If you’re thinking to yourself, “Wait, denial isn’t a mental health illness!”, you’re absolutely right. However, this is a very dangerous symptom of mental illness (known as anosognosia) that is an absolutely necessary issue to address.

As a member of the South Asian community, you’re susceptible to the widely-perpetuated belief that your mental struggles are just that: struggles. You’re prone to the notion that you’re not actually suffering from a treatable illness that needs immediate attention. Here’s why:

  • There is little to no sympathy for mental health issues within the South Asian community

    • Your family cares for you. They make sure you’re well-fed. They make sure you’re pursuing your goals. They make sure you’re safe. But when it comes to the issue of mental health, it’s an unfortunate reality that South Asian families are a step behind.

    • Within the South Asian community, having a mental health illness is taboo, due to the negative repercussions it could have on the status of a family. If you’ve managed to muster up the courage to notify your family of your illness, there is a chance that your suffering might be brushed off as a sign of “weakness” or “just a phase”.

    • We grow up as a product of our environment. And if this environment is continuously claiming that mental illnesses are nothing more than fabricated nonsense, chances are high that you might just accept that as truth.

  • Mental health illnesses usually develop very slowly

    • Mental health conditions generally take effect incredibly slowly, almost to the point of feeling organic. Shifts in mood and thought can often feel self-generated, rather than being the influence of an actual disorder. This is one of the deceptive attributes of such diseases that makes them so dangerous!

  • Many other individuals experiencing similar symptoms can be deceptively good at hiding their true state of mind

    • Data and studies on mental health illness within the South Asian community are frighteningly slim. The reason behind this is the fact that individuals suffering from such conditions often keep it to themselves, or are urged by family not to speak up. When that’s the case, one has to adapt to survive. They have to pretend that nothing is wrong.

    • Examples of the sad consequences of such a reality are countless. But if you want to understand a few personal stories of South Asians tragically taking their own life, read here:

  • Hiding from the truth can be a lot less scary than facing it

    • Facing the truth might mean change. Change can be scary, but also good. In fact, change might very well save your life. If you’re suffering from a mental health condition, tell your family and urge them to help you get help. Help can be psychotherapy. Help can be medication. Help can be any safe, tested solution that will prevent all the future suffering that may come if you don’t take the initiative.



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