Generation Z also known as Gen Z. We are known for a lot of things from crazy social media trends to the future of this world. We have a lot going on. Mental health seems to be a very common topic in our world as of now not only because of the pandemic and other worldwide crises but also because of the use of social media and the people around us. Disorders such as anxiety and depression are very common among not only teens and young adults but even at an incredibly young age a lot of us are struggling with it. Following our previously covered topic on body positivity, the fight4rights campaign (@fight4rights_official) has devoted this month to Mental health. Before we get moving, I would like to say there will be sensitive topics being talked about in the following blog post including (TW: self-harm, suicide, etc.).
Mental health has a huge impact on how a person lives their life. From how they act, what they eat, and even what they do, an unhealthy state of mental health can deeply affect you as a person. An unhealthy state of mental health may also cause you to have mental health disorders such as anxiety, depression, PTSD, anger issues, etc. but moving forward we will primarily focus on anxiety and depression. These disorders can affect anyone from a child at the age of 3 to a man in his 80’s, as these mental disorders can strike you at any point in your life even when you least expect it. There are many reasons people can develop these disorders. Some examples can be an unhealthy environment at work/home/school, stress, insecurity, bullying, etc. Not only do people face anxiety or depression, but it is also incredibly common to suffer from both at the same time or even one after another.
With the chance of suffering from a mental disorder increasing by the day, treatment becomes increasingly more important since, without the proper treatment, it can lead to harmful acts upon your body and even emotional outbursts, change in behavior, lack of energy, change in appearance and other harmful coping mechanisms. While treatment may not completely cure you of anxiety or depression at times, it will definitely help you live a better life. There are many coping mechanisms that people use and as I mentioned, there is a handful that is more harmful than helpful which can result in suicide and other life-threatening problems. There are treatments that may not be harmful but can worsen the situation. An example of this may be going to someone for help, but instead of being given proper attention and care, they ignore or think that you’re just overreacting or attention seeking. These outcomes not only are utterly useless but can worsen the state of your mental well-being.
While there are many unhealthy coping mechanisms involved, there are also quite a few helpful ones. Some of the most common may be writing and journaling as a way to express feelings and emotions without sharing any of this information. Another way is also to speak with relatives and friends, people you trust or even seek professional help as getting advice is a great way for people to improve upon their well-being. I did mention that it may be harmful to you at times, it’s just a matter of who you’re getting help from as getting help from the right place/person is incredibly important. Your lifestyle may also play a deep factor in the well-being of a person. There are times where you might need to have a change of environment because it may be unhealthy or dangerous to stay, or you may need to improve upon your life by picking up a new hobby, getting rid of some old habits, getting more sleep, etc. Self-harm is definitely a very commonly used coping mechanism and it’s not the answer as you’re doing nothing but worsening your situation. What you want to be doing is improving the state you are in, not making it worse and it can take time. The coping mechanisms can differ for different people and their needs.
Mental disorders are common but there are some of us who don’t experience it but we may know someone who has it, even if we don’t notice. 56 million people, in India alone, suffer from depression with 38 million Indians suffering from anxiety. Knowing how to help someone who struggles with their mental health is incredibly important, because being able to help the people around you could significantly change their lives. There are many ways people have self-treated themselves, but there are numerous ways we can help along the way. The main way we can be useful during this process is having a talk. Sitting down and just talking is one of the best ways because sometimes we just need a listening ear and someone to share what we are feeling with.
Mental health is a serious and incredibly sensitive topic, but it’s something we should understand and educate ourselves upon. Whether it’s to help ourselves or the people around us it’s important to understand the struggle and pain people go through. Anxiety and depression are incredibly common and like mentioned earlier, they can affect someone anytime, anywhere during their lives even when they may seem like the happiest person you know. We all have our own struggles and our own stories. This is why on the fight4rights Instagram page (@fight4rights_official), we have opened ourselves to receive stories on people’s journey and struggles with mental health, mental health disorders, self-harm, etc. which we are sharing on our page. There are both anonymous and publicly shared names and they are great inspirations and learning examples of how mental health can impact your life negatively and positively, different coping mechanisms (healthy and unhealthy), etc. Hoping that you’ve been able to learn something from them and this article, get the help needed as soon as possible and make sure to take care of yourself because you are the most important person in your life and are incredibly dear and close to others too.
“Suicide doesn’t end the pain, it passes it on to someone else” - Unknown
Bi Myself- Art Piece by Siddhi Jairath.
An art piece that shows the scene of a closeted female struggling with her identity and sexuality. She resolves to harmful and unhealthy coping mechanisms such as self-harm. The colors in the background (Blue, Purple, Pink), signify the Bisexual flag.
Credits: Writer: Aditi Bhardwaj
Editor: Siddhi Jairath
Art Piece: Siddhi Jairath