Mental Health Is Not A Black And White Issue, And It's Time We Talk About It
Health and Wellness

Mental Health Is Not A Black And White Issue, And It's Time We Talk About It

PSA: What you feel is valid and important. So please, stop bottling it up!

56
Leah Kelley|Pexels

It’s May and if you happen to be on social media a lot you probably have seen posts about mental health and know it’s mental health awareness month. Let’s get a few things out of the way, I am not American, I come from this little country you may have heard of: India. Where I’m from people react to the words "mental health" significantly different from how the world of Western social media does.

Walking through my campus this month, I’ve seen many campaigns and conferences on mental health being hosted and it’s made me stop and question what exactly I think about mental health. Then I realized, my definition of mental health is limited to mental disorders/illnesses and not having it. I’ve never actually thought about how stretching my limits and taking on more stress affects me.

This is where my culture has played into how I perceive mental health.

Growing up most Indian movies depicted people with mental health as either the butt of a joke or the antagonist, hence perpetuating the stigma and distorting the voice of those who actually suffer from mental illnesses. Most of my knowledge on the subject was due to the internet, and via a lot of trial and error, I waded through the sea of misrepresentation and romanticization of mental illnesses. But that’s just it, I still worked in a world of extremes where you either had a mental illness or were “neurotypical.” That is not how mental health works!

MentalHealth.gov defines mental health as “Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices.” It’s literally there in the definition! Yet so many people just can’t get that treating yourself and taking days off is not a sign of laziness or ineptitude but rather a way to take care of yourself.

Some days you just need to be by yourself and stay in bed. You shouldn't feel guilty for not going out. You don’t have to be studying constantly or suppressing how you feel because of how society would view you. You’re not going to just ignore an ache in your chest as being a part living, are you? So acknowledge your crippling fear of failing, of striking up a conversation, the stress you’re feeling right now because it’s not just life.

I know it’s hard to acknowledge let alone talk about, but if we don’t start talking about our mental health as just another aspect of taking care of yourself because of fear of social pressures or image, we are neglecting ourselves.

So let’s calm down with the memes on how stressed out or depressed we are and actually talk about how we are feeling. Yes, it’s hard and daunting because we don’t have a doctor to diagnose our symptoms. Instead, we have to figure it out by ourselves, but talking about your feelings and emotions is so much more important in this culture of toxic masculinity, increase in suicide rates, and lesser satisfaction in quality of life.

Mental Health is not a black and white subject but rather has many nuances and layers than we can quantize, but we can try to understand, try to empathize and try to live a better life.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Lifestyle

Founders Of Color Q&A: Yarlap's MaryEllen Reider On Destigmatizing Women's Health

The father-daughter duo co-founded the brand and has since generated a passionate, dedicated community of women.

MaryEllen Reider

I was lucky enough to meet MaryEllen Reider over a decade ago as a fellow freshman in college. Since then, I had the luxury of being able to witness her evolution from the faithful companion I went to my first job fair with to the woman who is now a pioneer in destigmatizing the portrayal of women's reproductive health.

Keep Reading... Show less

My favorite Editor was feeling under the weather yesterday. All I wanted was to make her a vegan iced matcha latte. With distance forbidding it, I instead decided to write up this quick, easy recipe. I made it to be vegan and organic for optimal health benefits.

Matcha green tea is made from grounded green tea leaf and it comes with the most antioxidant boost ever.

Keep Reading... Show less

This coffee brand is USDA organic. Newman's Own Keurig coffee flavors are all organic. They have French Roast, Decaf, and a Special Blend. I'm in a committed relationship with the French Roast flavor. The smell alone from dispensing 1 cup of coffee sets a whole cafe jazz vibe.

I'm already relaxed when I smell the coffee all ready for dressing. The way I make my coffee is simple and sweet, literally. I add a spoon of organic brown sugar and a splash of organic almond vanilla milk. This cup of coffee has changed my life forever. I have never been so productive in my life and I truly believe it's because the coffee is organic.

Keep Reading... Show less

These organic, cruelty-free skincare products are great for hot, sweaty summers. I use them every day, so you will find my honest opinion about them all. I highly recommend using organic products because they are least likely to be harmful to your body.

This may seem like an extra step when it comes to your beauty routine, but it's really easy. These 5 products could be the start of your next beauty venture.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

These 5 Black Handbag Designers Should Be On Every Accessory Lover's Radar

With the push to support more Black-owned businesses, we've put together a list of Black owned handbag designers.

Ever since the current upheaval of societal silence happening in the country caused by the #BlackLivesMatter movement, there has been a bigger push for people to support Black-owned businesses.

Granted, there are a lot fo Black-owned businesses to support, it just takes time to find them. With that being said, fashion is a sector, just like any sector really, in a culture that still has people of color calling out for more diversity.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Feel A Lil' Better: Because Therapy Dogs Aren't Just Cute, They're Working

Your weekly wellness boost from Odyssey.

No matter how good (or bad) you'd describe your health, one thing is for sure: a little boost is ALWAYS a good idea. Whether that's reading a new, motivating book, or listening to a song that speaks to your soul, there are plenty of resources to help your health thrive on any given day.

There are many different ways people overcome obstacles in their lives. Thankfully, the stigma surrounding therapy is slowly (but surely) slipping away and we're opening up about our problems and needs. For some, a good workout is just as relaxing. Others are learning how meditation can be a helpful tool in their mental health journey.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments