Mental illness – The disability which is still brushed under the rug
In a country where 13,000 people die of suicide every year mental illness is still a topic in Pakistan which is brushed under the rug. Today Mental Health Day is being observed the theme of which focuses on suicide prevention.
It is estimated, one in four individuals suffers from some form of mental illness and that almost 800,000 people commit suicide every year. But mental illness is about much more than just facts and figures. It is about the suffering of a person affected. The struggle which never sees the light of the day but keeps a person awake night after night. It is about days when the biggest battle a person has to fight is to put those feet together to walk. Mental illness is a disability; a disability which cannot be seen and thus, is never empathized with.
With an illness affecting so many, there is hardly 1 percent of the population which can speak openly about it let alone, seek help.
WHO estimates that by 2020, depression might become the leading cause of death across the world with the youth being the most affected by it. But by 2020, will we as a society be able to accept brain as an organ which can dysfunction like any other organ in our body? The time to act is now.