Even in this age where everyone is vocal about inclusion and equality, the moment anyone encounters the term “mental health” – a cloud of negativity becomes evident in their demeanour. Unfortunately, for a majority, mental illness is something to be hated, disgusted or be afraid of. These shocking findings have come up in a survey conducted by The Live Love Laugh Foundation.
The statistics that emerged from TLLLF survey were deeply unsettling. Even in 2018, a shocking 62% people resorted to offensive, derogatory terms like ‘crazy’, ‘mad’, ‘stupid’, ‘retard’, ‘careless’ or ‘irresponsible’ – while referring to mental health patients.
This deep-rooted insensitivity has no scientific basis, rather it has stemmed from centuries of misconception, the absence of proper understanding and attention towards mental health. It is sad that even the educated minds lack awareness about mental well-being, which is evident in the hesitation of an educated person to seek professional help, owing to the fear of being judged, mocked or left alone.
Vivek, an entrepreneur from Mumbai, narrates his struggle with depression and how the societal stigma made the battle harder.
Vivek is #NotAshamed to share his story.He has overcome the shame felt by those who are affected by mental illness, which can often dissuade them from speaking about their struggles and seeking professional help.We urge you to share the story of your mental health journey like Vivek has. We believe this act can empower others who are suffering in silence.Log on to http://thelivelovelaughfoundation.org/ for more.
Posted by The Live Love Laugh Foundation on Tuesday, October 9, 2018
This World Mental Health Day, The Live Love Laugh Foundation has launched a campaign to focus on mental wellness while aiming to eradicate the deep-rooted social prejudices towards mental health.
In a first-of-its-kind campaign, TLLLF is trying to send out the message that depression is not something to be ashamed of. To establish this viewpoint in the mass mindset, they have designed the campaign in a unique framework – focusing on two aspects.
The first part of their campaign shows real-life survivors – whose faces are blurred with an attempt to mask their identity – narrating their personal struggles with depression. They leave an important question for the audience to answer – “I suffered from depression, should I be ashamed?” or “I suffered from a mental illness, should I be ashamed?”
The second stage, launched on World Mental Health Day, reveals the faces of the survivors where they strongly declare that they are #NotAshamed of their tryst with mental illness.
TLLLF founder Deepika Padukone, has urged everyone in a video to voice their depression/mental illness survival stories using the hashtag #NotAshamed, to garner more support and confidence for the silent sufferers.
How stigma is making each day harder for a sufferer
While a majority of survivors agreed that a doctor might be able to help them through counselling and medication, only a minuscule percentage actually visited one.
People dealing with depression or any other mental health issues in India fear to come out in the open, talk or share about it – which, as per psychologists, is the first step towards recovery. The patients hardly expect any support from their circles, rather their initial experience of facing judgement, unwarranted and insensitive comments have compelled them to suffer alone in silence. Lack of positive communication and encouragement aggravates the depression into a more serious state which can drive the patients to take a drastic step, like self-harm or even suicidal attempts.
Just like any physical sickness, depression is also just another illness where timely intervention can help the patient recover. Yet, the society continues to shame the sufferers, leaving them in a whirlpool of overwhelming emotions which they fail to vent as “no one would understand.”
The Logical Indian take
The survey report by The Live Love Laugh Foundation has presented some disturbing facts and figures. This alarming scenario can only be addressed by creating an environment where open conversations can take place. A constructive conversation about depression can yield wonderful positive results for the sufferers. The #NotAshamed campaign empowers survivors alongside generating more mental health awareness. The Logical Indian team applauds this much-needed initiative by The Live Love Laugh Foundation.