There has always been an air of suspicion around the topic of Mental Health and Illness in our Indian society and conversations have been shoved under the carpet just like all other topics that have been stroked as taboo. The emotional instability and unhealthiness of one’s mind is often confused as dis functionality of the brain. The sanity of a mind is weighed and kept in retrospect to one’s material well-being, absolutely omitting and overlooking the fact that mental illness is a clinical disorder and can happen to anyone irrespective of their handsome account balance or luxury lifestyle.
The hypocrisy and pharisaism of Indian society related to such a sensitive issue is often reflected in their ways and manners of dealing with it. The older generation, due to their incompetence in understanding the exigency and acuteness of the illnesses, is too quick to pronounce the survivor as “mad” or “crazy” . The younger generation on the other hand despite having the resources, brains and leads to understand the gravity of the situation, choose to remain shallow and insensitive about it. The entire social media culture does push a major part of the youth to some extent to show or gain awareness regarding the matter. We cannot forget the fact that posting or being woke on Instagram stories does not ensure understanding or perceptiveness regarding the issue. This is the reason why youngsters are still non empathetic, rude and inconsiderate in reality and have zero sense of picking their words when trying to put across a point. And how can we not discuss the folksy and cursory commenting in groups about the “madness” of an unstable batchmate and passing it away by calling it mere joke liners.
Sushant Singh Rajput’s untimely and extremely disturbing news has caused a storm in the virtual world. At one point where it is extremely positive to see a movement, as efficacious and progressive as this, in rise, it also raises some questions – Is the movement just in the right direction? Do people know the cause well and the right ways to deal with it? On one hand we see masses going haywire on the web seeking justice for the actor and on the other we see a large number of people dumping hate on associated people who allegedly pushed Sushant to an unbearable point where he decided to take such a step.
It is reasonable for people to be outraged and infuriated and they certainly should be but is all the hate piling of any help ? Aren’t we doing with them what we accused them of doing with Sushant ? And honestly is it not possible that we might push one of them in the same bitter cussed hole that Sushant was in ? Better, more-effective and civilised ways can be practiced to boycott and teach a lesson to the ones at fault. People’s boorish approach and actions clearly display the fact that all the activism is of surface level and an expanded teaching is required for people to take up the issue more conscientiously.
We inherit the keep-it-in-the-closet attitude from our families because nobody ever taught them to normalize the mental health stigma, so we as the present generation cannot expect anything from them. It is highly imperious and called for to remove the air of cynicism surrounding mental health for the coming generations.
Apart from a lot of shortcomings in our Indian education system, mental health and the taboo related to it stands at the top. Schools have failed children. Talking from personal experience, what I have seen with other batch mates and now what I see with my younger siblings, it is safe to say that schools and their teachers have limited awareness and decorum of how to deal with a mental health suspect. Now as I and a couple of my friends peep back in time we think of mates who very clearly resonated signs of mental illness or some sort of internal disturbance and they were not only completely ignored but also mocked by teachers. How can we ever forget or forgive all those teachers who are today a cause of grown men and women with unstable minds, pressure cookers of unsaid unheard feelings and damaged and fragile emotional stability with dangling self confidence. How is all this education even worth when it does not even teach us the basics of dealing with our own minds, bodies and insecurities?
When will it really be time for the happy kids, women and men to realize that IT IS NOT A JOKE. The illness is as serious as Cancer and it kills people too !
Kashish Chauhan is currently in the second year of her degree in Mass Media and Communications and further wants to do her major in Political Journalism. She is a Content Marketing enthusiast and has professionally done so for various companies. She is also a travel blogger and can be found in untouched lanes of a city. She looks forward to enhancing and expanding her horizons in related fields.