Johann Hari in his book ‘Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression-and the Unexpected Solution’ talks about how we as individuals of a society have failed to choose the right system of life. He talks about how society has given importance to the wrong values. These wrong values are in turn reflecting at us in crueller ways.
Millennials today are the most exposed risk-group falling prey to Mental Illness.
The reasons being varied, and often lead to multi-faceted effects in their personal and professional life, as well as on their relationship with themselves. Being the flag bearers of the generation, they are expected to strive and thrive in all aspects of life.
However, seldom do people realise that these individuals are also going through uncertainties and doubtful situations pertaining to their lives. A career shift, a job in a new city, a new relationship, dealing with past trauma – all these and more are just the tip of the iceberg.
As a counselor I often receive such cases.
Today’s generation has a thousand ways in which society signals and expects them to live. A particular culture might tell them to look a certain way, and another culture would tell them to chase a particular dream. In such a societal situation, choosing between “right” and “wrong”, often leads them to lose their vision, their dreams and their inner voice.
The loneliness, lack of meaning, hopelessness, and dreams of a better life for oneself within a society furthers the individual to question their existence. Suicide rates have risen manifold in the past decades due to our lacking as a society to provide support to the ones who need it.
In today’s ever evolving era, mental health is still a stigmatized topic.
People still recede from accepting that they might be needing professional help. Like with physical illnesses, we see a doctor, with mental illnesses, seeing a professional is considered a taboo.
Hence, they find themselves having lack of safe-spaces and people they can trust, and share their emotions with, let alone reaching out to seek professional help.
The lack of safe-spaces is another problem of the modern-day echo chamber. Everyone follows the herd when it comes to an opinion, and so the individual suffering from grave depression or anxiety doesn’t have the space to voice out their thoughts or doubts.
However, with increasing and constant efforts from artists, practitioners, teachers working every single day to inculcate and educate people regarding the importance of Mental Health, it’s awareness is gradually spreading.
Another side of the coin leads to a story of self-blame, self-ridicule, and self-harm.
The individual sees themselves as a faulty screw in the machine and decides to exit the society. Either way, the blame goes inward or outward, within the individual’s mind, never to be heard-out as a cry for help, warmth, comfort, and understanding.
Such grave situations building up inside may lead to suicide, and can be prevented by coming to the aid of the individual at the right time.
For us as a society it’s important to help, and not judge people seeking support. It’s important to realise that every one has their set of struggles, and the least we can do is be compassionate.
If someone close to you is having suicidal thoughts, just be there for them and offer help – be it by being a good listener, supporter to reaching out for professional consolation.
Your preemptive action can make a big change in a thousand lives, by saving one life.
If you are someone who has had suicidal thoughts, know that if there is an option to give up, there is also an option to try harder. Strengthen your belief, surround yourself with people who hear you, consult a professional for help. But determine yourself to stand tall till the end of it all and not crumble to the unrealistic standards of this agonized society.
Help is available only when you’re ready to accept it.
So keep your spirits high, everything shall be better, the clouds shall pass and the sun will shine brighter. Just be a fighter and take it one day at a time.
PS: 9152987821 is a recently started national suicide prevention helpline.
Arouba Kabir is a Mental Health Counselor and the Founder of Enso Wellness. She is a graduate in Psychology and has trained in Positive Psychology, CBT, Hypnotherapy, Therapeutic Art and Meditations.