Daulat Ram College

Valourisation of Mental Health : a critical approach

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In the times when social media seems to dominate over the workings of the world, where really is the emphasis on mental health?

Valourisation of mental health in today’s time through the medium of social media and popular culture has become almost a trend. It seems as though it has converted into a phenomena that has become a matter of vogue. Though it is true that awareness towards issues concerning mental health have gained attention in the recent times and people have started talking about the topics that were once hushed, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that these issues have also become a matter of taking pride about.

Bhumika Singh, who suffers from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) herself recently came across a statement on social media where a girl had used terms like ‘anxiety’ and ‘OCD’ very “light handedly”. She believes that these terms “have become adjectives that are used in everyday lives very lightly and it leads to the dissociation from their actual meaning and that ultimately leads to demeaning the suffering of the actual patients. Moreover, I’ve noticed a remarkable pattern – people who actually suffer from mental health issues such as OCD, depression or anxiety refrain from telling people about it or talking about it because these words have lost their meanings due to the fog of social media and misinterpretation and misuse on a wide scale. They think they’re better off supressing it.” Bhumika is a second year student from Daulat Ram College.

In light of this, if one examines the statistics regarding mental health issues in today’s time, it displays that the stress level in our generation is increasing day by day and that we have become highly vulnerable to illnesses that concern our mental health. Teenagers, from a young age are becoming victims of depression and anxiety. And though it is true that people are genuinely raising their concerns and taking steps to address mental illnesses (that were not considered to be illnesses in the first place), there are also people (and platforms) that are contributing to the ill use of these terms.

The excessive and extreme usage of words like ‘depression’, ‘anxiety’, ‘OCD’ etc. only culminates into their loss of meaning. It is not a tag that we should be wearing to gain attention. It is true that there is a need of becoming vocal about it, but we need to ask ourselves if the portrayal of depression and/or anxiety is really something that we want to show as glamorous.

Image Credits: Trevor Cole

Akshada Shrotryia
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