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It has become a trend that most of us practice. We hide in our little shells and we prefer to suffer in a solitary way. We prevent anyone from noticing the pain we are going through. Because of the social stigma that exists, we don’t say what is wrong with us until it’s too late.
With more than 300 million people affected, depression has become a common illness worldwide. In modern society, the topic of mental health is getting thrown around without any forethought. The modern society has made it difficult for people to speak up. Most people prefer to cry when they are alone, we sulk and stay bitter on our own, a way to hide the evidence that we are not okay.
Despite being around the best people, getting a lot of encouragement, motivation and love most of us still suffer in silence. We try a little too hard to please those around us. We smile all the time and we try so hard to be strong in front of our peers. We do all these things because we are scared or ashamed of what society might think of us.
My name is Patience Diana Nyakatsapa , a 4th year undergraduate student at Tsinghua University studying International Relations and I am from Zimbabwe , a beautiful country in Africa.
A year after moving to China , I started having depressive thoughts since I found it difficult expressing my feelings. Moving to a new place made me feel alone. My family was 6,186 miles away from me. In front of my friends, I couldn’t be the coward; I mean we were all far away from home.
Everything that followed just made matters worse. Learning using a foreign language destroyed my self-esteem, thinking to myself that I am not good enough. I realized that because of this I started having some obsessive thoughts, thoughts of guilt and uncertainty. Crying became a norm. My parents and a few close friends became worried and having them talk to me made me realize that sometimes letting your feelings out can make you feel better.
As a society, we need to fight conditions associated with mental health. For one to have a healthy mind they need to first acknowledge the fact that it is okay to not be okay. Also, know that running away from your emotions and feelings is never a solution. This might seem like a good idea but talking to someone about how you are feeling may be helpful. Let us check up on our friends and families to make sure they are in a good situation. Let them know how amazing they are and that no matter what they are loved.
We should make mental health a priority. Mental health is something that has affected everyone in some kind of way whether mildly or harshly. Let us work together to end the stigma that exists around this topic. It is an important issue and speaking up when it matters is not something you should be embarrassed or be ashamed of.
Realize that your mental health condition doesn’t define you and suffering in silence is never the solution.