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Mental Health - A Misinformed Taboo Seeking Change

The traditional press is ascribed to hand-off precise data to its customers. With the ascent of private players, certain disparagement of the admired ideas of the inclusion of news in the media has been seen. Melodrama flourishes as an important evil in the media industry now, a signal for traffic to most media channels.

Representative image of a person dealing with mental health issues (Source: Unsplash)

Mental health has been one of the hot topics to be talked about in the Indian media for the past few months. The discussion has brought in a lot of major topics in the light which have had all sorts of impacts on the people. The recent cases of suicides committed by known personalities have encouraged or rather forced people to include mental health in their thought processes.

Mental health describes both mental and psychological wellbeing of an individual. The consideration of mental health in a society is important particularly in the present context more since the youth and working population has been facing increasing stress due to the onset of modernisation and to combat with that the well-being of the mind.

Mental health has always been treated as a taboo in Indian society. The concept of craziness and demonic possessions being associated to the idea of the instability of the mind have created a lot of instances in the past because of which people have been treated for things they don’t have. The most saddening part here is that these patients have been mispresented in media over the years by the means inaccurate information or what we call it as fake news being spread about them. Many cases have emerged in the past where the informed professional in media be it print or broadcast have hyped up a situation regarding mental health to such a level that it took an ugly turn changing the entire point of “awareness”.

Just mentioning that one is concerned about mental health is not enough, one needs to get in their normal thought process where it is thought as freely about like any other health issue. People are very convenient when they are to express concerns about their any other illness like diabetes, blood pressure or anything of that sort they are very open when they talk about it in public. They receive lot of support from their family members, they are suggested doctors medicines and all sorts of help that they can avail to treat themselves. But when it comes to express their thoughts about depression, anxiety or any other issue related to mental health the judgemental side of the society comes up. The treatment and reactions to this are so uncanny as if the brain is not a part of the body and it doesn’t deserve the same treatment like that of a kidney or heart or any other organ of a human body. The society, till date, has been living with similar taboos which are tried to be broken by several “informed” people through various means.

Apart from all those providing the people with the misinformation, the spread of awareness regarding mental health has been done in a very proficient manner, by the informed professional and the process has been improvised better in the present scenario.

Many student and other organisations have been coming up with several portals and helplines, in order to provide all sorts of information regarding mental health which includes contacts, addresses and other information about mental health professionals who have been helping people actively.

The most important aspect of addressing issues related to mental health is the face to face interaction with the person facing the problems. Calls and informal organizations have their place, yet nothing can beat the pressure busting and the state of mind boosting like that of a face to face interaction with someone.

The key is to connect with somebody who is an "acceptable audience"— somebody you can routinely converse with face to face, who will hear one out without their own originations of how they should think or feel. A decent audience will tune in to the emotions behind their words, and won't interfere with, judge, or censure them.

Connecting is anything but an indication of shortcoming and it won't make you a load for other people. A great number of people are complemented by the fact that you believe them enough to trust them. And if you don't feel that you have anybody to go to, there are acceptable approaches to go forward with new companionships and improve your relations with the people who have always been there with you as a guardian angel. Meanwhile, there is as yet an incredible advantage to connecting vis-à-vis with colleagues or individuals you experience during the day, for example, neighbours, individuals in the checkout line or on the transport, or the individual serving you your morning tea. Giving in a smile helps in solving a lot of problems which might appear otherwise.

All this might help to kick start the process of the journey towards the well being of the mind.

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