By Nabila 

Now that depression is being discussed more openly, people are becoming more aware of it. Some articles I have read are fantastic and some simply donít make sense, however one positive thing is that people are talking about it. I thought it would be fun writing something on this important issue. While western countries better understand and treat mental, there continues to be stigma attached to people with mental health issues in developing regions such as South Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

I was suicidal at one point, but my family had no idea because I didnít want them to be upset that their little girl was hurting or going through a rough marriage.

Stigma may not be the only reason why people donít disclose poor mental health. For example, I grew up in a reasonably progressive family, but still I didnít share what was happening with me for a long time. I was suicidal at one point, but my family had no idea because I didnít want them to be upset that their little girl was hurting or going through a rough marriage. The fact that it was a love marriage made it even harder. People thought we were the ideal couple, how could I break the mirage of that perfect marriage with an ideal husband? I could continue to explain why people mask their true feeling to portray that they are fine, but this blog is not about that.

This piece is for those who have been fighting alone, are strong enough to wear the mask and put up a smile every day, just to make others happy and comfortable. I am not saying that itís good to continue this, but I want to communicate that you are brave and courageous. It takes great strength to think of others before yourself. It takes a lot of personal willpower to stop yourself from giving up your life because you feel it has no meaning. So, a round of applause for those who are strong enough to persevere through this. Salute to those who cry alone but come out smiling in front of people. Who said we are not mentally strong? Who said we are so weak that we reach a level of insanity? No, we are strong because we are not only dealing with ourselves, but with all the obstacles thrown at us by society, family, culture, tradition and religion. Some are also dealing with people who have no empathy, show insensitivity, mock and bully. Does this make us weak? No.

I will ignore those who make fun of me and instead keep looking for those willing to help. I will use my strength to reach out and hold that one string I find in front of me.

We may be a little lost or confused. We may not be using our strength in the right place. We may use all our power to fight the world instead. Still, the world will never stop teasing or taunting, so why not use your strength to defend your mental health? Instead of staying inside this bubble of masked emotions, why not pop the bubble? Can we not meet our depression for once, stop hiding it, talk about it and seek help? I will ignore those who make fun of me and instead keep looking for those willing to help. I will use my strength to reach out and hold that one string I find in front of me.

Remember, you are not weak. Weak are those who donít walk in your shoes, yet judge you. Yes, all we need to do is use our strength to make ourselves better before worrying about the world. We donít prioritise depression in the same way as physical illnesses such as diabetes or high blood pressure, even though it can cause exhaustion, impact sleeping patterns and lead to destructive eating disorders. It is clear that mental health plays a key role in maintaining good physical health.

This article is my dedication to those warriors who fight depression every day. You are strong! You are the strongest! It is okay to cry, it is okay to feel vulnerable, and it is only you who will live your life, your journey and pull yourself up before pulling others. Be strong just the way you already are!


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