It is rightly said “It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept and celebrate those differences.” There is a pervasive belief that mental illness stems from weakness. Though it is not true, it is unfortunate that this belief is upheld by people because they don’t even recognize that they are attaching a stigma with mental illness. It is a pre-conceived notion that mostly the society finds it hard to believe that how can people who are mentally strong be fighting against any kind of mental illness.
Basically, it is all a myth as being physically fit or mentally strong has nothing to do with one’s mental well-being. It may come as a surprise to many but it is scientifically proven that person with poor mental health can be as, strong, even stronger than someone who does not. The external pressure of the society sows the seed of negativity in the person who is trying to muster courage to open up about his poor mental well-being.
Mental health is a very important concern in our lives and it should be prioritized by each and every citizen. In addition, we need to sensitize ourselves to this whole discourse that weakness is not at all a positive term that should be used to assess a person’s mental health standing. Talking about mental strength isn’t about shaming people with mental illness.
Instead, it is about encouraging a healthy lifestyle that will ultimately lead to prevention of mental health problems. It is only when people start talking about it in public and in general, only then society shall have positive outlook towards mental well-being and strength. It is important to note that mental strength is not the same as acting tough.
In simple terms, it should completely be unacceptable that people even have to consider being tough in their most vulnerable condition. For this, the society needs to give people space to breathe and think as to how they can take plausible steps to reach their greatest potential and seek the help they need to live a peaceful, healthy life.
Now that we are addressing the association of stigma with mental health, it is primary to note that this social stigma brings discrimination with it which can make it even worse for the person because they started having the fear of being stigmatized. And all of this plays a role in how the person views his own mental health because they start feeling ashamed of themselves, self-doubt erupts and eventually they end up berating their sense of worth and existence.
It may feel like a personal struggle, but one needs to fight and not make the illness define one’s personality or the fear of being labeled with mental illness should not stop someone from seeking therapy. So, it is a interplay of lot of things like acceptance of one’s body and health, opening up about it to your close ones , nourishing your mind with love and care, seeking proper therapy or anything else that’s needed and more than anything living with it without any fear, with utmost confidence and pride.
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