat stable but that fight troubled me in my dreams as well. I dreamt of people I loved going away from me, blaming me and fighting with me.
Then one day I sat wondering if the online people were even worth it. The only answer I got was, "No. You don't know them in person and they don't know you as well". Even though nowadays I do feel depressed and ending my life but those days were really difficult. Sometimes I got prompted to end my life but then I realised that living life is more difficult than losing life and I decided to not to be a coward.
If anyone of you feels depressed or empty, please talk to someone you feel comfortable with. It may not be your parents, even I didn't talk about this to my parents, but it can be your friends or relatives too. Don't feel like you're the only person alone in this world dealing with pain. Nowadays most of the social media websites have put up a help desk for people who are dealing with depression. Please take care of your mental health. Once you ruin your mental health, it's a long and difficult way to get back your mental peace stabilised
I don't have a condition which can be termed as a mental health issue which needed addressing or medication.
What people usually tell me is, if I am upset or angry or sad, it shows on my face and they can recognise.
I have some thing to share though.
When I was doing my Mental Health First Aid course, the trainer asked us to enact a scene where I acted as a person with mental health issue and another student acted as a normal person.
As per the script, while we were talking, the trainer came next to my ear and started saying things as if my inner voice is talking to me.
The little experience was so frightening. If I felt like that while enacting a scene, I can imagine how a person with mental health issues reacts.
just yesterday, I was watching an english show and casually had conversation with my bud about how concepts like counselling, support groups, etc. aren't normalised in our country. So organizing this kind of virtual support group seems like a really great idea.
The worst year of my life thus far was 2021.
The long-term isolation had a variety of effects on me. My personal life, health, and academic life were all being severely impacted.
I tried to ignore it but eventually it got too overwhelming for me & I broke down infront of my parents and requested counselling. Things have improved a lot since then.
It's been a gradual process, and occasionally I slip back into a dark place, but overall, things are much better than they were last year.
The best thing I did last year, in my opinion, was acknowledging and resolving my issues.
I'd like to reassure anyone with mental health issues that they’re entirely normal & it’s fine to talk about it .
Instead of spiralling , try reaching out for assistance. I know it appears to be daunting task, but trust me, your loved ones will eventually try to help you without casting judgements.
Likewise, if you find it difficult to communicate with people in real life, you might try using online support sites or contacting online friends to get started.
My lockdown was slightly better because of my IF friends, and I did share my problems with a few of them. These people were nothing but kind and helpful to me & I am so grateful for having ‘em 💗
The one piece of advise I can provide as someone who has difficulties with expressing vulnerable feelings is that, when your emotions get the better of you, it's wise to find a healthy outlet for them. 💚
Here’s, a jaadu ki jhappi for everyone 💖
I was always a top ranker in school. But things changed when I went to the university, since both the competition and the subjects were tougher. Stress and anxiety took a toll of me and I failed an important subject in 2nd semester. For the first time in my life I had failed, and it destroyed my confidence. I beated myself up for it, my anxiety made my life hell, and I couldn't see what I was good at, or could do. There was no student counsellor in my college. After much struggle, I decided not to blame myself anymore and learn from my mistakes. This started a whole new journey for me that helped me become more self-aware and improve myself everyday.
About 10 years later, during the covid lockdown, amidst numerous uncertainties and death tolls, my anxiety returned. Like many of us, I didn't cope well with lockdown, social isolation, and unpredictable circumstances. I also lost a dear friend due to covid. It was shocking. But I always kept myself connected to my family and my friends. Pushing away the people who truly care for you never helps. Having self-awareness, knowing what I wanted, what made me happy, and practicing meditation and mindfulness techniques helped me to maintain my mental well-being.
It's unfortunate that the taboo regarding seeking psychiatric help when required is so deeply engraved in our mind that we, the so-called educated people often hide our issues under the pretence of everything is fine and keep suffering. I remember 2017 had been a particularly difficult year for me. My personal, academic and social life went for a toss and then one fine day I came home and fell sick. I consulted with many specialists but none could find out any underlying reason for my sudden illness. Which is when my mother and brother took me to a counselor and one sitting did me for what thousands of tk worth medical test couldn't do. Looking back at then I feel embarrassed because being a pharmacology student I should have been the one to realize if something is bothering me, this will end up effecting my body also. Yet, it took me three weeks to make up my mind and accept help perhaps because I was too proud to accept something was wrong and I needed help. And I know there are countless people out there who are suffering internally under their respective burden yet are afraid to seek help because of the society's outlook and fear of the tag "MAD". It's a good thing now people are talking more openly compared to earlier still we have a long way to go. And in the meantime I want to tell those who are silently suffering that it's not your fault. It's just as common as any infectious disease. All you have to do is realize and accept that just as visiting a physician doesn't make you pathetic, seeking help from a psychiatrist doesn't make you insane either. Our fitness depends on both physical and mental stability. Hence it's our right to get the help we need and duty to be more open and supporting to other people who need assurance.
This is just something I wrote recently, when I was in a very bad space, maybe even contemplating something as serious as suicide. I do not feel very comfortable sharing the exact circumstances because it stems from what has happened to me for lot of years, but I think and pray it does come across as being hopeful. It took me time to share this because I was not sure which one I was okay to share and which entries I wanted to keep locked up in my diary forever.
Their face was a mixture of mocking incredulity and pity and amusement all at once somehow, and it made her feel entirely belittled. It just seemed like they were just doing this on purpose to make her feel uncomfortable. If she didn't react, they wouldn't win. But no matter how much she tried to ignore the hurt, it had an iron grip on her, attacking her whenever it chose and cascading her into another bout of melancholy. What the hell did she ever do to them? Why was it that trouble always seemed to follow her wherever she went? Was the universe messing with her on purpose or something? Every time she didn't want something to happen, it happened! Just because some crazy stuff had been happening didn't mean that the rest of it would have to be bad too. She desperately wanted to believe that. But she had a feeling that somehow, the worse was yet to come.
She had been independent and fought through her difficulties by herself all her life. Even at her lowest point. She didn't want that to change. In a perfect world, that would be what would occur, but knowing her life and the way things had gotten incredibly messed up without her even having to really lift a finger, she had a feeling that wouldn't be the case. The sun was setting, the mélange of purple and blue with a hint of orange on the horizon made the sky look impossibly awesome. The view was absolutely beautiful, and she supposed, despite how tense she had felt, staring into the distance was pretty nice. She had never felt such all-encompassing relief pulse through her veins that this unfortunate event was finally over.
What you have been saying internally for years: Just remember how strong you truly are mentally. How much pride you have in who you are despite the rough hand you've been dealt in life. How secure you are in herself. You hate pity of any kind and are the type to reject it vehemently. You continue carrying yourself regally, unaffected by the things around you.
What you really always wanted someone to say to you: You're beautiful and talented and charismatic and strong and fierce and one day you're going to meet people who will appreciate those things about you. People who can handle you and all your fierceness and contain you when you get dangerous and will want to stick around despite any shortcomings you have—like literally, your lack of care for what the world thinks about you, for example.
I would like to tell our forum readers that they should never worry about what they are, the main thing is to be a person, and the differences that we have from other people, which sometimes manifest themselves strongly, sometimes not so much, should not prevent us from gathering with spirit and do what we should or want to do. I understand that the world knows how to put pressure on everyone, but everyone has the strength to fight. Whether it's prejudice in your personal life, work or anything else.
I know this from personal experience, sometimes I really want to disappear, because the world is difficult to accept people like me. I have a diagnosis that has limited my life and changed my appearance, I don't look like everyone else. Even if I get better, the diagnosis itself is incurable and some of the changes are irreversible. This is very pressing, as every day something of our own is pressing on any of us - also illness, failure, ridicule or any other reason. It is important to understand that nothing and no one is the same in the world. And any, even the worst event tends to pass. Also, if you feel really bad or sad, remember that talking about it will make it easier. And it is best to consult a specialist. There is nothing to be ashamed of, it is much worse if silence destroys you.
I was born with cateracts and heart murmur, which not only affected me physically but mentally also. I was always embarrassed in school for being treated differently than other kids due to poor eyesight which caused learning difficulties. I had friends, yet I never felt like I was fully accepted or fitted in with them. Growing up, I learnt how to accept myself the way I am instead of trying to be like others. I still feel anxiety around people, however, I am trying to be as comfortable as I can the way I am and I have learnt that people have started being more accepting of me too.
Depression was a term that was foreign to me. For me it was just a word, nothing more, nothing less. In my culture, mental health isn’t taken seriously and if you do suffer from it, then you’re perceived as someone who’s “crazy” or weak. For me, depression came crawling into my life when I lost my father to cancer. I was 16 years old, the eldest child in the family, and I watched my father take his last breath in front of me. Initially it was a whole lot of grief, but as time went by, I realised that I had lost interest in life, I was always sad, and suicidal thoughts plagued my mind. My faith and family was the only two factors stopping me from pursuing those thoughts. I couldn’t talk to my family about it, my mum was too distraught, my siblings were too young. I bottled my feelings and screamed into a pillow when everyone was asleep. I didn’t want to burden my loved ones with my sadness. I was the eldest, I had to stay strong, I had to shoulder the responsibility. If only I knew more about mental health and the medical support I could’ve sought, then I would’ve known that my mental health is not a burden, it’s real and it’s important.
My second interaction with depression came in the form of my cousin. His father found him hanging from a rope at his home. My cousin, aged 26, had killed himself. Childhood trauma, abuse, witnessing his two siblings dying as a result of a bomb blast, drug-use …. all these triggers eventually took a toll on his mental health. His parents knew he was depressed, but kept it a secret. He had tried to kill himself before by overdosing, but he survived the attempt. Nobody knew until it was too late, he finally succeeded in his attempt. This wasn’t anyones fault. Mental health was a taboo topic in our culture, nobody knew how to handle it. Lack of psycho-education and mental health awareness had led this problem to grow. If only we knew the things that we know now. A life could’ve been saved.
My cousins death was the final straw. I completed my school studies and began to pursue a field in psychology. I was both motivated and hopeful to work on eliminating the gap in knowledge by using my resources (access to bilingual language proficiency and cultural awareness) to help my community understand that mental health is real, it exists, and there’s no shame in seeking help.
In doing this, I might not be able to change the past, nor could I bring my cousin back to life. However, with every breakthrough we make, with every awareness we create, and with every life we save, a part of me feels that I’ve given him the justice he deserved.
I thought about what I'll write, and honestly, writing comes easy to me, unless its a writer's block, for a story, but this is personal, and I don't be personal on IF, let alone global threads because I have issues, loads and tons of it.
I look around and wonder why, it's not like I have it difficult, I have privileges and then I feel guilty about feeling whatever I feel because people are dealing with more bad stuff than I.
I have moments when my brain goes on shut down, I cannot function, or feel. I feel robotic, or maybe not even that, just tired. I cannot even feel happy in some moments that ask me to be happy when I have such phases.
Therapy is costly as heck here, but I try to move forward, I do what I do best, use humor to deflect from my anxiety, and I write.
I cannot say what one should do to deal with anxiety or depression, but we are in this together, and even if it doesn't get better now, someday, it just might.
And with that, we sign off. We wish you a healthy, happy day ahead! Spread love and positivity!Edited by oye_nakhrewaali - 5 months ago
Thank you so much for coming with such a detailed and precious thread. It's amazingly put and so beautiful. Special mention to the graphics (). Will definitely try to watch the movies you have mentionned.The stories you have shared teared me up
Having worked with teens for long years in a high school, I can see that finally mental health is starting being taken seriously in schools. With the pandemic, things got worst with many of them having negative thoughts and feeling of loneliness and lack-esteem. Many times the family don't understand.
I was powerless but I can assure one thing: a kind word, gesture or hug can make the person feel that he/she is understood. It's very difficult to deal with it alone. It's not laziness, it's you vs you, you vs the world.
Plz, don't hesitate to seek for professional help. At schools, there are nurses and psychiatrists who can help you. Reach out someone, don't close yourself and think that you are useless. Each effort you make, no matter how small it is for the world, is a HUGE Victory for you. You are needed, you are not unwanted.
....and I'm here if you need someone to talk to....
Hugs to all
MariaEdited by x.titli.x - 3 months ago
"Your mental health is a priority, your happiness is essential and your self care is an essential"
On this occasion, all I would say is please don't feel inferior to anyone/don't feel ashamed of your sickness and feel free to take out time for yourself. Most of the times we forget about "ourselves" and end up caring the most about "our works" which makes it all exhausting.
If you are feeling depressed or saddened deeply, please don't hesitate to talk to someone. Especially your parents. They might judged you first, but then they can give you the hug you are greatly in need of.
Take care and keep smiling everyone!
Ps: the thread looks AMAZING!!
Nice thread organisers.
Thanks to everyone who shared their experiences.
I would like to stress the fact that Mental Heath is as important as Physical Health.
Unfortunately no one can see it, so people often term it as a tantrum or a weakness and discard the issue.
It is real and unless we address it, it won't go away.
Please seek help if you think you have an issue or lend help if you think the other person may have an issue. Say few comforting words if you see someone who looks sad or low or unhappy or upset.
A virtual hug to everyone on IF.
Mental health is not just 'all in your head', it affects your entire well being! Thank you CCs for this beautiful thread!
Sharing some insights on Self care by professional psychologists.
Edited by DelusionsOfNeha - 3 months ago
Topic started by oye_nakhrewaali
Last replied by BrhannadaArmour