Judgemental Hai Kya?
As the masses herd to theatres to watch Kangana Ranaut and Rajkummar Rao’s latest, ‘Judgementall Hai Kya’ (previously ‘Mental Hai Kya’), we take a minute to reflect upon this “mental” label that is thrown around in society. It’s true, terms like “crazy” and “insane” have pierced our daily verbatim to an extent that they have almost become second nature to us. But are we aware of the effect these terms are having on our perception of the mentally ill? Let’s take a look.
All you need is a short conversation with a stranger to reveal the invisible-yet-shockingly- clear line that has been drawn between the “normals” and “abnormals” in society. People with mental disorders are seen as outcasts, to be stayed away from, dangerous to the very fabric of society. Even when fully recovered and highly functional, there’s just something “not quite right” with them. The pressure to be normal weighs so heavily on their shoulders that they find taking their own life easier than actually coming out with their issues and seeking help! Should this really be how we treat a condition that impacts 36% of Indians at least once?
Mental illness is just that – an illness – and needs to be treated like one.
We require a change on both an individual and a systemic level. As individuals, we need to stop stigmatizing sufferers of mental illness and treat them like any other sufferer, one that deserves our love and support (in fact, 58% of mental health sufferers report that the stigma does more damage than the illness itself). As millennial workers, we give special emphasis to self-care and emotional well-being; why, then, do we shy away from extending it to the ones who need it the most?
At a systemic level, meanwhile, we need to make mental healthcare more accessible. While the Mental Healthcare Bill of 2016 provided much needed reforms, India still has a grand total of 3 psychiatrists per million people and even fewer psychologists. Even if we wanted, there is simply not enough help around!
We need a change in behaviour; a change that can only happen following a change in perception. We’ve come a long way in eliminating physical suffering, now let’s do it for mental suffering as well.
Author: Pranav Arora is pursuing his Master’s degree in Psychology from the University of Delhi and is currently in his final year. He is deeply passionate about solving social issues on a systemic level and is not afraid to voice his opinion to instigate change. He’s also pretty chill to be around.
Illustrator: Sahil Sachdeva is a final year Computer Science Engineering student at Manav Rachna University, Faridabad. He is an avid graphic designer and specializes in logo and illustration work. He firmly believes that every pressing issue requires a creative solution and is always full of witty ideas.