Depression. Bipolar disorder. Anxiety. Panic attacks. Fear. Abandonment. Schizophrenia. OCD.

Growing up in India sure pushes and forces you to think about what “Pados wali aunty”, “rishtedaar” and any other person would think of. When we speak of any mental illness, our first thought isn’t of what we, as individuals, feel but its majorly of what any second person would think of us. So we ignore and not talk about it. And even when we do, and we don’t forget to mention “kisi ko mat bataana”. And for every time i add double inverted commas in my sentences, i want you to imagine me making hand actions for the same.

I started seeing the symptoms of anxiety 2 years back and it took a long time to start acknowledging it. In no short time my anxiety problem had led me to experiencing panic attacks. Anything which used to trigger my mind or disturb it a little started giving me heart rushes, heavy breathing, sweating, puking and sometimes even led to fainting. I took the decision of writing as a therapy.

So why does someone’s opinion even matter to us? People have a habit of talking, they’d be talking about me today and they’d be talking about you tomorrow. So it’s important to not pay any heed to people in general because that is what prevents us from talking or being vocal about this.

By this article i just want to bring into notice that mental illness needs to talked about and isn’t something you frown upon. So here are a few things you should always remember if you’re dealing with any sort of mental issue.

1. We need to acknowledge it.

Mental illness can happen to anyone and anytime, it doesn’t matter if you’re a doctor, teacher, CEO, maid or anyone. You need to understand and be aware of every change in your body and mind. No matter what your age is, circumstances nothing. It is as clear as anything, it can happen to anyone. Notice and observe it. Don’t just ignore it cause it might get worse if you don’t acknowledge.

2. Talk. Just talk.

Let your feelings and thoughts be heard. Talk to anyone who you feel can be trusted. Just talk. Tell them what you’re going through, it can be difficult at times to get help for yourselves but there is always a probable chance that someone else might help you. The more you will feel heard the more strength you’ll get.

3. Change your thought process.

Our thoughts make who we are, how we react and what we think. If you would feel alienated, sad and helpless, you won’t be able to help yourself. And while combating any mental issue, it’s important for us to believe in ourselves and tell ourselves everyday that it’s just a phase and it’ll pass. Give the strength you would give someone else to yourself. You are your number one priority.

4. Seek help.

It’s always better to talk to a trained and professional person rather than searching google about this. Go find yourself a psychiatrist, Psychologist or any other person who you feel can help you with this. Don’t let your situation swing, act upon it. Do something about it. It is important.

5. Find a hobby.

Distract your mind. Find yourself something new to do and keep yourself occupied. Give yourself a day out so that you actually enjoy living for those hours or days. Be it spending some time with kids, pets, go teach the underprivileged, write, dance. Anything.

6. Exercise.

Everyone knows that regular exercise is good for the body. But exercise is also one of the most effective ways to improve your mental health. Regular exercise can have a profoundly positive impact on depression, anxiety, ADHD, and more. It also relieves stress, improves memory, helps you sleep better, and boosts overall mood. And you don’t have to be a fitness fanatic to reap the benefits.

Nevertheless always remember, you come first. You are your first priority. Give yourself the love you would someone else. Don’t let anyone kill your vibe ever. People might come and go, but you’re always going to be there for yourself. Make yourself your own best friend.

Stop criticizing and start loving.

You can read more from Mallika on her blog.


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