Mental Health: Need to Accept Diversity

They say, “the brain works 24 hours a day, every day since our birth till the day we fall in love”.

Pardon my joke, as serious as it seems, mental health is a significant but completely ignored social issue. Especially in our part of the world where a person is branded as “Pagal”, or “psycho” just for visiting a psychiatrist and families of people with mental health issues face social boycott and mockery. Hence, the stigma about mental disorders, depression, and anxiety against patients and their families prevents people from seeking medical, psychiatric, or social help in such cases.

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The brain is the most complicated part of our body. It controls our thoughts, memories, emotions, motor skills, breathing, vision, touch, hunger, temperature, and every process that regulates our body. Just like any other part of our body, the brain may also experience illness, fatigue, or stress. We need to care about its well-being just like we care about other body parts. Mental and physical health are equally important parts of our overall health.

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Although often used interchangeably, mental health issues and mental illness are not the same. Mental illness needs proper diagnosis and medical care. However, anyone and almost everyone experience mental health issues in different phases of their lives. Feelings, handling success and failure, handling negations and acceptances, losing loved ones, welcoming new family members, feeling scared, angry, broken & helpless, handling unexpected situations, stresses and joys, are absolutely normal emotional phases of life, the way one handles those feelings and the support he/she gets makes all the difference.

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We need to learn and teach our kids how to accept and say ‘no’ politely. We need to accept that “different” doesn’t necessarily mean “loathsome”. We need to accept that diversity is the beauty of the human race. That’s the key to accepting and being accepted for who we are. let’s be open to personal and cultural growth.

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This Opinion has been submitted by Muhammad Ahmed. He can be contacted at @EyeMKhokhar on Twitter.

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