As I have grown older, it has become more apparent to me that talking about mental illness is still a taboo and a controversial topic especially in the Asian culture. Over these years, I think it’s time to break this stigma of mental health crises and talk about it freely in order to deal with them.

There are people who tend to seek help in order to manage their mental health concerns that are not visible. What scares me is that if someone wants to talk about his or her mental illness, we shut them down while telling them not to act weak or coward and we further pass down this stigma to our younger generation who as a result may not feel comfortable enough to talk about their mental health issues. And this cycle, revolves!

It all starts with just a few thoughts. But overtime, these thoughts transform into a whole pool of misery and you feel yourself being drowning deep down in this pool. There is no escape, no one to help you. It’s just you and your misery.

Many people might know you as a person who smiles, laughs and jokes around, but they don’t realize that you’re being through mental health crises or struggling through life. Being a happy-go-lucky person never means that they have zero life problems or they cannot go through depressive episodes. Remember, someone somewhere is struggling, you just have to look beyond the glass.

Some people experience anxiety, some go through phases of depression after their breakups. Whenever you talk about having a breakup, people would usually mock you and would tell you that you’re exaggerating it, you can move on, come on it’s no big deal. NO BIG DEAL? What if it’s no big deal for you but it would have meant the whole world to someone. They might have been watching their world crashing down. They are the ones who need your support during their breakdown, they want you to understand them, stand by their side and be their strength to move on. What if they see hope because of you? Think before passing casual comments on people.

Being called ‘dramatic’ in the midst of a panic attack is the last word you expect to hear. It’s a whole new story. I mean having a cardiac arrest is a serious health problem, but having a panic attack with those palpitations, shortness of breath, shivering and other severe symptoms is merely a ‘drama’ or an attention seeking stunt? Who would want to seek attention during a panic attack when they don’t even know what’s happening to them? But again, this is our stigmatic society. If you fight them, they consider you shameless and a misfit to them.

New Year’s here, so let’s make it a new year’s resolution to accept mental health illnesses and to talk more openly about them so that we can help individuals who are suffering. Let their suffering run away. PUKAAR can accompany you to talk about your mental illnesses and to deal with them. So what are you waiting for? Let’s begin this!

Written By: Harmeen Khalid

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