What a strange time these past two and half years have been ever since we were first exposed to the Covid-19 virus that saw many of us battling with our livelihoods physically, mentally, financially, and spiritually. We have been experiencing trauma collectively as a global community and the ongoing global situation has affected our mental health. We sat down with Ms. Devina Kaur to discuss the crux of mental health issues especially when someone close to you is battling it. Devina Kaur, born and raised in India, is an inspirational speaker, author, radio host, and the founder of the Sexy Brilliant Non-Profit Foundation. Her weekly columns are all based on the KAUR™️ process. In 2019 she was the recipient of the Canadian top 25 immigrant awards. She is also the author of the spiritual self-help book Too Fat, Too Loud, Too Ambitious. She takes us through coping up with mental illness in the family, how to disclose it and keep up with it.
Your Mental Health Matters
Many people suffer from mental health disorders and may feel ashamed of those thoughts and feelings. When someone opens up about their mental illness, it can be a very humbling experience. It can help them find relief or feel less alone when they realize there are others like themselves. You could get to know someone who feels the same way as you do or help them on the path of acceptance by listening to what they are going through. There are many ways to do this, which can be done in person or over the internet.
Unfortunately, there is a stigma attached to mental illness. People think it isn’t real, that people are making it up to get attention or sympathy, or even that they could snap out of it. Many of these stigmas revolve around the common misconception that mental illnesses are the same thing as someone having a bad day or mood swings. They are not the same things at all, but in fact, are two completely different things.
If you know someone who has a mental illness, you could be their friend in their struggles or, better yet, be their support. You could also be someone they can talk to at the moment that might help them cope. If you need advice on how to help someone with a mental illness, it may be wise to seek professional help. See your school’s guidance counselor or a teacher if you’re in school, or an adult for information and advice that can help you with your mental health issues.
1. Ask them how they feel
When you talk to someone and mention they have a mental illness, remember to ask them how they feel when they talk about it. Since people with a mental illness may not be able to express what is going on with them accurately, ask them about it as gently as possible. For instance, you could say something along the lines of “It seems like talking about it helps you feel better. Would you like to talk about it?” Compassionate listening goes a long way when dealing with mental health issues.
2. Remind them that it is okay to have these thoughts and feelings
Since mental illnesses are real illnesses, remember that there is absolutely nothing wrong with having any thoughts or feelings because of these illnesses. Even though it might feel like something is wrong with you, you are okay and not alone.
Everyone goes through the most common and everyday thoughts that are not necessarily related to their mental illness, such as “I wish I could go to the movies today,” or “I wish my best friend liked me better.” It’s okay to have these thoughts. To be more confident with your actions, you could ask them if they have any doubts, anxieties, or worries besides their illness. If they do, you could tell them that you would be okay if they feel like talking about it because it’s normal not to be able to talk about everything.
3. Tell them that you will always be there for them
If someone has a mental illness, they may feel alone in the world, so it’s important to let them know that they are not alone and have friends who will always be there for them – including themselves! If a friend is struggling with something as serious as depression, remember to remind them of this at every possible chance. It’ll help keep the talk of their condition and prevent it from overwhelming them, allowing their recovery to continue on its own.
Have a positive mindset and stay happy! You’re awesome, and this is just a little bump in the road! It’s important to remember that anything can happen to anyone at any time, at any age, and while it may seem like the end of the world right now, things will get better.
It is very important to be patient with someone who discloses their mental health because they may not want to talk or share their story. It is also important to remember that even a small conversation can make a huge difference in someone’s life and that it is always okay for someone to have these thoughts and feelings.