Speak Out, Seek Help, in Mental Health, Silence isn’t Golden!

Friday, February 10, 2017 0 Comments A+ a-

Education can make a positive difference in the way mentally ill persons are perceived.


Recently, I came across a tweet that read,
“Dear Twitter Nigeria, stop making mentally ill people feel like influencers. Ignore stupid tweets. Jump over rubbish.”

My response was,
 
Sometimes, there’s a remarkable gap between how a mentally ill person thinks & how they are perceived. Why not address them in a DM?
 
I am passionate when it comes to mental Health issues because I know that there is a dearth of information on the subject especially in Nigeria, where I am from.  Many people would not understand how it feels like to wake up in the morning with an overwhelming feeling of exhaustion from just trying to think about how your day would unfold. Sometimes, it is the side effects of the medication you have to deal with.
 
Many would not understand that your unplanned naps during the day are as a result of a new medication which your body is still adjusting to. Sometimes, the mood swing comes without any prior notice and you snap at the closet person to you without truly understanding why!
 
These are some extreme scenarios of having to live with a bipolar diagnosis.   My option is that, we must speak up. We must keep speaking. Silence isn’t golden when it comes to mental health issues because like physical health, everyone has a mental health and mental health issues do not show on the forehead. They reflect in the quality of  our decisions, actions and comportment. They are perceived from how we manage our feelings in tough times and also, in the times when things seem to be going fine. 

So speaking up about Mental Health is not about becoming an influencer or someone important.  It is about 'taking back the narrative' as Hauwa Ojeifo, founder of SHE WRITES WOMAN  would say.

Speaking up about Mental Health is about making a positive difference in the way mentally ill persons are perceived and providing an enabling atmosphere where everyone who have been diagnosed with a mental health illness, been through a mental health recovery process or is still undergoing one, can blossom and grow into the best version of themselves.
It is about eradicating the stigma around mental health in Nigeria. We have been silent for too long. Way too long and the effect of this silence is reflecting in everything. In the choice of schools we permit mentally ill persons to attend, in who they can or cannot marry, in the kinds of jobs they find, in the relationships they keep, in the low self-esteem they nurture, in the timidity and a lack of confidence they display – Society seem to have boxed mentally ill persons and stamped a label on it - STIGMA, DON’T COME CLOSE, NOT MENTALLY STABLE.

All because society fails to recognise the value that a mentally ill person can add if professional treatment, love and counselling is made available to them. After all, each one of us came from the creator’s manufacturing studio with a measure of value.  I view the whole mental health thing from the eyes of one who has experienced the process. This is why I decided to share my bipolar story in the first place. It is my own way of educating Nigerians and contributing globally to ending the stigma around mental health. What can you do to eradicate the stigma of mental health in your corner of the world?

My name is precious, I was Bipolar and I live a full life.
 

 

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