THE MENTAL HEALTH JOURNEY
A Zambian Man Looking to Use his Voice to Break The Silence Of Living With an ‘’Invisible Disability.’’
There’s this excerpt at the back of Yuval Noah Harari’s acclaimed book, Homo Deus, that really caught my attention the first time I read it; and it reads, ‘You’re more likely to commit suicide than die in a conflict’’ and I remember being moved by those words, they rang incredibly true to the times we’re living in where many people suffer in silence at the weight of their crumbling mental health; resulting in higher suicide rates in our society.
There’s a passage of text in the Bible that I try to view in a different context than intended: “We do not wrestle against flesh and blood…’’ I think about this in relation to mental illness. How it’s not a physical disease we battle with, yet a disease nonetheless like malaria or any other ‘’real’’ disease plaguing humanity; yet the world chooses to ignore how severe clinical depression, anxiety, Bipolar disorder…etc, are to the human body, especially here in Zambiawhere it’s frowned upon as taboo or something that can be prayed away.
We can’t fix a problem if we don’t acknowledge its existence and the severity of its existence; that’s why it’s important that we have conversations around mental health; beyond that, we need to create safe spaces for people of different walks of life to talk about mental health and share their stories, especially men. Who are in denial of their conditions for fear of appearing “weak’’ or “less of a man.”
It’s time we broke the silence and talked about it. End the stigma! Let’s talk about Mental Health.
As a man, I was taught from a young age not to show emotion as it’s seen as a sign of weakness. But who do I turn to when I’m feeling overwhelmed? when I’m fighting back tears at the back of my eyes? It’s so hard to seek therapy or find someone to confide in; I can’t be bothered to seek help when I know I’ll only be told to ‘Man Up’ and get over myself, cause everybody has problems.
As a mental health advocate suffering from clinical depression, I’m partnering with Continuum Zambia to spread awareness on Mental Health, In Zambia. Visit their website below to learn about the amazing things their doing to further wellness and healthy living and learn about their Bupilo Health Plan.