India is mourning the death of #SSR. A lot has been spoken about depression, life of celebrities and so on. Previously some celebrities have openly acknowledged they have faced it and have encouraged people to speak out; connect with friends or family or seek professional help.
There are two questions that arise here:
1. Do I know what I (my mind/ body needs)?
Since the time we have started understanding, our minds are trained for wants; to have good educational qualifications, good grades, entry into a reputed institute, have an entrepreneurial mindset, work with top notch firms, earn to be able to afford a house & amp.,
Were we formally educated on what our mind/ body needs? (these are needs for survival not restricted to food, clothing and shelter) We discuss subjects to do with the outer world for hours in the canteen or over the dinner table. How many times do we recollect having discussions about inner health, innate needs for hours with different people. Small talks are about politics, sports why not mind, emotions, feelings? May be they are personal, not to speak much on.
People come to talk of mental health only with suicide cases or other such events ; the season is typically during exam results or adversities eg farmers committing suicide. There are a handful who know that a healthy mind is also a dimension of success. It has to be a part of your life goals. Unfortunately people who are not on platforms like these or have access to such content haven’t even heard of Emotional Intelligence or Resilience or Mental toughness. To them life is about food , clothing , shelter , family and friends and some leisure time. How do we add having mental peace as a parameter of defining success? Who could be the influencers? Doctors? Celebrities? Writers? Government?
All say, the current pandemic is no less than a war; how about fighting your enemy day and night inside your minds; alone? There are very few who even know that they are a victim of depression, acknowledge it and seek assistance. It is usually taken as mental fatigue, mood change and others and pacified by intoxicants, abusing or another unhealthy habit; but the spiral continues unnoticed, untreated.
Seeking assistance is secondary; people need to be conveyed importance of mental health, observe our own behavior patterns, analyse the triggers, conduct self-analysis. I always believe, we all have the answers to our questions. Nobody else can provide them to us. All we need is someone to ask us the right questions and take us closer to our answers. Let us pledge to care for our minds as fondly as we care for our cell phones, our laptops and our cars.
2. How many people do I find trustworthy to connect with?
We are all living in a so called bubble. With Charles Darwin’s theory of ‘Survival of the fittest’ we are all fighting the battle to prove ourselves the fittest. Jealousy, anxiety, frustration, mistrust, hypocrisy have started to live with us more. While these being with us, our ability of having pure, honest relationships is declining. Under the pretext of being “practical” we have become no less than _________(safe to assume whatever you feel)
How do we expect people to reach out for help?The proportion of people causing us mental stress to people helping us is like Kauravas : Pandavas.
If we were not surrounded by people in these numbers who make our inner life hell, why would we need suicide helpline numbers or counseling or medicines to get people out of depression or similar symptoms? While I appreciate NGOs, people / coaches coming forward to offer help or even posting on social media that they are willing to help; for majority (ofcourse not all) its about money/ fame.
Instead why cannot all of us start being honest, lend a ear to our family, friends and neighbours? I feel this should be more real and feasible. A random person from LinkedIn is less likely to reach out to you for help. But our sons’, daughters, son/ daughter in laws, friends and neighbours are more likely to vent out day to day stressors to us. This will keep situation from aggrevating to a stage where professional help or an unknown person can only offer support and they feel insecure about reaching out to known people.
1. Let’s not rag our juniors at college
2. Let’s not ill treat elderly people or daughter in laws at home
3. Let’s spend more time with our kids and build trust
4. Let’s stop by once in a while and strike genuine conversations with our neighbours, our office assistants, our maids, our drivers , laundry man, our vegetable vendors and any one who are a part of our lives in some or the other way.
5. Let’s invest in relationships!
LET US LEND A EAR TO SOMEONE!