EDITOR’S NOTE: We often think of the sciences as objective and unemotional fields, but the stress and uncertainty of being in research means that mental health issues are common. More than 40% of postgraduate researchers face some form of depression or stress-related problem, as do many students. If you or someone you know needs advice, help, or simply an ear to listen to, please contact these numbers in India.
by Srishti Batra – How many people do you know around yourself who are battling mental health issues – be it anxiety, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), delusions or even depression. I, at least, know a handful of these brave people who are fighting every day to lead a happy life. These people are not weak; they are full of ambitions and brave hearts who are trying to fight these inner monsters of mental health to lead a successful and happy life. A lot of us in society know the stigma associated with mental health. These disorders make life very hard for people fighting their inner monsters and can make it difficult to access help.
“A mental illness is a physical illness of the brain that causes disturbances in thinking, behavior, energy or emotion that make it difficult to cope with the ordinary demands of life“. For example, a person with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) experiences uncontrollable reoccurring thoughts (obsessions) and behaviors (compulsions) that he or she feels the urge to repeat. These issues can affect anyone, from young kids to teenagers to adults to senior citizens.
So just imagine if this is happening and you have to be at work in an hour. It is difficult battle, but with medical help and dedication one can learn to live with these illnesses and lead a full life. As a patient, it is very difficult to approach a doctor or counsellor thanks to the taboo associated with it. However, there is no shame in asking for help and treatment. In addition, as someone who lives with people who are fighting their battles – I have a message. Be patient with them and listen. A lot can improve in their life if they get a lending ear. These people are full of successful dreams and hopes and we can help them by being with them as a support system and not judge them. It hurts to see people being insensitive with these issues and making fun of people who are actually way stronger and brave than you imagine. So next time if you meet a person battling these issues and wanting to tell you something, just say “Lets talk” and don’t judge them.