The Mental Cancer

Depression all over the globe is an upper class phenomenon, not because only upper class people are the ones who can get affected by it, but, on the contrary, it is so because only they have the means and awareness to get the diagnosis and treatment done. While for the middle and the lower classes, there is no such thing as mental illness, depression and social anxiety; or more aptly, they cannot afford the luxury to dwell on such thoughts.

Inability to blend in with the populace or the thought of being different from the crowd puts the blame on a person as it is seen as their individual defect rather than there being an acceptance of who they are. The thought of being associated with it is unacceptable to these people on an internal level which has remained seeded there since age old times. Consequently, their natural reflex becomes that of brushing off these serious issues. There is a certain stigma associated with the word ‘mental illness’ in our society that no one wants to accept it as a natural occurrence or a part of human psyche.

“Sooner or later, different scares people”. This statement from the movie ‘The Accountant’ has been used in a similar context. The insecure society deceives individuals by cornering and cutting them off from the mainstream by portraying their ‘uniqueness’ as an ‘aberration’, which they consciously or subconsciously flag as a threat to their normality. They have collectively come up with their version of being ‘normal’ that is to be adhered to and inculcated by each individual without failure despite what they think, believe or constitute mentally or even to say physically fit for that matter. Often, these individuals get scared by the draconian world or even of their own self that they are forced to take desperate measures to find an escape. They either succumb to substance abuse, be it drugs, alcohol or smoking, lose their sense of self-worth and identity, or they try to find a physical recourse out of it in the form of hurting themselves/others or even by suicide. Those who are a bit strong willed, than the above, continue their lives overshadowed and chained by depression, living among us as ‘the walking deads’ or as fragile pieces of a ‘glass menagerie’ waiting for a sound or tremor to shatter them off.

Something needs to be done and starting from a very foundational level to give the coming generations a fair chance against these odds. But more often than not, these resolutions and tasks fall through the cracks, as we have ‘bigger’ momentary issues and sensations, all too popular
garbage being served to us. So, it will be far too optimistic to hope for a change in near future, but a distant goal and planned effort seems more pragmatic.

Pratiksha Jha
3rd year BDS
BPKIHS , Dharan