11 August, 2022

Fear of mental health

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By Dra. Margarita Mendoza Burgos

Mental illnesses are usually, frequently, bad views. Thus, those who suffer from them tend to avoid talking about it with their family and friends for fear of being judged.

Commenting openly on mental health helps raise awareness. By obviating it, Conversely, contributes to this systematic minimization mechanism.

Mental health is never given the importance it deserves. There has always been a stigma on this issue and politically it does not have immediate results., with which it is not easily sold.

further, We try to pigeonhole everything that is different and describe it with phrases like "She's crazy”, "That's neurotic" or "that's bipolar".

The fear of that easy label is what makes people try to hide or minimize their problem. It is that everything related to the mental seems to us that it will have the tendency to be classified as “rare” or "crazy". Mostly, because of the taboos of society, people with mental problems tend to deny their symptoms and find it difficult to ask for help.

In the end, it's a vicious cycle, since all - in one way or another- We deepen the stigma by calling everyone who is different crazy.

The same goes for those who complain about something mental: “You are crazy”, "They are crazy", etc.

Sometimes it's just a matter of looking at the stats. In the U.S, for example, mental illnesses or disorders represent the highest percentage of health problems. They alter the way of thinking of a person, your behavior and mood. The best known are depression, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder; although there are other more common symptoms such as anxiety, the sadness, the penalty for the death of a loved one and the lack of a consummate grief , that go even more unnoticed

This obvious tendency to hide the subject causes insufficient education about mental health problems. Basically the reason is because it is not profitable.

But nevertheless, in Latin America there are some examples, like the Mexican series Rosa de Guadalupe, where in each episode the protagonist on duty confesses his crisis.

If these days we talk about mental health, in large part we owe it to athletes like the American gymnast Simone Biles - winner of four golds in Rio 2016- who momentarily abandoned competition at the Olympic Games claiming to be the victim of "a mental health crisis". But nevertheless, is not sufficient. It is hardly an exception.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), individual mental health is determined by multiple social aspects, psychological and biological. “There are also specific personality and psychological factors that make a person more vulnerable to mental disorders.. Mental disorders also have biological causes, dependents, for example, genetic factors or brain biochemical imbalances ", they explain on their website.

What we see is just the tip of the iceberg. WHO estimates that 1 billion people worldwide suffer from mental illness, which represents one sixth of the total population of the planet. Definitely mental health is an aspect that is undervalued and that requires the intervention of health agencies, but budgets are tight and not enough is invested. further, as long as there is no awareness campaign and it becomes a daily issue, it will continue to seem that it is a problem of few. A "crazy few" problem.