Mental health may have been ignored for a long time but the world has started to take it more seriously in recent times. And rightfully so, as mental health can very well take a toll on one’s physical health as well. Taking care of our mental and emotional health as much as our physical health is vital. As is creating awareness about it, and setting up better support systems in place. And since it was World Mental Health Day on October 10th, we thought why not talk about taking care of our mental well-being, depression, and suicide with an expert in detail.

We invited Dr. Sapna Bangar, Head at MpowerMinds to join us for our #GirlTribeLive on Malini’s Girl Tribe on Facebook. Our Features Director, Alisha Fernandes, hosted the Live and the two answered a lot of questions that people usually have about mental well-being.

Topics Discussed During The Live

Dr. Sapna Bangar And Alisha Fernandes
Dr. Sapna Bangar And Alisha Fernandes

When a person loses their loved one to suicide, it often makes them wish they had spotted the signs of depression at the initial stage. It’s a fear that a lot of us feel strongly too. Which is why it’s important to know the early signs of suicidal thoughts. And so, we asked Dr. Sapna to guide us about it.

She explained that self-harm habits could, many a time, potentially lead to suicidal tendencies and that they should be taken extremely seriously. If the person keeps talking about how if they died, it wouldn’t really make a difference to anyone, it is a red alert. Or if they’re around a potentially dangerous place, say a balcony, and think what would happen if they just jumped from there. Thinking about killing themselves, even in a subtle manner, can be a red flag in most cases.

Key Learnings From The Live

Dr. Sapna Bangar also gave us some hard-hitting stats and busted myths around suicide, and how to deal with someone who is going through a rough time. She revealed that between 2009 and 2019, the rates of suicide have almost doubled up. Suicide is on the upswing in India, in upper, middle and lower classes. She also said that as a friend or parent, we must always ensure the communication lines are open, that is the most important. She suggests always ask people if they’re okay. Many people believe that if you ask a question like that, you could plant that seed into their minds. But that’s not the case. Therapists always advise people to ask if the person has been having any self-harm or suicidal thoughts. Especially if you see marks on their hands or body.

The Psychology Behind Self-Harm

Dr. Bangar talked in-depth about why people resort to self-harm. When someone harms themselves, it could be a form of escapism. In order to forget their emotional pain, they harm themselves physically. The physical pain keeps them invested and makes them forget about their emotional pain for a while. For some others, it is a form of communication. When they feel that they aren’t able to communicate with someone through words or if they’re not able to get the attention of the person they want to talk to. It could be an impulse decision or a habit as well. And even if you think that the person is harming themselves just to get ‘attention’ or ‘sympathy’, it still needs to be taken seriously.

Dr. Sapna Bangar And Alisha Fernandes
Dr. Sapna Bangar And Alisha Fernandes

To watch the full Live, join Malini’s Girl Tribe on Facebook, or click here.