Towards equality of Mental Health in an unequal society

11:35 AM Oct 10, 2021 | Team Udayavani |

Case 1:
Raveesh (name changed), who used to talk to everyone before, has recently been quite dull. He sits in the online class all day. Studies for a while in a day. Apart from that, he plays some computer games. Never talks much to the family members. He does not like to socialize with others. No friends! He often sits on the sofa of the house and watches the roof.


Case 2:
Let’s see another case! She is the charm of the glamour world. She has a huge fan following on social networking sites. She is a very brave, confident person to the outside world. But she often cries alone. She doesn’t even know the reason for crying.

Case 3:
He got addicted to alcohol in an attempt to conceal his pains and hardship due to poverty. Although he was quite intelligent from an early age, his addiction to alcohol made him suffer further in his life. The childhood dream of becoming something is gone.

Looking at these case studies, what we realize is, some or other types of mental health issues are there for people from different social backgrounds. Although there are many stratifications in society, such as caste, creed, gender, race, class, mental health problems are present in all kinds of individuals. But the question is, how many people are aware of this and how many do go for treatment? More important than that is “how many people at least acknowledge their mental problems!?” Because, in general, we try to keep mental health issues within ourselves and make sure that they are invisible to others. We hide our vulnerabilities from others and showcase ourselves to be very ‘strong’. So the psychological tensions of many come out only once it becomes severe. In such a scenario, it requires more time for treatment.

As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, many people went through different types of psychological problems. Many psychological problems, such as fear, anxiety, anxiety, depression, irritability, insomnia, depression, depression, afflicted most people. Those who had been hiding their mental weaknesses slowly began to share with one another. A sense of openness was created when people came to know that many people were going through similar issues.


While the first wave was primarily “fear of unknown”, the second wave had hit the people very badly, taking away several lives. The pillars of families were knocked down when the earning member was defeated by the virus. Getting out of those mental trauma caused by this can take a lot of time.

There have been a number of suicide attempts in the homes of the poor due to the corona crisis. It is a big challenge even for psychologists to heal the pains of children who have witnessed their parents attempting suicide out of frustration and helplessness.

Working from home was nice and exciting at first, but many have difficulty maintaining a balance between their professional and personal life. Being at home has meant the need to devote more time to work. The meetings are becoming totally agenda-driven and there are no spaces for small talks which actually build a lot of connection among colleagues. Human relationships have become so superficial and virtual that people do not get the feeling of getting connected to one another. Working mothers do have a different challenge altogether. Despite being at home, working mothers are not able to give time to their children which is more painful for them.

There is a fear of a mental health pandemic happening around the world if similar situations continue for a longer period of time.

What to do?

Just like we have hand pain, foot pain, headaches, back pain, etc. we may get psychological problems as well. It could be uncontrolled anger, frustration, irritation, or any other dysfunctional patterns to severe psychological issues. However, it is important to note that, serious problems do not come suddenly unless there is some severe incident happening. We should be mindful of the psychological issues at the early stage so that they don’t create more problems for ourselves. Otherwise, one problem adds to the other and makes things more complicated.

Therefore, there is a need for a collective fight on mental health. Every one of us should start talking about mental health. We need to unshackle ourselves from the pseudo image that we have constructed for ourselves in the form of social status, prestige, power, and so on, and start seeing the inner essence of being human.

In addition to serious mental problems, other fears and negative thoughts must be taken seriously and corrected at the outset. Instead of accumulating the emotional baggage and struggling in life, it is better to address them and get relieved out of them so that we can lead happier lives.

Just like you meet a doctor when you have a fever or cold, you should go to a mental health expert when you have a breakdown in terms of your mental health. If bother too much about what others would say or think about you, then you would be paying a price because you will always be burdened and never relieved of your psychological issues.

Also, if any of your relatives are mentally disturbed, you need to reassure them that they have your support. In the situation of nuclear families, nowadays, where everyone thinks so much about their own lives, human relationships must be strengthened and jointedness must be increased. Through such actions, we can build a mentally healthy society.

Even if you have everything but happiness, then that life appears too shallow and meaningless. Hence, we all should strive to keep ourselves and our loved ones mentally healthy.

On this World Mental Health day, let us collectively work to make mental health accessible to everyone, irrespective of the social hierarchies and other social barriers.

Akshara Damle
Celebrity Psychologist, and Harmony Coach
Founder of ManoSamvaada.


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