Disability and mental health; these two concepts stimulate a huge amount of taboo within the Chinese culture. Growing up, these were rarely discussed and on the rare occasion that my parents or other adults did mention them, it was always with a negative undertone and conveyed the message that these individuals were somehow weaker and less deserving.
Trigger warnings: Suicide. Mental health disbelief. Mention of medication/addiction.
Talking about mental health is important. It’s the first step towards getting help. It helps reduce stigma. It can help you find people who can support your recovery.
But talking to the wrong people can be nothing short of disastrous. People who are dismissive. People who are laissez-faire in the extreme. People who – be they trained professionals, public figures, or strangers on the internet – give awful advice.
TW: This post mentions institutional abuse of disabled people.
Recently, it was announced that the Mental Health Act would be facing some landmark reforms in order to tackle its discriminatory overuse against some of the most vulnerable groups in society.
I’ve always been what would have been described as a worrier, this was how things were labelled when I was young as mental health wasn’t discussed. This meant rather than spotting a problem earlier, the worrying grew until 5 years ago things came to a head. I was having a stressful time at work, managing several personal issues and everything got too much. I realised I was panicking about the possibility of panicking. That’s when I finally realised I may need help for my mental health.