mental health


The cultural context in India undeniably aggravates women’s mental health concerns, emphasizing the need for gender-specific mental healthcare.

There’s no doubt about the fact that the world has witnessed significant advancements in healthcare and societal norms over the past century. However, hushed conversations around mental health persist, especially when it comes to women. It was not very long ago that women in the Western world were put through procedures as invasive and barbaric as lobotomies under the guise of mental health treatment. While methods have definitely evolved, the stigma surrounding women’s mental health and the lack of adequate care are problems that still very much endure.

It is widely accepted in medicine that gender is a key determinant of mental health, as there are differences in the needs and experiences of people of different genders. Biological differences (in addition to social factors) keep women more vulnerable than men to mental health disorders. Estrogen and progesterone make women more susceptible to developing fear and anxiety as they regulate mood and cognition. Reproductive health and pregnancy-related mental illnesses also contribute to the disproportion. However, in India specifically, another reason for the need for gender-specific care is realized when we look at the intensity of how social factors determine women’s mental health in India.

The patriarchy is not unique to our country, but the ways in which it is upheld today are strikingly more severe than most. The preference for the male child and subsequent lower educational status of women, stricter standards for behaviour, early marriage, and the subservient role in the marriage household are all common parts of the lifestyle of an average Indian woman. These factors, coupled with the alarming rates of domestic violence, contribute to the occurrence and treatment of mental health disorders among Indian women.

As of October 2021, the majority of those facing mental health issues in India were women, but the obstacles associated with seeking assistance deterred them from doing so. Women in Indian society are expected to be the sole caretakers of not just the children in the family but also the adults. Even in ‘modern’ households where they might not exactly be expected to do so, women tend to assume responsibility for the same because such are the effects of deeply ingrained patriarchy. When women barely give up on such ‘duties’ while physically sick, it’s easy to understand why a study mentioned that they are apprehensive to seek mental health care in fear of being rendered useless and becoming a burden to their families. In fact, that is exactly how society perceives women with serious mental health struggles, as a study showed that such women are twice as likely to experience physical and sexual abuse as the general female population in India.

It is thus very evident that gender-specific mental health care is an imperative in India, and although we’ve seen notable progress in the past decade, it unfortunately remains accessible primarily to a privileged demographic within the metropolitan cities. The path towards extending this care to all of India will require elevating societal awareness, encouraging open dialogue, and advocating for reforms in healthcare policy. It is a long road, but one that needs to commence because women’s mental health is not some marginal concern but an integral component of society’s well-being.

Read also: Who Protects Our ‘Safe’ Spaces?

Featured image credits: ABP Live

Arshiya Pathania

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10 years ago, when Bunny from ‘Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani’ said, “Mai kabhi rukna nahi chahta, Naina”, all of us felt it. It was our initial brush with one of those whose life revolved around their glamorous, quirky job – their ultimate dream. But do dream jobs really exist? Or are they a fantasy only meant for TV screens? Should getting a ‘dream job’ be the ultimate endgame of our life? Let’s find out.

Imagine waking up in a new country every day, meeting new people every time and all of that because of your job! What a dream! Anybody would want it. But sadly, none of it’s true.

When we talk about ‘dream jobs’ today, the conversation automatically takes itself to the ‘creative professions’ – a cinematographer, an independent musician or even a travel photographer, like Bunny. It’s bizarre how we think about the ‘dream job’ aka the job that would give the ultimate happiness and satisfaction. An ideal job for us then looks like something outside the ‘boring 9 to 5 routine’, something that gives your life ‘raftaar and pagalpan’ (in Bunny’s words), so that everyday seems like a mystery, an adventure, a rush of adrenaline and presents itself with unusual surprises. All of this sounds glamorous, anybody would fall for it. And this is exactly where the toxic narrative of fantasizing a dream job begins.

Much like the idea of a ‘dream school’ (“my life is worth it only if I get into Harvard”), the idea of a dream job grabs many. We are constantly on the rush to be different, to be unique, to do something outside the box. The ‘motivational’ posters of “only dead fishes go with the flow” or “The road less taken” by Robert Frost scream to us. Doing something ordinary seems like a criminal offence, you are officially branded as a sell-out in the society. Try telling your friends that you dream about nothing besides a 9 to 5 job with your briefcase and filling your boring accounts sheet and…ugh, it’s so dull that I can’t describe it any further. Exactly. That is what is deemed of mundane things.

But then the question arises, what’s wrong with wanting ordinary things? Does life always have to have an extraordinary purpose?

Think about it: A job that is secure, with a proper and adequate salary, with health insurance and that sustains you through the day or a job with no defined hours, meagre pay with no security of sustenance and you could be fired any day. Sadly, the narrative of a dream job has been woven in such a way today that we tend to overlook all the downsides that come with this ideal job. Even though Bunny might be having the time of his life exploring restaurants in Portugal and sipping wine in Paris, at the end of the day, he comes home to an empty hotel room, exhausted through his bones and overworked. But he has quite a sustainable income, you might say. Well, fiction and reality differ, after all. * Winks *

This is also quite a prominent thing that is wrong with the creative industries. They paint a picture of being an industry ‘run by passion’ and ‘doing what you love’ and tend to exploit this same ‘passion’ of people by overworking them. All the sayings like, ‘when you love your work, it never feels like you are working’. All bullsh*t. One fine Tuesday afternoon, after you have been overburdened with tons of job assignments for months, leaving you no time to even have lunch or call your loved ones and not enough income to clear your rent dues, you are going to snap. That dream job ain’t gonna look so dreamy anymore.

But is this all about money? Does capitalism matter over our passions? Not really, but it stealthily creeps into your ‘ideal job’ as well. Imagine working day and night for your ‘passion’ and investing all your sweat and tears into it. Initially, it gives you a sense of satisfaction, of fulfilment. You have something to defend your job at your friend’s party (provided you get the time to attend those because Bunny won’t), “My work fulfils me from within, so what if the pay is less?” But ultimately, you start to wear out. Sometimes, you do not want to wake up in a new city every day. Some days, you just want to cuddle up in your bed, listening to the familiar sounds of the dishwasher at your home, in your home town.

And this brings us to another aspect wrong with this ‘dream job’ and even Bunny mentions it. “Naina, mai kabhi rukna nahi chahta” but Bunny, dream jobs are such wo tumhe rukne bhi nahi dete. That is how the industry runs. Mental health breaks are considered invalid under these settings. What do you mean you need a break from the thing you ‘love’? The only thing that gives you happiness in your life is giving you problems as well? It might sound bizarre, but yes sir, it’s true. Your so-called passion or your ‘monetized hobby’ can give you trouble. Because, essentially, it ain’t a hobby anymore but another cog in the capitalistic wheel that has hypnotized you with its so-called glamour. And hence, ‘rukna’ becomes a non-existent concept in this industry- you work despite how you are feeling because your so-called passionate work will cure and heal you. That’s how they advertise themselves, at least.

And hence, you and me were so easily mesmerized by Bunny’s life back then. Who needs friends and family when your job is already so fun? Well, another major red flag of this dream job narrative. This job asks you to compromise everything, your friends who stood by you for years, your family that hasn’t seen you in ages or the girl you wanted to marry. All of it, for the ‘raftaar’ and the ‘pagalpaan’.

Yes, ordinary life, wanting simple things or ‘dal chawal’ might sound incessantly dull but life often balances itself out. Bunny might be living his ‘udna, daudna, girna’ life but at the end of the day, he comes back home to a cold hotel room, has no clue what his friends and family are doing back in India and hasn’t felt the walls of his childhood home in years. Contrastingly, Naina has a so-called dull and boring job but comes home to a warm family, home-cooked meals and people to lend her a shoulder when she needs it.

Even though it might sound like it, I’m not trying to invalidate having a passion or an ambition. Sure, passions and ambitions are important. They are what keep us going. But it’s also important to sometimes pause, stand back and question the system, wipe your lens and figure out the labels – what is dull and what is glamorous, what is real, what is unreal. And sometimes, to say to yourself that although mai udna, daudna, girna chahta hu; rukna is also important and a part of life, even in your ‘dream job’.

Featured Image Credits: Google Images (iDiva)

Read Also: A Lost Cause: A Testimony to Dying Jobs

Priyanka Mukherjee

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The internet age, especially the reign of social media and the increasing prominence of pop-culture has brought with it the infamous ‘labelling culture’ and brought with it bouts of armchair psychologists. While we have willingly accepted and internalized the ‘Instagram trend’ of fixer-culture, it’s imperative now that we stand back and actually think about it. Can your well-meaning 3AM-therapist friend also be harmful to some extent? What’s wrong with armchair psychology? It’s time to deep dive.

Quite often, you have heard your ‘selfish’ roommate being called a ‘narcissist’ or your ‘socially-awkward’ friend being randomly labelled as ‘autistic’ within your friend circle. This is what we call as armchair psychology- jumping to labels and conclusions without understanding a person’s behavioural context or even being qualified enough or licensed to diagnose individuals with mental health labels. And this is going wrong in several ways.

When we talk about ‘armchair psychologists’, it refers to individuals who are not licensed to practice therapy or treat mental-health related issues, or in simple words, aren’t the professionals. This also includes your 3AM-therapist friend, as well. But you might say that your friend only means to give you ‘friendly advice’ but usually it isn’t true. As Gen-Zs inspired by Instagram culture, we often are swallowed by the ‘labelling culture’. Your so-called therapist friend also comes into a loop of inserting labels to your problems- “Stop being a psychopath”, “Don’t be so bipolar about stuff”, “You’re so possessive”, “So hyper-sensitive” or “so obsessive” yada yada yada.

Professional psychotherapists usually do not jump ahead and insert labels to issues. They go through several sessions, slowly analysing patterns and try to resolve individual aspects, rather than attaching labels to your personality. Giving mental health advice without formal training not only may push individuals to internalize those pseudo-labels and associate them to their problems but also may tend to neglect real mental health disorders. Armchair psychology leaves the other person out of the conversation, allowing you to put on your ‘judgy’-goggles and restricting their persona according to your own perspective. Not everybody you dislike is a “psychopath”, when you judge people so soon, it stops them from opening up about their struggles. They tend to internalize the fact that they are probably a ‘psychopath’ and that’s when the cycle of harm begins.

While the Instagram age has opened up more avenues to have open and honest conversations about mental health and but this has also opened doors to an influx of armchair-psychologists. Taking it upon yourself to speculate other people’s mental health can be damaging. Hushed conversations like “Your ex-boyfriend is a total narcissist” or calling out celebrities on twitter, the age of armchair therapists is troublesome nevertheless.

Armchair psychology can even go beyond labelling, it may seem like – diagnosing someone with a mental health condition (“You definitely have borderline personality disorder, all the symptoms are there!”), offering psychological advice (“The only way to get over your triggers is to face them head on”) or making judgement about someone’s personal psychology (“She had a traumatic childhood so she trusts nobody around her”). This pretension of being experts trivialises the heavy weight of being diagnosed with mental health conditions and also propels stereotypes- not everyone who is socially-awkward falls on the autism spectrum and not every selfish person is a narcissist.

Moreover, armchair psychology can even lead to stigmatizing mental-health issues. Associating people’s controversial or abusive behaviour with mental health issues, perpetuates a harmful and inaccurate image of how people with mental issues behave. You tend to pathologize normal behaviour. Sometimes your roommate is just having a bad day and we do not need a diagnosis or a deeper psychological motivation as to why your friend is behaving the way she is.

But this pseudo-psychology, cuts down on ways to get proper treatment. If your loved one is truly struggling with a mental health issue, providing unqualified opinion to them might lead them down the wrong path for their recovery or even hinder them from reaching out towards professional resources or the help they need. On most days, they don’t need their friends to act like experts; they just need encouragement, support and someone who will listen.

While the well-intentioned therapist friend, often takes on the role of a ‘fixer’ with their ‘I can fix all your problems and you’ attitude, it’s time we start calling out this armchair-psychology. If you’re being targeted by an armchair psychologist, try to acknowledge their concerns, set boundaries and call out the harms. It’s absolutely okay to say, “I’m coming to you as a friend. I don’t need you to act like my therapist.” Or if you notice someone targeting someone else, be courageous enough to say,” As friends, our job is to support them, not judge them”.

Often times, we tend to act as armchair psychiatrists ourselves, unconsciously or consciously. Ending on a note of advice for all those therapist friends, if you are concerned about someone’s mental health, reach out and check in with their condition, and instead of passing labels and stereotypes, listen without judgement and connect them to proper resources, so that they can heal the right way.

Even though you might have an overwhelming urge to give advice and fix their issues, sometimes the best thing you can do is show them the right mental health resources, and be the friend they need you to be 🙂

Featured Image Credits: Google Images (IMDb)

Read Also: It’s Not Your Job to Fix Others

Priyanka Mukherjee

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The following article addresses the lack of counsellors in educational institutions as well as the perils of untrained counselling.

Counselling isn’t a recent concept, nor is it restricted to any particular sphere of life. One may come across counsellors in hospitals, work places, sports complexes and many more fields. With time, the stigma against mental health too has been evaporating appreciably, encouraging more and more people to seek guidance and counselling. However, an area which significantly requires professional counsellors are educational institutions, be it schools or universities.

One’s personality starts developing very early during their childhood. In fact, the most formative years of a person are their childhood. With regard to academic pressure or the need for socialisation in school, every individual responds to their environment differently. Very often, as children, they tend to lack the ability to express their worries to other adults- basically parents and teachers, who may not entirely understand the gravity of their problems. A child requires a safe space to be comfortable and discuss what goes on in his or her life. With schools being the primary environment after their homes, counsellors in schools provide that safe space. It is not just young children but also particularly adolescents who require this outlet for venting their emotions.

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) had made it mandatory for all schools to have counsellors in faculty. However, a very small percentage of private schools actually follow this mandate. For obvious reasons, the situation in government schools is far worse. What is even more interesting is how, very often, schools appoint teachers in faculty with degrees in sociology to act like counsellors for students. Now, what they fail to recognise are the serious perils that untrained counselling can cause. Therapy or counselling is not an easy process. A counsellor’s job has a large impact on the lives of his or her patients. They may have pure intentions in mind but in practice, untrained counselling can adversely affect the mental health of vulnerable children for the worse.

Especially among adolescents of the current generation, Gen-Z, with growing impact of social media and societal expectations, the need to feel accepted and understood grows stronger. So often teenagers avoid therapy because of several reasons including lack of trust. It is in these situations where the skills of good teachers and counsellors play a vital role. Teachers in schools should be able to recognise and reach out to “troubled” students, allowing them to understand the severe need for counselling. A good counsellor establishes trust and a non-judgemental platform for venting feelings and learning to cope with them.

Moving on from schools, universities and colleges too are in a dire need for trained therapists. Most colleges, particularly government funded like the Delhi University, have student mental health societies at best. These societies work towards knowledge dissemination and often invite professionals for seminars. While the initiative is highly commendable, the lack of chronic professional help may leave the students helpless and hopeless.

While we have made efforts in establishing the seriousness of mental health among students particularly, it is high time we take action to provide spaces for these students to seek help as and when required. As famous psychologist, Abraham Maslow, once quoted “in any given moment, we have two options: to step forward into growth or to step back into safety.” Let us allow ourselves to take that step forward and not look back.

Featured Image Credits: Nami.org

Aditi Gutgutia

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The great feeling we experience out on the dance floor has a scientific explanation behind it. Dance is more than moving to music, it’s the manifestation of self’s deepest passions and an escape to our own nirvana.

“The job of feet is walking, but their hobby is dancing.” – Amit Kalantri

What do weddings, parties, other celebratory occasions and now even funerals have in common? It’s dancing. Dance is the most rhythmic, gracious way of expressing emotion. A beautiful series of movements knitted together to match harmoniously with music; dance touches the soul of the performer as well as the audience. Numerous cultures have developed their own dance form that depicts its customs and traditions in a unique way.

When we move, we feel good. Grooving to the beats of music has many benefits on our physical well – being. It improves balance, flexibility, cardiovascular health and increases strength.Dance also leads to body awareness such as maintaining proper posture, thus preventing injuries and long term ailments. Apart from the benefits of movement and music, the most vital impact of dancing is on mental health. A growing number of researchers have proven that while dancing, an abundance of mood-improving chemicals is released within the body of the dancer. This happiness does not end as you stop dancing, rather can continue for more thana week. For those who find it difficult to express their feelings, dance offers an alternative mode to creatively express their mind. Therapists also prescribe dance to patients suffering from social anxiety and/or a fear of public speaking as dance allows people to ditch self-consciousness. According to a study conducted by the University of Oxford, dancing alongside other dancers “lights up brain pathways,” which break down the hesitation we usually face in interacting with people. Establishing these connections helps one experience a sense of oneness and unity.Dance as a therapy is particularly recommended for depression reduction.

Dance is the perfect combination of physical exertion and creativity. But the most incredible aspect of dancing, which makes it especially beneficial for mental health issues is its inclusivity. Anyone can participate, whether a teenager or a senior adult and move in whatever way music takes him/her. This makes it popular even among people who usually shy away from other kinds of exercises.

Currently, all of us are fighting difficult and testing times that have negatively affected our psychological well – being. Stress and boredom are peaking and the lockdown seems to have put a stop on all our pizzazz as well. But on the other hand, it is offering us a ‘me’ time to reset, rejuvenate and refocus. And, dance can prove to be our liberator. So, jump out of the couch, put on the song which makes you sway or shimmy and just dance, with/without a partner because ‘jab tak tumhare pair chalenge tumhara mood accha rahega, tumhare pair ruke toh yeh stress badega (as long as your feet move, you will be in a good mood, if your feet stop moving, stress will increase).’

Feature Image Credits: Dreamstime


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Universities and colleges across the country have been issued guidelines by the University Grant’s  Commision (UGC) to address psychological concerns of students during the COVID-19 lockdown.


“During the period of national lockdown, it is equally important to address any kind of mental health and psychological concerns of the student community during and after the COVID-19”, said UGC Secretary Rajnish Jain in a recent notice addressed to vice-chancellors and principals across the nation. 


UGC has therefore directed all colleges and universities to set up mental health helplines for assisting students during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The helplines would be regularly monitored and managed by Counsellors and other identified faculty members who are capable of guiding students in the right direction. 


Official Notice:



UGC emphasized that in order to reassure the student community to avoid any kind of stress or panic in the prevailing situation vis-a-vis their studies, health and other issues, all universities must take measures for mental health and psychological well-being of their students.


The commission appealed to colleges to remain calm and stress free. It also suggested forming COVID-19 help groups of students headed by hostel wardens or senior faculty members that can identify their friends or classmates in need of help and provide necessary counselling to deal with stress and anxiety. 


“There should be regular mentoring of students through interactions that can be achieved via telephones, e-mails, digital and social media platforms”, Jain added. 


The official video:


Caption: Colleges are expected to share videos on managing one’s mental health and well-being during the COVID-19 outbreak through their websites.


UGC has also shared the Psycho-Social toll-free helpline number of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare – 0804611007. Students and faculty members can contact this helpline to seek professional counselling to resolve their mental health concerns.

Feature Image Credits: Zee News

Aishwaryaa Kunwar

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Baba I can’t do it anymore. I am an extrovert and being trapped like this for more than two weeks now, during the lockdown, is suffocating me inside the walls of my own house. My anxiety is rising with each passing day, please help me out.

Oh! My vada don’t worry. Jug Bbaba is there for you just like Sex Amma, and will sort your worries in a jiffy. Quarantine is difficult for all of us whether it’s the inability to go out, or the uncontrollable daily cravings of those momos you kids eat these days, everything is difficult about it. But, you should remember my vada you are not alone in this Sambhar of the Coronavirus outbreak. We are all in this together.

Not paying much heed to the negatives and diverting our attention towards the positives is something that can help us all. For example, can you think of any other instance before this quarantine when you and your Amma, Appa, Aakka and all the rest of your family members spent such a long time together? In today’s world, not just you, we all spend a major part of our day either earning money or preparing ourselves to be able to earn it in the future, amidst which we often forget, our near and dear ones.

Hence, instead of sitting all alone in your room, binge watching the entire day, try to strengthen your family bonds by talking to your Akka or playing with your Thambi or just help your Amma out. Another efficient remedy to anxiety can be meditation. Even your Sex Amma is a big fan of it. Simply closing your eyes and getting rid of all the unwanted thoughts which clinging to your mind does wonders. In fact you can try out the many apps that provide guided meditation to beginners.

So, my Medu, plan every day, learn a new skill, and utilise this time to do what you wanted to do for a long time but were always inhibited by the shortage of time.

Hope this helps!

Your mental health companion, 
Jug Baba


Bringing in the foreground- the issue of rising mental health issues with those strata of the society which is pushed in the background with ease of oblivion, negligence, and denial.

The one we honour with superficial and pretentious superlatives like a multi-tasker, caregiver and resilient is subjected to suit the likes of our ease and comfort, where we as a society conveniently flip the switch from that- to labelling her as a nobody, serving subject and a labour machine who has no entitlement to emotions of her own. This only throws light on the irony, hypocrisy, and failure of a coherent society.

Perpetually propagated ideology since time immemorial till today is celebration and romanticism of the sacrifices and suppression of desires that the housewives engulf in for the sake of their families. We often express ourselves as being grateful to the relentless hard work our mothers and wives do for us when de facto we should be feeling guilty. The learning outcome should be to change the status quo, and not to further reinforce it. The apportion of this baggage has resulted in multiple mental health issues in our homemakers.

The most common cases would include homemakers facing anger issues, anxiety and depression as common threads. The stressors are the daily domestic hassles. Amidst all of this, if they take a break and mistakenly use it in watching soap operas, which should ideally provide an escape from their tiring life, it consequently does more harm than good. Working on the kernel of truth, a majority of them further sell the idea of an idealistic cohesive ‘bahu’ who is the chastest soul on earth and would do wonders for the sake of her family. Early arranged marriage, young motherhood, low social status, domestic violence, and economic dependence are some of the gruesome factors which affect them physically but more mentally because treatment for the latter is not even an option.

Data from the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) shows that one of the largest groups of suicides in India are housewives. Approximately 63 housewives took their own lives every day in the year 2018 accounting for 17% of all suicides on average. It’s already a known fact that NCRB data is guilty of underestimation since many cases go unrecorded. Instances of burn injury against housewives have been deliberately turned to be reported as accidents as reported by India spend indicates the further depletion of the authenticity of the data.

Psychological disorders such as multiple personality disorder when found among women especially in rural areas and those in urban areas who have superstitious beliefs are taken to shamans for exorcism where they are physically tortured. Even in educated households, some husbands are found guilty of falsifying mental illness allegations on their wives to institutionalize them and get an easy divorce. The conditions of institutions in India are very poor and what happens inside them to these women goes unquestioned. This was reported by the vice.

Suppression of sexual desires, the discrepancy between the real self and ideal self and mental exhaustion among other things which go unnoticed form the crux of the problems. From casual ignorance to complete disdain for the share of work done, homemakers have fallen victim to varying degrees of mental health issues. Acknowledgement of the work done by housewives and accreditation of dignity which has been long overdue can go a long way in alleviating the problems. Mental illness itself is a taboo in our country and access to therapeutic facilities is a privilege. With such uprise in suicidal tendencies and depression and lack of infrastructure and free-thinking society, the least we can do is to deconstruct the problematic approaches of inherent patriarchy which puts women in vulnerable positions in the first place.

Featured Image Credits: The Guardian


Umaima Khanam

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If you experience being engulfed by anxious thoughts, or questioning the simplest of ideas, this piece is for you. Sitting in a room tired of the repetitive attempts to make your mind a peaceful place, the tornado of negative thoughts encircling the comfort of your brain, the surfeit of stress as the only constant of your life – is what all defines excessive anxiety. A feeling of fear or apprehension before starting something new or significant is common and very natural but, having a brain filled with fright and restlessness for the entire day is what marks a minor form of unhealthy anxiety. We all go through anxiety its very common in the myriad of situations we encounter in a day. But, worrying excessively about every other thing because you think about its negative or unfortunate outcome, every single time points a lack in your mental well being. Overprotectiveness, order freakiness and panic attacks when the things don’t go in a pre planned way marks a person with an anxiety disorder. There are feelings which drag you down and make you unable to take up a new project or start a conversation with a new person. In a such a state where peace of mind becomes a rarity people very often find there solace in drugs, which paves the way for a truck full of other problems. The best solution in this condition is to talk and let your problems out to a mental health expert or practitioner. It is very important to understand that its completely fine and normal to face such a condition and it from nowhere gives you a tag of an insane or manic. Never ever feel hesitant or embarrassed to seek help, rather you should embrace yourself of identifying your problem and making attempts for its rectification in a world which suffers a mental health awareness crisis. Common doings such as tapping ones feet in a stressful situation or chewing nails whenever there is a work related pressure can reflect the beginning of deeper problems later. So, if you see your close ones doing so make sure you ask if there’s anything they want to talk about. Supporting your friends and family and standing by them instead of criticizing the happening is extremely crucial. In fact the person himself or herself should remain extremely positive about everything around as he/ she is a fighter in true means and deserves all the appreciation. Treat every moment as a fresh beginning and always remember what Howett said,” Just when the Caterpillar thought the world was ending, it became a butterfly.” Feature Image credits: Navya Jindal for DU Beat Kriti  Gupta [email protected]]]>

The stigma surrounding mental health is problematic for children that are brought up in an Indian household. Often due to parents’ refusal to accept the fact that there may be something wrong with their child.

Studies suggest that one in every four individuals experience mental health problems once in their lifetime. The stigma associated with mental health arises from the fear of being judged by society. There is a dire need for normalization of mental health issues that arise due to imbalances of chemicals in the brain. According to a survey, more than 50 percent of parents stated that they had never given ‘the talk’ to their children. The others claimed that they were clueless about how to address this issue. There were also some parents who claimed that they never felt the need to discuss the matter of mental health, as it was not important.

The narrative that mental health is not real because one cannot physically see it is utterly baseless. The brain is as much an organ as the heart, and moreover, it controls every part of the brain. MRI scans show the faulty production of chemicals, such as dopamine or serotonin, which are responsible for causing mental health issues like anxiety and depression.

Rebecca, a student of St. Stephen’s College, opines, “Some parents are supportive if we consider mental health and the others aren’t, but they can’t be blamed because this is how they were brought up and that reflects in their parenting.”

In addition to this, men are more likely to attempt suicide than women solely because they are conditioned to unhealthy insinuations such as “boys do not cry” and “man up”. These unhealthy behaviours are learned at an age when boys are extremely young. Seeking professional help does not come easy to children because their parents never created a safe atmosphere for them to talk about what they may be going through. Moreover, professional help cannot be sought without informing parents due to high expenses.

Many children and young adults continue to suffer in silence because they are afraid of what their parents might have to say about their situation. However, they fail to realize that communication is essential and talking to their parents may actually bring out their empathetic side.


Feature Image Credits: Kids Helpline

Suhani Malhotra

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