“ Psychotherapy is the art of finding the angel of hope in the midst of terror, despair and madness. “ - Cloe Madanes
Mental Health, something which must be considered a personal matter as well as in a selfless one. It should come across our minds that we are not the only ones having problems but that our problems are the biggest ones for us and there should be no judgment between anyone.
I have seen older generations claiming to be the stronger ones, in comparison to younger generations, oftentimes these are our grandparents or parents. There are times that they would compare the way they used to cope with situations which cause stress or any kind of anxiety to the way our younger ‘naiver’ generation cope.
There are situations which the `older´ generations went through which us as the younger generations cannot even imagine going throw without the help of someone, without talking with someone to help perhaps a friend, family or a therapist. For some generations talking about their problems was a taboo. There would be times that some people would call the help that you can receive for having a better relationship with your mind a “waste” of money and time, but is it? Is it a waste of time and money to talk with a professional about any situation happening in your life or just taking care of your mind with any kind of resource? For some of us we were unaware we grew up with this mindset and got used to it over time. I used to think that taking care of your mind was just a waste of time and money but with the time I realized that every problem matters, maybe not to you but it does matter. It is not a matter of generations, it is a matter of individuals, how they decide their limit, and when they need a break from their taboos.
The privilege in this situation of taking care of your mental wellbeing, is something not everyone has unfortunately, not everyone has the fortune of having the time, the money or the opportunity to even think about their mental status. The majority of the countries as far as I have seen and read about do not prioritize mental health and do not even consider it as part of their health system. Some families do not have the budget to pay for any treatment for a better mental health. It is crucial to make everyone aware that there is a issue regarding it being a privilege in the first place. People should be aware of the fact that they have the opportunity to think about going to therapy or just talking to someone about their problems, while others do not have this privilege. Those who have the opportunity to take care of their mental health should consider themselves fortunate in comparison to those who do not have the same opportunity.
I had someone really close to me who always said to me “You should always come first and your thoughts come first over that anything else”, I never understood this phrase and to be honest it did not make sense to me. First, I thought that it had a selfish meaning like I should always be thinking about myself instead of someone else when it is needed, however, with time, I started to realize that at the moment that she was telling me this, she meant that my thoughts, my mental health should be my priority. I grew up in a town where going to therapy or trying to ask for help for a better state of mind was a taboo and a sign of weakness. Which is also what I thought when I was a teenager. However, for the last three years, I have been surrounded by an international environment. All the people who I have met taught me their view and their culture on this matter. When I started to learn how important mental health is to others and how important should be for everyone, I applied it to my day-to-day. In my experience with moving abroad, being homesick and experiencing culture shock has a huge impact on your mind and thoughts, taking care of my mental health and making it my priority has made everything less stressful, and more fluent in a positive way.
By: Susana García
Susana or Sussie is from Mexico, and is currently student of international & european law program in The Hague University.