From a land where Sati and child marriages were approved and nurtured, India has come a long, long way. Even with a change in our ideologies and beliefs, we are still struggling with internal battles. We may have become more accepting and encouraging but there are still some battles that are yet to be fought. One of these battles is how we perceive mental health.
Where Are We Lacking?
India is home to a population over a billion citizens where not only is mental illness hiding in plain sight but also viewed as a big snake down to the bottom of the social hierarchy. We Indians are excessively worried about what others think. This needs to stop. We should regard each other’s sentiments and issues.
A significant number of us can’t understand or perceive manifestations of mental illness; regardless of whether we do, we don’t recognize what to do or how to go about it. Unhealthy relationships with guardians cause patients to end up concealing their psychological condition from them. This is because of a paranoid fear of judgment and mockery.
Mental health is a topic that never made it to the table; and in the event where it was required to talk about, it was discussed, rather awkwardly, in hushed tones. Despite the fact that individuals know where the problem lies, hiding it appeared a more plausible alternative than visiting a specialist or psychiatrist and procuring the desired title of being “mad”.
People’s Perception About Mental Health
The Live Love Laugh Foundation is a foundation that aims to create awareness of mental illness and reduce the stigma associated with it. The Foundation commissioned “How India Perceives Mental Health: TLLLF National Survey Report 2018” to help analyze India’s mental health aspect with the goal of studying perceptions surrounding mental health and illness in India. The study additionally investigates the level of responsiveness, attitudes towards psychological well-being, and the level of stigma affiliated with it.
The study disclosed three expansive sections of people based on their perception of mental illness:
- The main study demonstrated that just 27% showed support for individuals saw as having a mental illness
- The second demonstrated that 47% indicated higher judgment for individuals with mental illness and
- 26% demonstrated fear of individuals saw as having a mental illness.
The respondents had the opportunity to view the results. While there existed widespread sympathy, many of the members expressing they would dependably feel thoughtful towards them, they likewise show feelings of fear, contempt, and outrage towards individuals with mental sickness. Many even argued that they would be ‘uninterested’ towards mental health.
This admission of the public to their attitudes and feelings towards individuals with psychological sickness again shows the predominant disgrace in the society.
Stop The Stigma
In India, mental health is still a taboo concept, it is misunderstood and often ignored by the law and society. It’s about time that we get a grip on the gravity of the situation and progress as a nation. Mental health and well- being should be considered a need, particularly in today’s time.
It is important to sharpen and educate people about the symptoms and indications of mental illness while normalizing the concept of seeking support for themselves and their friends and family. There should be more open discussions and dialogue with the population, and not only specialists regarding this matter, which will thus help make a more comprehensive condition for the individuals.
Your support can help those that suffer. Fear of not being understood makes them stay silent and languish for years inside and out. Sometimes individuals just need others to acknowledge them and hear them out. Raise awareness, start early treatment and support those in need because mental health matters!