“There was no need to go for therapy. We never went. We dealt with everything on our own. Our generation never suffered from anxiety, panic attacks, or depression while growing up.” This is what we hear when we talk to our parents about mental health or about the importance to go for therapy. They don’t consider mental issues as an issue. They generally refer to it as a lifestyle issue. As if everything will be alright if we make our lifestyle better. But then, what about the people who already have the perfect lifestyle? They don’t get anxiety? They don’t get depressed? Well, I don’t think so.
Maybe, you share everything with your parents. Your secrets, things about your boyfriend or your college life but no matter how close someone is to their parents, there will always be something that they cannot share with them. What if you get hurt by your parents? What if you think that they love your siblings more than they love you? Even though you know these things are not true but how will you take that out of your mind? What if you feel like they think that you are not good enough? To whom will you share that? You can never have your mental stability, right? It’s high time for Indian parents to understand that our generation needs therapy. And that’s nothing wrong. That therapy is as normal as going to a dentist. The stigma about mental health that is deeply rooted in our society needs to come to an end. People need to understand our generation. And they need to stop telling us to not panic or to not get depressed. Nobody does it knowingly.
People from our previous generation also think that going to a therapist is all about fashion. And that they don’t understand the need to pay a stranger to listen to what their child has to say. But it’s time that they understand us. They need to understand that something is keeping us awake till 3 in the morning, that we don’t want to look at our phone or computer screen all the time, that we need them to talk to us. They need to tell us that we matter and that they love us. They need to tell us that it’s okay to cry in front of them and they respect that. We don’t need their advice, we just need them to be there for us. And the most important thing that we need from them is to listen to us. Just have patience and listen to us. Above all, they need to stop comparing their childhood struggles to ours.
To all the parents out there. Take all the time you want but try to understand us. Teach us how to talk to others not just to respect them. Tell us that we are strong even if we cry, even if we break down. The concept of mental health is new to us also. So, let us deal with it together. Your support is everything for us. Just ask us once “how are you?”