I grew up reading books that highlighted honesty as the best policy, heck! It was even the name of a book… Even, most of the traditional folktales all said something along those lines… Trust me! I know, I used to come to the village a lot as a child, and the adults like to talk, or let’s say tell stories.
Anyway, this is more than an article, it’s a rant.
The brain behind creating awareness about mental illness is very complex, but very simple…
We are saying, if you feel sick, please see a doctor.
We are saying, if you don’t understand something, how about asking questions, checking good internet sources, or listening to people who have knowledge or have experienced the said thing.
We are saying that when you’re sick, it’s okay to pray to who you believe in, but do well to back it up with some action, like seeking for help.
We are saying to stop pretending that something doesn’t exist just because you don’t know.
I was talking with someone who was diagnosed of a mental disorder, and his parents out of love of course, and probably fear and we can’t forget, ignorance decided that the best thing for him was to quit taking drugs, stay away from all external communication and pray… Now, this someone of mine attempted suicide more than twice, until other people intervened and he’s feeling better, and as I was listening to his story, all I was thinking was, how long before the parents try again, and that suicidal attempt goes just an action above an attempt and he dies; And it becomes… Oh wow! He was from a rich home, and such a lovely kid. Too bad, another one bites the dust.
Could this have been prevented? Yes. Would it have been easy? No. Would it have been worth it? Yes.
When we have a headache, we are advised to take medication. Let me go a notch higher; when one is asthmatic, the person might have to probably take drugs all their life; and that’s hard, but we do it anyway… What about sickle cell anaemia, we try to manage that too for a lifetime if need be.
So, when the sickness affects the brain, it’s a different ball game, and my rant on behalf of all the mentally challenged and ill people out there is… Why?
We have chosen to deny that it’s the same principle. One would think that we would rush to pay attention to the brain or nervous system because if it gets damaged, it affects the entire being… but the reverse is the case and it beats me.
It beats them all, it beats us all.
Stigmatizing someone who is mentally challenged doesn’t take it away, ignoring the need for your ward or child to get help doesn’t make it go away, explaining how it’ll be a dent on the family image doesn’t make it justified, trivializing an illness even if you pledge ignorance doesn’t make it okay.
Then denying someone from getting help? That, is just wrong.