Mental Health During Lockdown
What dealing with mental health issues during a lockdown is really like.
A frustrated man.
“Mental Health is the level of psychological well-being or an absence of mental illness. It is the state of someone who is functioning at a satisfactory level of emotional and behavioural adjustment”. While the nation was already stuck in a mind-numbing lockdown for months with people struggling to keep themselves productive, happy, or (at least) sane, the news of Sushant Singh Rajput’s demise came as a bolt out of the blue. A beautiful person who worked hard to make his way to the top, with an immense amount of talent, dreams, a bucket list of things he wanted to do and so much more. Everyone could find a piece of themselves in him and identify with his journey. This heart-wrenching news made the fans of the actor and people of all ages grief. He deserved more, everyone believed.
And people made sure to express their thoughts in their social settings, dinner table conversations, and online platforms. The moral obligation to talk about mental health along with the toxic culture of the internet has resulted in trolls no one can be held accountable for. Mental health is important is something believed unanimously and that’s when the hypocrisy is pointed out. Reckless bashing of Rhea Chakraborty after thoughtless media trials and roasting people for posting excessively on social media amid lockdown (forgetting it’s a potential coping mechanism for a huge chunk of people) lies in the same spectrum of ignorance. Mental health deserves more conversations, says everyone. But are we really talking about it the right way? Everyone has monsters under their bed and skeletons in their closets. The cost of dealing with (mental health) issues all by oneself is as high as it is normal. Lockdown has not made it any better. It is a realization that surrounding yourself with the company wasn’t just mere socializing, it was crucial for a healthy emotional balance.
With ever-accelerating cases of COVID-19 in India and weak policies by the government for tackling the economical and health aspect of the pandemic, everyday struggle to manage food and minimal livelihood are more intense for the middle and working class of the society. According to police records, at least 113 suicide cases were recorded between the time of April and June out of which 10-15 percent are said to be due to financial distress. Other factors like displacement, poverty, and other personal pre-existing issues also play an important role in such drastic decisions. For the youth, lockdown is “uncertainty in the future”. The batch of 2020 has already lost its much-awaited farewell to their educational institutions. Placements and future plans never came easy but with the declining economy, one could only hope for some sorcery to sweep them off their feet and save them. Universities like DU are still adamant to take online exams of the final year students while the student protest against this decision for issues of accessibility to the internet, time and space to study, and declining mental health are ignored.
The availability of professional help is now close to none. This results in over-deliberation and stalling for asking for minimum help. Such vulnerability is a consequence of these delicate times where everything lies on the edge. News outlets should take responsibility for reporting news of sensitive nature more thoughtfully of their audience for the impact of the fourth pillar of democracy is more than it realizes.