Mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of!

For society as insular and narrow-minded as India and Pakistan, there are certain things which will remain taboo. PSYCHIATRIC DISORDERS and DEPRESSION are one of those ‘forbidden’ foci which have been suppressed deep down, under the layers of societal pressure and the common Pakistani slogan; ‘Log KyaKahengy’? (What will people say?)

Let’s for once get this over with? Mental Illness and psychiatric disorders are real. There are people sitting by your side that may be what you commonly make of or define as ‘DIFFERENT’ or ‘CRAZY’. Yes, there are real and actual disorders, brewing inside the brains of people resulting in change of their entire lives. You probably didn’t know that or didn’t want to acknowledge that, because for you, this is something that only exists in movies.

The quantity of people with mental illness in Pakistan exceeds 50 million, a ratio of simple mental disorders. The range of deterioration range from 15 to 35 million adults besides 20 million children.

“Approximately 20 million children, or 10 per cent of the population, in our country need attention from mental health practitioners,” – Dr. Ayesha Mian, Chairperson of the Department of Psychiatry at the Aga Khan University (AKU).

The extent of mental disorder doesn’t spread to the person being completely ‘insane’. There are various diseases that link mental health to not being normal. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, Personality Disorder, Post Traumatic Disorder, is just the few commonly known names associated with mental health. Apart from the mentioned, depression is another indicator of deteriorating mental health. Believe me, there are people who will have beautiful smiles plastered all across their faces, but they would be dying from inside. Let’s all stop for a moment to conjecture that; “Will you be able to spend a single day in this condition”.

Stop judging others! Let’s not so easily make fun without having a slightest idea as to what the other person might be going through. Live and let live. Help people come back to life, because friendly assistance can never come late. Do not judge people who may seem distant, alone or crazy to you. They might be feeling something real and actually devastating in all its glory.

So, the next time you try to rule on someone’s emotions, give them the shoulders to cry on and a heart to rely on. You never know, your single generous remark can make the day of many!