Are you feeling stressed or depressed? It’s okay not to be okay. Don’t hide your feelings, open up to someone you trust.
Why do we usually hide our feelings? Why don’t we feel free to talk about our stresses, our grief, our unhappiness or our lack of hope? Most people are putting on a smile when actually deep down inside, they are weeping. Do you know why people pretend to be happy when they are not? Well, from our interactions with different people, as LEM Mindfulness, we have realized that people who have mental struggles usually feel that their struggles are not valid. This is mostly because in Africa, physical illness is the one which is usually given the highest attention whereas mental illness because of its invisibility is usually not given the attention it deserves. It is because of this reason that people tend to bury their struggles within themselves.
We have been doing outreaches mostly in institutions of learning in Uganda and from the students we came in contact with, it was clear that they had not opened up to anyone about their mental struggles because of the stigma around the topic.
And as an organization, addressing the stigma around mental illnesses is among our priorities. It is our pleasure to make people aware that “IT’S OK NOT TO BE OK”. Many people are victims of not knowing that it is fine to feel bad, stressed, heartbroken or devastated sometimes. This might be due to the ignorance in the society where people don’t know that people going through mental problems need support instead of Mockery and this article is here to change this.
Firstly, let’s start with you reading this article; just know that going through mental struggles is ok. What is not ok is leaving them unaddressed. For example, People think that being addicted to alcohol or having schizophrenia is the end of one’s life. In other cases people who face traumatic experiences like sexual abuse or those who have been hit hard by life experiences usually think that what they are going through has no solution. But that’s not true. There is help and that help is received by the people who accept what they are dealing with and know that it’s just a stage of their life.
Therefore never try to hide away from your mental struggles, speak to the appropriate people and you will get help. Whenever you feel depressed, remind yourself that “its ok, I’m going to seek help and I’m going to be better again”.
On another angle, you might not be the one with a mental illness but you might be having someone you know who does. Kindly transfer this message to them and show them that “not being ok” is ok and they should seek help without any shame.
Secondly, now that you know that it’s ok not to be okay, never mock people going through problems. Their mental health is already poor so the mocking will force them to button their conditions which later get too heavy for them to carry.
The people who hide their mental struggles usually come up with very devastating and fateful solutions after being heavily loaded by those struggles. Examples of these solutions are: self-harm, causing harm to other people and property, withdrawal from productive activities, drug abuse, and at worst suicide.
LEM Mindfulness calls upon all people facing mental health struggles to seek help from the appropriate personnel like;
Uganda Counseling association 0800212121– Toll Free
Written By Calorine Naamara and Martin Bakundana, LEM Mindfulness.Follow Us