When you go to a doctor because your arm hurts or you are having trouble breathing, it is seen as normal. You have no problem telling your friends or colleagues that your arm is broken or that you have asthma. But what about when your brain hurts? What about when all you can think about is how no one cares about you or how you feel worthless or all the ways to kill yourself? Your brain is also a part of your body but why do parents hide it when they have to take their children to a therapist or psychologist? Why is it so shameful that you have to hide your mental health issues from your friends?
Teens and young adults find it so embarrassing to have a mental health issue that they hide it from even their parents! They put themselves into these miserable little worlds where negativity constantly swirls around them. They are too scared to ask for help! They feel like it makes them weak.
But that is so wrong! It takes guts to talk about your feelings. It takes courage to let people see what's inside your mind.
Another major issue present in the context of mental health is that parents, predominately those who have grown up in countries in which mental health is never taught, like Africa and India, don't see the dangers of depression and anxiety. They don't see what the big deal is when their child comes up to them, after spending days building the courage, to tell them that they feel sad and ugly. The parents tend to respond with "You're sad? Darling, don't be! And you're not ugly!" They weren't taught the right ways to deal with these sensitive issues.
When your child comes up to you and tells you they feel sad and ugly, you need to sit them down and have them talk to you. You NEED to explain to them that they are not weird or weak or broken. You need to ask them how long they have been feeling the way they are feeling right now. You need to get them the help they need.
Because if you don't...you may lose them.
As the new generation of young adults, it is our job to treat mental health issues with the same empathy and normality we would any physical illness. We must teach our parents as well as the new youth that mental health is very important and very real. And lastly, we must grow to be the parents who create environments for our children in which they are comfortable to talk about their feelings and emotions.