Is mental illness a misconception, common practice for a certain calibre, or a condition?
Bizarre and unusual behaviours are often ignored as they are regarded as a common practice for a certain calibre. Hence ignoring its possibilities as a mental illness indicator. Just like any other conditional fraternity, mental illness should not be a reason of embarrassment but be diagnosed thoroughly, looking at any and all possible causes both biological and psychological and taking into account any and all possible indicators and environmental influences. Mental illness is a condition that can affect any one at any point and there are different variables that orchestrate disturbance in one's psychological state,
In this evolving world which advocates for equity and equality, it is so sad that some communities are still practicing patriarchal behaviours, doing more harm than good. The girl child still remains a victim of early child marriage, robbing her still developing mind, aspirations, dreams, and destroying the path of identity discovery. They then find themselves as child parents, providers, wives, and sexual instruments. Their rights are neglected in this sphere of confusion and they become rape victims getting exposed to gender-based violence and sexually transmitted diseases.
In this roller-coaster, depression finds a new residing place. This is when they are constantly low, feeling sad, angry, bitter and drained, with mixed emotions even suicidal thoughts, some even become bipolar. For the exploited girl child, problems in social life constantly arise as they fail to relate with their peers as well as the adults they have been turned into. The danger is in normalizing these indicators, turning a blind eye to them as being possible behaviours related to mental illness.
Mental illnesses are not common practices of a certain calibre, or a misconception. They are medical conditions and have a lot of causes. Find help early, seek counselling, be a brothers keeper. Mental illness is neither embarrassing nor black magic. Remember, be nice always. People are going through a lot.
By Langelihle Gwebu.
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Langelihle is 27 years old and lives in Bulawayo. She is a development studies student at Lupane State University. Langelihle was invited to write an article for The Brave Foundation and she kindly agreed!