Everyone around the world has their fair share of bad days. You could not predict when or where. You don’t know if it’s only yourself or with other people. Perhaps, you will not be realizing it until it happens.
You will hear people said like,
“People with mental problems are violent and unpredictable.”
“A person’s weakness causes mental illness.”
“Kids do not experience mental health problems.”
These are the misunderstanding that surrounds mental health in our community, despite the problems being common in Malaysia. Sometimes, you will always curious about why people did or react to those things. The powerful mind can still be overwhelmed by the complicated world we live in. When it wonders a lot of questions, we will “stick to what you know” rules. When it comes to our mind about things that are different or unfamiliar, we tend to put on the defense mechanisms and said: “This is NOT how it meant to work.” These as we called, mental health stigma, involve people who have negative stereotypes towards those with mental health problems.
The 2015 National Health and Morbidity Survey stated that the frequency of mental health issues among adults in Malaysia showed an increasing percentage, from 10.7% in 1996 to 29.2% in 2015. It is very worrisome as they could experience multiple challenges especially in handling the symptoms and difficulties related to their condition or dealing with the effects of the stigma.
It can result in discrimination where people who suffer mental health are treated differently like when they are looking for a job or getting treatment. Nevertheless, it affects a person’s self-esteem and experiences terrible emotions like embarrassment and hopelessness. These often lead to avoidance of seeking help, as well as delaying in seeking treatment.
The best that we can do to fight this stigma is to be considerate always, for you never know what someone else is battling. It might be a good day or a bad day for some people. It is also important for us to care about the stresses or challenges that we face. We will never know if it will impact other aspects of lives between ourselves or the people around us.