Gone are the days when we used to log in to Facebook at the end of the day to catch up on what has been going on while we were getting through the day. Today, all of us use social media on a regular basis – be it just scrolling through Facebook during a break, or feeling a rebellious streak when stalking someone on Instagram while sitting in a meeting. Sometimes, we even do it without being conscious of doing it – possibly when multitasking with another activity – be it watching TV (which itself has declined) or hanging out with a group of friends. Nevertheless, it is now an inseparable part of our lives.
When on social media, we see loads of memes on mental health. They can be about self-care, breaking down, hiding our problems and so on. These might be harmless ones that we feel we can relate with, at least on the surface.
They are not meant to educate, only to make you feel that you’re not alone, and to possibly find yourself laughing at the absurdity of the situation. The more memes we see and relate to, we also diagnose ourselves as having multiple mental health issues.
Since we are scrolling almost mindlessly, we might not pay attention to what the memes are indicating. Yet, they get registered in our subconscious and shape the way we think and feel about those topics.
So, if someone was to ask you how you’re holding up after a hectic week at work, you’d probably say ‘I’m THIS close to a breakdown’ and laugh it off – without being fully sure as to how much you mean it. Yes, it has been a lot of work, and yes, you need help coping with it. Rather than asking for help, joking about it might seem like a better option, because everyone does that, right?
Here’s a reality check: We are all likely to feel overworked and overwhelmed from time to time. The best thing that we can do for ourselves is to acknowledge it and ask for help from friends, colleagues and speak to a counsellor when we can.
Feeling that ‘But this happens to everyone, I just have to get through it’ is noble, but it doesn’t mean you’ve to get through it alone. Let’s recognise when we need help and not let fear of judgement come in the way of asking for help!
This article has been written by Ms Nandita Seshadri, a therapist, and integral part of Adveka Foundation.