The Mask

The Mask

Woke up this morning with very saddening news of one of my favorites and a very promising actor found dead in his apartment, he was found hanging in his home. Within hours of his death, there are many speculations regarding the cause of his action. He was very young, what could be the reasons that turmoiled his head behind those enchanting smiles he possessed. And it is not right to discuss when we do not have the correct information. Especially nowadays when news spread like fire through these social media and we do share without knowing the facts.

After joining for my Bachelors in Psychology, a very common question that I always used to hear was “Why are you taking Psychology? Would you be going crazy after learning Psychology? Are you going to be with crazy people?”. At that time without knowing the seriousness of those questions, I just smiled away. Our Professors used to tell us ten years from then, the world would change, people would accept the mental health issues just as any physical issues. Fifteen years fast forward from then, things are just the same. The world is just the same, perceptions haven’t changed much. Or maybe the world would have changed but our perceptions about our own mental needs haven’t changed. In recent years we have seen many celebrities coming forward, speaking openly about the mental issues that they went through during different stages of their life and how they sought help.

The people around us even ourselves have masked our depressing and anxious thoughts with a beautiful smile. Either we do not want to share our inner feelings or we are not clear what is going on inside us. Like physical illness, every human being at least once in their lifetime would go through these mental illnesses, but unlike physical illnesses, we seldom seek help for the mental illness we suffer. What could be the reason for that? If we have fever or cold, we show the symptoms like a rise in temperature, running nose and so on which is taken care of either by medication or by a doctor visit. But when it comes to mental illness the anger we express, the swollen or tearful eyes, lack of sleep, increase or decrease in appetite are attributed to either hormonal changes or some life transitions which is believed to pass on with time. Unfortunately, for most people it would not pass on with time, rather it accumulate one after another until it becomes a huge pile and explode becoming difficult to handle.

So, what is necessary here? The world to accept us or we accepting ourselves and understanding these minute changes we go through in different life situations. And taking the necessary steps to take care of our mental health just as we take care of our body. As we understand our body’s calling for needed rest or medication, so it is high time we understand our mental health’s calling and seek help. It would be just a matter of open talking, venting emotions, crying out loud, and letting ourselves go. But that is very much needed rather than holding all those to ourselves. Our head is like a closed room, with so many thoughts tied up, with no ventilation. We may not feel good to leave it open to any of our loved ones because of some reason, so it is better we seek help from outside as there is no need for fear of being judged from them.

Now we are all confined to the four walls of our home because of the pandemic the world is facing. And we do not know how long this would go as it is. Unlike the recent times, most of us would be going through a lot of uncertainties regarding different elements of our life. We do workout trying to be physically fit and healthy, but if we have let those turmoil remain in our head, then alas, what is the use of those expelled sweat. If we see our loved ones not showing well, speak to them, provide them the support and strength to seek help. By seeking help, we wouldn’t grow smaller rather stronger and an example for others. As we take care of our body, so do we need to do with our mental health.

Mere human beings we are, not God!

Cry out loud, Speak out, And that’s OK

Unmask our tensions and thoughts before others

The person next to us would also be going through the same.

Thus, we are helping OURSELVES and OTHERS too.

Worries we have may be small at the moment,

But if not taken care of, it would grow bigger

Pull it out and throw it in trash

Our life is God’s gift

It has a mind too, not just body

So, take care of both.

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