Do you know that ideal image of a ‘self made person’ ? How about we stop celebrating that?
We talk a lot about mental health stigma these days, but isn’t an important piece missing in those discussions? The stigma inside our heads? The voice that keeps us from reaching out for help? The voice that tells us constantly to be an adult and get over it? To try a bit harder?
One of the hardest challenges I have faced in the past seven months of organizing a support group is convincing people that it is okay to get some help. No one, not one person who showed up believed that they deserved help. The discussions always went in the direction of ‘there are so many people in the world that have it worse, maybe I should stop complaining’. This involved a girl who wanted to die at the age of seven because her alcoholic parents threw her out of her home, not that you need such a reason to feel bad, just so you get an idea of how far the stigma goes!
May be you are right, things aren’t so bad for you now. But does that mean you should wait until it gets worse? If you were having a flu would you feel guilty for taking a day off? Would you feel guilty going to a doctor if the flu doesn’t get better after a few days? Imagine that you mind had a small flu if it helps.
May be it is not that you are not trying hard enough, may be you are not getting the right kind of help.
Let me tell you a story, there was a time when self harm was my answer to pain. I found refuge in that. I didn’t know it was something other people also did. I felt ashamed, and told myself a million times not to do it, it didn’t work, people told me not to do it, it didn’t work. Then I went to the clinic and there they asked me to try holding an ice pack, or to try drawing on my body with a red pen, or to put a cream on my skin that gives a burning sensation but doesn’t do any real damage, and some of those things worked and they still help me when I get that urge again.Do you see what I am trying to say? There are a lot of resources out there that you might not know of.
Don’t get me wrong, we all have strengths within us to do every fucking thing, but does that mean we always have to do things alone?
I cannot think of many things that are important than your health and that involves your mental health as well. Please put it above every damn thing!