Till now, COVID 19 has taken away more than 3 million lives. Today, wherever we look, we see people who lost their family, friends, and jobs. We see the destabilization of state infrastructures. We see the most powerful swept away by the force of nature.
Amidst all these burning problems, mental health might seem to be an issue of a far lesser magnitude. But I, as a teenager, can guarantee that it’s certainly not as irrelevant as it may seem to many, at least when we consider the implications.
The inevitable lockdown circumstances have given rise to yet another new set of problems. Problems that, perhaps, wouldn’t catch our attention on a typical working day. Our inner vulnerabilities become the strongest when we are alone and have nobody to open up in front. This situation explains the rising trend of mental health issues during this lockdown period. It goes without mentioning that the worst sufferers are people with stress and anxiety disorders, inferiority complex, low self-esteem, and depression; many of them ultimately give up on life.
It’s saddening that such issues are also the most stigmatized ones of our society, accompanied by “the shame element” wherever they go. However, society doesn’t stay indifferent forever to the cries of the quiet. It wakes up with the light of candles lit on the streets, with the loud slogans of youths who lost their friend, with the shares of the last post that their friend gave. But maybe it’s too late by then; that friend’s messenger call would’ve better served its purpose if we gave it when they needed it the most.
And that’s where the question arises, ” How late is too late ?”
As human beings, we all have emotions. From the most carefree individual to the most sentimental guy in the group, everyone has some vulnerability or the other. These vulnerabilities make us human and not some invincible hero from a fictional movie.
It’s not about being vulnerable. It’s about being too reluctant to admit it. Often, this reluctance leads us to bottle up our feelings within ourselves. And just like a glass overflows when it can’t take any more water, we go through a mental breakdown when we can’t keep our vulnerabilities within ourselves anymore. Some people survive it. And some people don’t.
We can tackle mental health problems, but only if we are willing to solve them. To reduce mental health issues, we need to start looking at mental health from a different angle. The sooner we remove the shame element, the sooner we can deal with this culture of negligence. Instead of talking about mental health for the sake of talking about it, we need to reach out to the sufferers. Often, they are the ones who stay isolated from the crew, wandering alone in the dark corridors of untold sorrow and unshared pain. However, to bring them out, all we need is a text that says :
” Hey! You okay there? You can share with me if there is something that’s bothering you! Remember I’m here for you, dear.”
Sometimes, all it takes to save a life is a text. Just make sure that it’s not too late!