By Faz Zia
THE issue which I am going to talk about it is not new and I already wrote many a times on this issue but the problem is getting too big which is Mental Health Issue. We ignore this badly especially in Asian communities it is still a taboo to talk about it but do you know that 1in 4 people experience a mental health problem and it is not just stress or depression there are so many types of problem that we can’t even imagine. Let me tell you start from stress , depression, PTSD, Bipolar, Panic attacks, Post natal depression, Anorexia, ADHD, Agoraphobia. OCD, Paranoid Schizophrenia and many more.
For example Agoraphobia this name never heard before but I research then I found out that this is the condition where person sometimes not leave a room or flat, house depends where person live and stay there without going out or to leave the room it is an anxiety to leave, can you imagine that an anxiety cause that much problem that person doesn’t want to leave the room or house. But if we understand that this a mental health problem and try to help the person sometimes simple things like getting enough sleep and a healthy lifestyle can help to break the habit of staying inside.
Research carried out by Time to Change partner, Rethink Mental Illness into attitudes towards mental illness in the South Asian community shows that mental illness is a taboo subject for the South Asian community in Harrow as it is for the population as a whole. However it explores some attitudes specific to the South Asian community. These key issues are:
- Shame, or sharam, fear and secrecy surround mental illness
- The causes of mental health problems are often misunderstood
- The family can be both caring and isolating
- Social pressure to conform
- People with mental health problems are not valued
- Marriage prospects can be damaged ( https://www.time-to-change.org.uk/resources/research-and-reports/south-asian-stigma
I really wanted to share a below small article which was taken from https://thepsychologist.bps.org.uk/volume-31/august-2018/mental-health-south-asian-communities and written by Zara Kayani .
“Recently, I read in an article that some people of South Asian background attribute mental illnesses to supernatural causes; in particular, demonic possession, black magic and the evil eye were mentioned. More needs to be done to change these deep-rooted, somewhat outdated thoughts.
I have spoken to people within the community to hear their thoughts around mental illness and overall psychological wellbeing. Generally speaking, people feel as if a lack of understanding and self-awareness and no knowledge of psychological disorders has led to negative attitudes. It was stated that when someone hear the word ‘mental’ coming into play, it is taken literally. There is an emphasis on mental illness being a ‘hidden illness’, which is not taken seriously or dealt with sensitively. I discovered that everyone I spoke to quoted cultural expectations and reputation to be predominant reasons why there is such a stigma in the community. People feel as if the South Asian community is not open-minded when it comes to mental health, especially the older generation, and traditional values were often cited. From my understanding, the stigma in the South Asian culture is different from other cultures as traditional values have more of an impact, even on the younger generation.
So, how do we break the mental health stigma in our communities through removing misconceptions? How do we educate people on the topic of psychological wellbeing? We need to aim to have more open, honest conversations with our parents, relatives and community leaders. Perhaps, the link between mental health and spirituality should also be explored, as this offers a source of comfort for many, including myself. And one last thing we should all address, no matter what our culture, religion or personal beliefs – if someone had a broken leg, you wouldn’t ask them to walk on it. Why say to someone with a broken mind, ‘Just get over it’? ”
She is absolutely right that’s why I wanted to share her words that why we are still calling this a shame why this problem is a taboo now Royal Family is giving support and working on mental health Both Prince William and Prince Harry with their wives working on this and supporting charities and why they are doing because Prince Harry suffered with mental Health after his mum Lady Diana’s death.
Now many artists are coming out and talking freely on the issue and telling their suffering such as bollywood Star Deepika Padukone a big name she told her story how she was suffered with depression, it is not a shame please speak up get help and get over it. Ask your GP to help you and they will do.