Mental health has become something of a joke. Memes with ironic captions along the lines of ‘battling crippling depression and anxiety haha’ are teeming around the Internet, contributing to making it seem like a fad. What the internet savvy-youth sometimes regard as a joke, adults are quick to call a ‘phase’ and call into question a person’s valid struggles.
‘Oh, what big tragedy had happened to make you like this? Your life is fine. Be grateful.’
But, mental disorders don’t require you to have divorced parents, a difficult family life, a broken heart or self-harm habits. It’s not a choice people consciously make.
Sick of this, Chhavi wrote her poem to adults and friends, who dismissed it without thinking twice and made jokes without ever having to bear their brunt. At this turbulent stage in her life, she took part in the #LouderThanWords Mission on Mental Health, an initiative by Poddar Foundation and Campus Diaries, to combat stigma on mental health issues faced by students. Chhavi was one of the hundred students from across India who joined the Mission to use slam poetry to speak out on mental health, share their experiences, stories and to create meaningful knowledge.
Currently, in our society, there is a severe lack of awareness and information regarding various mental health problems. Taking part in this mission and being in an environment where everyone spoke openly about their problems, came as a comfort to Chhavi and was a huge turning point in her life. It felt like finding home. Through her poem, she tries to break the taboo surrounding the topic of mental illness and convey that suffering from a mental disorder is okay.I like this!