On World Suicide Prevention Day, celebs bring the focus on mental health
As per World Health Organisation (WHO), “every 40 seconds, someone loses their life to suicide.” Yet, it largely remains amiss from mainstream discussions.Updated: Sep 09, 2020, 11:55 IST
September 10 is observed as World Suicide Prevention Day. As per World Health Organisation (WHO), “every 40 seconds, someone loses their life to suicide.” Yet, it largely remains amiss from mainstream discussions.
A two-pronged approach, of listening and seeking help, needs to be adapted to overcome mental illnesses.
Actor Divya Dutta puts it very succinctly when she says, “Hum khamoshiyaa padhna bhool gaye hain.” “Nobody pre-plans a suicide; something really extreme leads to it. We live in a very insensitive world now. We have become so engrossed in making ends meet that we do not stop to listen to others. It is not wrong to look after yourself, but humara khud ka hi shor itna hai ki hum sunn hi nahi rahe hain. If you feel that someone has something to share with you, have the patience to listen,” she says.
For actor Namit Das, the fact that it has become all about “I, Me Myself” is what has led to emotional isolation. “Although these gadgets have brought everyone closer, but strangely, we have distanced ourselves emotionally. We have gone far away from each other and become too involved in ourselves. We should take it easy and go with the flow sometimes. It is important to connect with each other and hold each other. The easiest way to do this is to simply ask and hear the other person out. We are all talking, nobody is listening and we are part of this noise that is creating havoc for us,” he says.
In a world where passing judgement on others, without confirming facts is worryingly becoming the norm, people often refrain from discussing their issues. “In India, it’s easy for us to call someone ‘pagal’ or ‘mad’; we don’t realise what the other person is going through or how it might affect someone. We still need awareness, a lot of it, and make this like a normal conversation,” says actor Sharad Malhotra, sharing his own experience, “Even I went through a terrible phase of depression, a few years back. I consulted a few people and later resorted to Brahma Kumari. I started meditation and some workouts. It took me sometime, about a year and half, but gradually I was over it. You need to have people around you who are ready to listen to you. You need to let them help you.”
Stressing on the fact that anyone at any point in time can develop symptoms of mental disorders, actor Jasmin Bhasin says, “There is no timeline for depression. It can happen with anyone and also we need to realise that these thoughts kind of build-up. But under no circumstance should you make yourself feel that you are not enough. You may not be important for one person, or one job, but you need to realise there are so many others who love you and want you. Never let this thought of taking away your life come in your mind ever.”
With a hope for a better world, actor Akshay Oberoi says, “We’re too caught up with the idea of hoisting our happy lives and anything that’s sad is suppressed as though it’s something we should be embarrassed about. It’s time we talked about the not-so-perfect parts of our lives and erased the stigma associated with seeking help in times of distress. The last few months have seen us all have conversations about mental health. I hope we love and heal each other and make the world a safe space for talking about our insecurities.”
Finding out channels of communication with people you trust, seeking immediate medical help and creating a safe environment for people to discuss their problems is imperative. Psychiatrist Jyoti Kapoor, says, “Individuals struggling with psychological issues are often discouraged by their own friends and family members from visiting psychiatrists or psychologists. But each one of us is responsible for our own self. If one is troubled by persistent feelings of sadness, feeling overwhelmed by stress and wanting to give up the struggle to survive, it’s always better to talk to a professional mental health practitioner.” She encourages to look out for signs: “Vulnerable individuals tend to be depressive, withdrawn, emotional and at times impulsive. Often, suicidal people talk about life being purposeless or having death wish or suicidal ideas. They may have tried to hurt themselves in past or may have been searching for methods of ending life online or offline. They may avoid meeting people, stop taking care of their personal well-being, may excessively use alcohol or drugs, may become irritable or agitated and may stop seeking help from their doctors as well.”
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