How many times have you found yourself saying “I’m depressed” Or “I’m having an anxiety attack”? When in fact you were experiencing a heightened sense of emotions during an experience that called for such emotions?
A lot of us, while trying to explain our emotions, exaggerate and use terms like “depressed, bipolar, anorexic” obliviously without realizing the weight that these terms carry.
And this pure negligence is very dangerous because in a way by saying such things we’re normalizing psychological disorders and demeaning their significance. When did being a little shy mean having a social phobia? Or feeling nervous before an exam means having a panic attack?
When having conversations with people that may actually be going through something or are in fact diagnosed with psychological disorders we cannot afford to trivialize these disorders because without wanting to we overlook symptoms, we disregard the plight they are in.
It is seen that when you repeatedly do something or repeatedly observe certain behaviours, a sense of normalcy is attached to it. For instance, during a conversation, a friend may casually mention a mental illness recurrently while speaking of their emotional state, which is perceived as something more elaborate than it actually is. Due to this, we unintentionally conform with our friend’s ways and start using and reflecting the same behaviour. This forms a cycle as people start mirroring these observed behaviours. Subsequently, we accept it as a new norm to relate common emotions to something as grave as a psychological disorder.
Another downside that we can draw from this generalisation is that we overplay our emotions and what are not symptoms start to feel like symptoms, what are everyday emotions seem to build up into an unnecessary self-diagnosis. For example, after a long day at work when we feel fatigued, we may interpret it as the lethargy that characterises depression.
This tends to create a cloud of stigma around mental health and what it means because of how generalised and diluted it tends to get. The larger chunk of individuals with mental disorders doesn’t get help for their problems. Regularly, individuals keep away from or defer looking for treatment because of worries about being dealt with diversely or fears of losing their positions and work. That is on the grounds that shame, bias, and oppression of individuals with psychological sickness is still a lot of an issue. Shame regularly comes from the absence of comprehension or dread. Mistaken or deluding media portrayals of psychological instability add to both those elements. We should try to stop trivialising and taking topics of mental disorders in such a light stride, and attempt to give it the importance that it deserves.