The tittle of this article is the theme for this year’s World Mental Health Day and the fact about it is that we are all prone to mental illness. The theme was specifically chosen to emphasize that for young people who are also the future to realize their full potential, they must be mentally healthy.
However, we are constantly either live in denial or un aware of our mental health status. And sometimes even when we are aware we do not know what steps to take.
So many young people who have come up to share about a depression they suffered have confessed to wearing the most make up, over dressing or even wearing their best smiles to cover up for the illness during those times.
Worse still is that most of the mental illnesses are caused from situations and people from within and around us which complicates the process of opening up and talking about it even more.
There are phases in my life growing up that am very sure I was living under a depression. At 20 years old I had to deal with traumas from my childhood. Sometimes I look back at the constant crying I had as a child of 7-10years old and I know for sure it was a depression.
The sad bit about it, is that I only realize now that I was sick then. But also on a lighter note; this experience would later inspire my passion for children, the passion to give them a platform, the passion to tell their stories on their behalf and caring as much about how they feel as I do for the rest.
The good news today is that I have teamed up with a Ugandan Psychiatrist, Dr. Benedict Akimana who has offered to share information that will stir up more awareness of your mental health status.
Fast forward; there are different types of mental illnesses ranging from common mental disorders like major depression, anxiety disorders to severe mental disorders like schzophrenia, bipolar disorder. And substance use disorders(SUD).
Such mental disorders are managed with a combination of medications and psychotherapy sessions.
All these mental health services are available in all public hospitals and almost all private hospitals around Kampala.
Minors or children need to open about the situation and how they feel and this is also a responsibility for adults to create a safe space and conducive environment for children to be open minded.
In this changing world there is a lot of misconception attached to mental illness that has continuously blocked so many young people from seeking treatment and living a mentally healthy life.
Stigma, which is a mark of disgrace that is associated with mental illnesses is in two forms;
- Public stigma which is a reaction that the general public has to people with mental illness
- Self stigma is the prejudice which people with mental illness turn against themselves
Both stigma are composed of stereo types, prejudice and discrimination.
We all have a role in fighting mental health stigma as listed them below;
- Stigma can be managed by protesting inaccurate and hostile representation of mental illness
- Reporting inaccurate representations of mental illnesses by the media
- By stopping to believe negative views about mental illness
Mental illness is also not a western disease or for movies, it is real.
Imagine a mentally healthy world free from mental illnesses; controlled depression, trauma , anxieties and all the others. That would mean healthy work places, market places would have only great minds, flourishing relationships, vibrant marriages and stable leaders among others.
Let us talk about Mental health.
Email me incase you need an appointment with the psychiatrist and comment below on what you would want us to expound on more.