A long-known notion has been followed regarding mental illnesses. A person with mental illness is described as “paagal” and is imagined to behave eccentrically. A wide number of people belonging to the older generation commonly addressed as gen x understand a person with mental illness as having a lower intellectual quotient, life-threatening to others around them, and would talk, scream and shout to itself. It seems like mental illness is either intellectual disability or schizophrenia. There is no other approximate description of mental illness.
Our society has only gained information from numerous sources on how mental health appears. There was never a platform to validate that information. So, the stigma attached to depression and anxiety comes from a culturally-rooted understanding of feeling dull. Earlier it was not considered that losing a job created the tension that could reach a level of anxiety. Living in a joint family was an essential support system for people to manage the so-called tension and not let it reach a stage of clinical anxiety.
It is innocence over stigma. It is lack of comprehending the changes and transition which have taken place from a decade ago. There is awareness which is that mental well-being is of utmost priority to an individual. It is a form of daily living when grandparents use narratives to talk about their struggle and share the moral of spreading happiness. It would be appropriate to say that there is a lack of mindfulness that mental illnesses are a part of mental wellbeing. It is the innocence of limited resources, experiences, and information that mental illness can be other than IQ and Schizophrenia. It could be depression which is the right to do with happiness as it governs a state of mind of a person. It is a mood disorder that reduces the source of pleasure, in turn, reducing happiness.
The awareness campaign needs a paradigm shift from stigma to different mental health conditions, childhood experiences manifesting in adulthood, parenting, and family dynamics. Slowly but gradually people need to know mental illnesses include OCD, Self-harm, pathological lying, addiction, personality disorders, and motor disorders. Only when people know will they accept mental health as a priority as the need of the hour. Mental health is compartmentalized into an era of IQ and Schizophrenia and the new decades talking about depression and anxiety.
We need to normalize mental well-being and different mental illnesses will follow. We need to make people mindful about other mental health conditions and acceptance will come when they are sensitized about the conditions!