Why do we view mental health as absurd?

As human beings we all have hard times in life, because it’s not always colour pink. I went through depression during and after my divorce. 

However, I got over it because of my strength and with the help of my psychiatric sections. On the other hand, not everyone is capable to fight depression and, therefore, it can develop into a more serious problem affecting mental health.

Many people have a view and react toward mental health issues backwardly. On several occasions, I have discussed this topic with friends. First, it irritates me when I listen to phrases they use in reference to people with mental health. For example, lazy, to refer to someone that has depression; or crazy to someone with low self-esteem. These comments mostly come from a woman friend toward another woman. 

Second, if we know of someone attending sessions with a psychologist, we assume that their life is at the edge of a cliff, or is that they have a terrible life. I have learned that our ignorance and misunderstanding are likely the reasons for our misconception of what is mental health concept. 

Unfortunately, people with mental health conditions regularly experience violations of human rights, discrimination, and stigma. This is what my friends do. 

So how do we define mental health? The American Psychiatric Association states that “mental illnesses are health conditions involving changes in emotion, thinking or behaviour (or a combination of these). Mental illnesses are associated with distress and/or problems functioning in social, work or family activities”.

Mental illness is common. In a given year:

  • nearly one in five (19 percent) adults experience some form of mental illness in the United States of America.
  • one in 24 (4.1 percent) has a serious mental illness.
  • one in 12 (8.5 percent) has a diagnosable substance use disorder.

Mental health conditions include mental, neurological and substance use disorders, suicide risk and associated psychosocial, cognitive and intellectual disabilities.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), suicide mortality is high (close to 800 000 deaths per year), disproportionately affecting young people and elderly women in low- and middle-income countries. 

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

I ask myself over and over, do my friends realize or know that someone with mental health can be on this list of suicides per year? When I was depressed, I never thought of suicide, but I didn’t eat and sleep for many days. In addition,  I did not have the energy to do anything. 

As I mentioned before, my mental health did not go into a deeper problem. One of the main reasons for this is because I had a lot of support from my family members and friends. Thanks to all. The second reason is that I didn’t care what people thought about me. And lastly, I realized that my well-being was my priority.

I know it’s not easy to understand someone that has mental health issues, however; from my experience, if you have not lived it or have someone close to you with these issues, then I recommend you to please:

-Don’t judge.

– Start with yourself, the discussion and questions about the problem. 

-Don’t be reactive, instead be proactive.

-Read about health awareness to increase understanding and reduce stigma and labels. 

– Ask the person you want to help about his/her situation don’t gossip about it. 

Remember that we are human beings, therefore; we all can have mental health issues, so let’s TAKE CARE OF OURSELVES.

One thought on “Why do we view mental health as absurd?

  1. Your views are on point, especially in Black/Brown communities due to ancient ideas about providers and fear of ostracization. It is always best to find a provider that you feel comfortable with and if possible one who can identify with your cultural identity.


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