(Image Source : Pinterest)

"It's okay to shed the tears But don't you tear yourself"

-Moonchild, RM of BTS

A moonlit night. Silence suffocates the air. Small, careless footsteps approach their way to the open side of the terrace. Two small hands reach, trembling yet determined enough to grasp the corner of the railing. The cloud subparts and through that line of light, the figure shows itself. Pale face with tear drops dried on skin like a river in drought, wrist adorned with multiple cuts. Listless eyes stare all the way down. There awaits darkness, however, won't it be freer than the imprisoning parapet?

Image by Wokandapix from Pixabay 

By no means I'm reciting a paranormal story or a ghoulish anecdote, as similar as the plot in above paragraph portrays. This scene is perhaps recreated every hour in India, or every 40 seconds for the world, as WHO reports suggest. 

Now focusing on the headline, what exactly is mental health? According to World Health Organization (WHO):

(Image Source: NCBI article, Pinterest)

Hence it's established that mental health deals with much more than just "lunacy". Just like every human being has to take care of their physical health by eating fresh, having a synchronous sleep cycle, maintaining hygiene and exercising, for mental fitness too, one should follow the drill along with adopting hearty hobbies, positive socialization and meditation, etc.

Sadly, the discourse of mental health is usually waived off in every average Indian household. You'll see even the most irksome relative going "oh my my my" at a mere papercut, yet you'll find them skirt around the subject of your depression. "Nothing happened to you, it happens to everyone, get over it" such indifferent concern does little to no good to an individual, if not worse. 

(Image source: YouTube, Pinterest)

You can perhaps cure cold with homemade remedies, but it's nothing upto something like cancer. Likewise, mental health has its own severity levels. Sadness, feeling grief, worried, or lowered self esteem these are common happenings for all, and some good music or hanging out with friends can do the magic. However it's concerning if the sadness prevails almost everyday or panic attacks become regular. It's a sign.  

What sign you may ask? It's a sign that you need help. And it's perfectly fine to ask for it. Distracting yourself with whatever attracted your attention cannot be a permanent remedy for something this grave.

So it is upon the readers that they start looking for symptoms.

Mental illnesses like GAD (General Anxiety Disorder), ADHD, PTSD, bipolar disorder, major depression, schizophrenic disorder have inherent indications but the root symptoms are almost similar. Find out from the above video if your mental health is worsening.

(Image Source: UNICEF article)

As we're going through the biggest humanitarian crisis of this century, almost every person is going through a mental breakdown more or less. Social media can't replace the sunshine and bustling outside. Loneliness is taking its toll on us. Needless to say, the children are being affected the most and it's on us to present them a secure childhood.

(Source: Youtube, Twitter)

Parents, it's not a hype that your child is joining to earn your sympathy. Dont forget that you were just like them with someone disappointed in you. You can sigh "It's not fair" when it's too late, but was it actually fair from the start? So as a parent, guide your little one to understand the threshold between mental health and unhealth. 

(Source: YouTube)

As for the teachers- try to communicate more with that certain student who seems to be inattentive in your class. It's about time schools and universities hire mental health counselors and promote help-seeking. Only then schools can be our second home; a safe place for everyone.

(Source: Pinterest)

Last but not the least, my friends- even your most cheerful friend might be going through depressive episodes and 5 other disorders. Perhaps they can end up calling you at 2 A.M. because they want a shoulder to cry on. And your next line should be, "I'm here." instead of judging them and labelling them as weak. You might unintentionally trigger them so urge them to speak about their traumas and triggers, even that if they are suicidal. That won't make them commit it but will reduce the stigma. Suicide is the nothing but the last stage of depression. (Think how dying is the last stage of cancer) So one initiative is all it takes to prevent someone from taking their life.

They already have too much on their plate so understand the things they find solace in and not mocking at it. If you can't help, try not to make things worse. It's really pointless to talk about what others have. Someone may catch pneumonia but will you leave it untreated because someone else has got AIDS?

Their head might be deluded with mistrust, confusion, regrets, worthlessness and what not. Make them feel valued, feel loved, feel understood.

7th April 2017. Just 4 years ago, Indian High Court passed the Mental Healthcare Act. Fighting the public stigma, providing more access to psychiatry, raising awareness, we still have a long way to go from here. Until then, keep battling with your inner devils. Always remember-

Post note: a collection of helplines for different states in India 

A/n- Dedicated to all my homies who helped in all means to understand better and materialize their stories of struggles through the ink of my pen. 

.   .   .