India's Struggle With Mental Health
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Health and Wellness

India Is Ignoring The Mental Health Of It's Citizens And It's A Serious Human Rights Issue

It is necessary to change the attitudes of people in order to better the lives of generations to come.


As an Indian, I have seen countless examples of immigrant parents telling their children to "just be happy" or that "mental illness isn't real." I have also seen other cultures be more accepting of mental health issues and encourage the use of therapists and seeking help. In India, however, people feel that only "crazy" people go to therapists. I have always wondered what the reason for this was.

Based on what I have seen, it comes from deep cultural norms which promote the privacy of the individual.

People are often encouraged not to talk about their feelings because that is what is seen as "strong."

It is considered weak to cry and express emotion, especially for men.

Men are expected to be the leaders of the household and always put on a brave face — essentially, they are not allowed to be sad.

Women are seen as the more emotional of the two genders, but they are also expected to do their duty with no reservations and manage the household and kids with little emotional outlets. What I think is that in the culture, duty is found to be more important than personal happiness or satisfaction. Therefore, discussing feelings would be seen as a sign of not truly fulfilling a duty instead of as a human need.

Nowadays, things are changing and more celebrities are coming out with their mental health issues and it is becoming more commonplace to show vulnerability, but we are still a long way from it being normalized. In order to remedy this issue, I think it is important to teach children and teenagers to properly convey their emotions. If this is not done, the crime and suicide rates in India will continue to be on the rise because if people do not learn how to properly cope with their feelings, they will lash out by hurting themselves or others. I do not mean to say that everyone acts in this way, but a significant number of people do, especially in India. It is necessary to change the attitudes of people in order to better the lives of generations to come.

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