Mental Awareness and Society
It is rather astonishing to me how paradoxical the Lebanese community can be when it comes to mental awareness. We soak up so much from Westerners except the things that matter. Maybe that sounds like a massive over generalization, but seriously. Imitating so many factors from the west, yet barely ever taking the things that genuinely matter—such as breaking the silence regarding taboos.
You can probably already tell from the title of this post that I am discussing mental health with an emphasis on depression. A big part of our Lebanese community is dealing with the concept of depression as if it were a sign of weakness. Either we tell our friends to “suck it up” or we do not acknowledge its existence. The thing is I know that a part of our community is acknowledging mental disorders. Yet, let us face the truth, that is a very small part of our community. The rest of the country seems to be completely oblivious.
I am not exactly an expert with credible merits that allow me to delve into the details of how to overcome depression. However, I do believe I have had my fair share of ups and downs. In addition, I always preach for openness and understanding so it only seems fair that I put myself out-“here”— in the community that I am trying to build. Where else am I going to start spreading mental awareness if not here?
Sadness V.S Depression
With that being said, it is once again time to get into the philosophical discussions of a 23-year old blogger. It dawns on me that there is a difference between sadness and depression. In simplified terms, sadness appears, in my eyes, to be a momentary emotional phase that is triggered by unpleasant circumstances. As for depression, it is, in figurative speech, the invisible backpack I carry around constantly—the weight of which I am oblivious to; or cannot feel on certain occasions.
When combined with the aforesaid circumstances, the weight paralyzes me. This “backache” strikes at the midst of solitary moments—leaving me solely fixating on the numbness of which I claim to be the residue. This aftermath leads me to destructive measures—which I will later speak of. As for now, the reason behind this article is that I wish to denote the idea of shunning away what one is feeling. A change toward how depression is viewed is to be made and acceptance is to be spread.
Mental Awareness is About Reaching Out
Most preachers of matters are hit with the argument of question : “What are you doing about it?”. The best I can do for now is to offer an understanding ear to listen. I wish anyone, who feels that they are going through difficult times or just wants to talk, to reach out and send a private message to “[email protected]” . I also offer, if you are in the habit of writing, to be a part of this community. Whether you wish to post your own pieces or at least read other pieces that you may relate to. I want you to know that there are many safe havens out there—similar to this one that I am trying to build. Mental awareness needs to be spread and depression is nothing to be ashamed of or hidden.
With that being said, I end this on a final note:
Speak out about your problems, or be kind to a friend who may be going through difficult times—there is still hope out there.