Stop The Stigma!

One day during my Sophomore year , I told my friends,”I think I might be mentally ill.” They all looked at me and burst into laughter. I tried to explain what I was feeling exactly. They stopped me and just said, “Those are chainama issues.” We were approaching the sessional exams and I thought maybe it was just exam fever but the stress was really getting to me, I was feeling really anxious and my eating habits were becoming worse, I barely ate. I had lost weight once again, not as much as I did in first year but it was still evident. I just did not feel like myself. I was so overwhelmed by everything around me, I was nolstagic so to speak; I had not been in Lusaka for over 4 months also I was trying not to think of my breakup too much, school was really hard and it felt like I was all alone. I was finally breaking apart. I have never been one to pour out my emotions on people but for some reason, that was all I was longing for. I found a few people to talk to and those short chats helped me. I also had to help myself. I tried keeping my mind busy, my body too- I went back to jogging, its one of my stress relievers, instead of crying it out- I sweat it out. Writing helped release some stress too, it would have been better if I could get through it with my close friends though, but if someone is unavailable there is nothing much you could do about it.

Stigma: To stigmatise or discriminate against someone is to treat them unfairly with disgrace or disapproval. People who are stigmatized against are often labelled as ‘different’ and as a result, are excluded and devalued by society. People who experience mental ill health have to live with high levels of stigma.

Eating disorders are real!

Stress is real!

Depression is real!

Anxiety is real!

Mental health illnesses are real!

Be a brothers keeper and also take care of yourself both mentally and physically!

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