Opinion: It is time to normalize conversations about mental health

Let’s normalize talking about mental well-being

I have been seeing a therapist for the past two years on and off – and I am very comfortable telling people that.

However, the reactions I get from people have been curious, to say the least.

Some get uncomfortable and do not know how to continue the conversation, some get overly enthusiastic and supportive, some go on a 20-minute speech telling me how “therapy is a scam”, and some just treated it as if I’d just told them I just saw my dentist (as in, no big deal).

Well, I guess, we all need to start somewhere.

Life can be a lot sometimes and with the ongoing pandemic adding even more uncertainty, a lot of people have been in a really bad place mentally whether they realize it or not.

Personally, I think that the sooner you realize it, the better for you, and the people around you. There’s a saying that goes, “hurt people hurt people.” Self awareness is everything.

First, let’s admit that everybody is messed up one way or another. No one is ever really 100% normal. And that is ok. That’s the beauty of being a human. 

So now that we have established that no one is normal, how come we don’t talk about this topic more normally and casually? Once you keep in mind that everybody is battling something in their lives, you’ll start to feel more compassionate towards other people (or I hope you would, anyways).

The world would be a much better place if we were kinder to each other, but in order to get there, we have to keep in mind that everyone is going through something and everyone should seek out help should they need it.

I think in order for that to happen, we need to learn to talk about our mental health as if it were a regular topic because it is.

While I understand that this conversation still makes people uncomfortable or shy or unsure, the quicker we normalize conversations about mental health, the faster we can get past this. Just like how we have gotten comfortable talking about sex, LGBTQ, or women being leaders.

Once society is comfortable to talk about mental wellbeing, we will learn so much about ourselves, about what we’ve done wrong subconsciously to harm ourselves or the people around us. The sooner we realize this, the sooner we can move to a better place or understand the far-reaching implications of our actions.

As someone who has been in therapy for quite some time, I have to say it has been one of the best thing I’ve ever spent money on.

Therapy has made me feel less confused my mental wellbeing and the wellbeing of those around me. I am more mindful and I learn to analyze when my inner voice is unfairly critical of the self of those I interact with. I also understand other people’s actions towards me better and know that when they are unkind to me for no reasons, it only means that they are hurt and going through something within themselves. They might be the people who need help the most, but they just don’t know how to express that reasonably.

So yes, let’s normalize conversations about our mental well-being, always keep in mind that everyone is going through something and let’s support each other, and be kinder to each other. If you can go to a doctor for your physical health, you can go to a doctor for your mental health, it should not be any different.

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