Silence Kills, Speak Up
Updated: Jan 30, 2021
By Noor Darwish
“Everyone gets depressed once in a while,”
“Oh i'm OCD too! I hate it when my pens aren't lined up,”
“Stop overreacting, everyone has anxiety.”
These are phrases that I've repeatedly heard in some way or another all my life. These phrases are an accurate portrayal of the dismissal of the severity and reality of mental health. Said dismissal causes many people to shy away from seeking mental and emotional guidance, as many people feel as if their mental health struggles will be seen as a joke and/or not be taken seriously.
Although the world is progressing in its knowledge of mental health, it still carries a social stigma. The social stigma causes people to be afraid of speaking up about their own struggles due to the fear of not being taken seriously. Although the progression of mental health knowledge and education is a step in the right direction, it has not prevented suicides as there has been a 25% increase of suicides in the past 2 decades.
Many people who resort to committing sucide feel as if they have no other options, and tend to deal with their emotions alone. No one should suffer in silence and be expected to carry their darkest secrets and feel like burdens alone. As I stated above, the world's inability to recognize mental health issues and real issues causes people to fear seeking mental and emotional help/support. People talk about awareness of all topics on a daily basis to support those in needs, but mental health awareness is often ignored. No one has to suffer in silence because a friend, colleague, boss, teacher etc., plays into the stigma of mental health.
People who suffer in silence often resort to self medication, bottling their feelings, feeling like they're not emotion, and that their emotions are invalid. Due to the stigma around mental health, and other outside factors, around 800,000 people die every year from suicide. Not only that, but in the US around 50% of people meet the criteria of having a mental illness, but only 40% of people seek professional help. This means 10% of the population suffer in silence.
If you are someone who sees a person struggling, unable to get themselves up. Speak up, because the world's silence is leading the world in a direction that we don't want to go.
To everyone who is suffering : “It’s ok, to not be okay. Just don't give up.” - Unknown