MASK – ( Mental Health Awareness Month)


Mask

/ma:sk/

verb

Conceal (something) from view.

Masks – we all have worn a mask, whether that be to divert attention from one’s true self, or to conform to one’s current situation. Sufferers and victims of mental illness tend to perpetually wear a mask and be avoidant of positive external stimuli. Though sufferers may want to better themselves in every which way, the evading struggle pervades: wanting to do something vs not wanting to do anything at all.

As of recently, the stigma surrounding mental illness has been spoken of much more in the media, and in essence, everybody is quite literally affected by mental illness in some capacity – whether this be via direct association or via someone we know.

Why should one be mindful of silent hardships and not ‘judging a book by its cover’?

‘Depression’ is often overlooked, misunderstood and undiagnosed. While some sufferers of depression may be identifiable, some sufferers conceal, or mask their inner demons in such a way, that no one would be able to identify any internal struggles. This is why it is so important to educate, educate, educate – the happiest of people may in fact be the people who silently suffer. As time passes, and if the gap between not understanding mental illness, and understanding mental illness is not filled; danger arises when we all stop being able to understand each other.

Many individuals in this day and age tend to mask any internal negativity so to not lose friendships, or burden others. Some individuals may not even be aware of their depressive symptoms or want to acknowledge them due to the prevailing stigma around this issue and fear of being seen as weak and helpless.

Why can’t I just be normal like everybody else?

 “The things that make me different are the things that make me ME.” — Piglet (Winnie the Pooh)

Depression does not define you, you just have [Depression] . While this mental illness may not be ideal, this mental illness does enable one to be more emphatic towards others and does bestow a special gift of being able to read into situations more accurately and insightfully. Most importantly, one does gradually become aware of one’s own self.

 Before I depart – be humble, be understanding, and be kind, always. “A little consideration, a little thought for others, makes all the difference.” — Eeyore (Winnie the Pooh)

 

Remember to look after your mental state this month and look out for one another. A simple hug, smile, or kind gesture in general can impact so much of someones day.

Anita Todd.

anitaaslan@outlook.com

@AnitaAslan

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