Mental Health: The Line between Happiness and Sadness

Mental Health and the Line between Happiness and Sadness

Many of us do not understand mental health, and let's face it - the media do not tend to paint pictures that conjure anything but fear on this topic. However, we should empathize and place ourselves in the shoes of someone experiencing these challenges. I think we will only then appreciate what a scary place it truly is, to experience mental health issues.

Not Everyone is the Same

Humanity is amazing as each person is uniquely different, even on levels that at first may seem the same. This is a poignant issue as people often misunderstand those suffering with mental health, viewing them as somehow different from themselves. Well, simply addressed both statements are true. We are all the same on some levels, and yet different on others. Human beings need certain things to exist in a meaningful way, however this need may vary in different ways, levels and at certain times. The common element is that humanity needs happiness to ensure both physical and emotional wellbeing.

Some people thrive on pressure, others cannot cope with slight changes in their routine. This is not necessarily a sign of weakness, but that people are different. Stress and pressure on the population is at record levels nowadays. It is easy to understand that children should not be placed in stressful situations, or older adults given multiple stressors. Mental health still remains widely misunderstood. We are all unique, so the lines can never be set as to when stress will impact a person. 

Life is Tough

Every day we see more and more economic sanctions placed on individuals, families and businesses. It has become complex to navigate the system around us. It is not difficult to recognise the signals, and how much they can impact on individuals. However, despite seeing, we still struggle to believe the "cause and effect", that is to say these scenarios will affect the mental wellbeing of anyone.

Chasing Happiness

People inherently seek happiness throughout their lives, often not even examining what their definition of happiness actually is, and whether it is realistic. This causes many people to seek the 'normality' that society dictates, which more often than not, never results in happiness. We can all remember being happy as a child, when we ran free through life, without ties and burdens. Yet, we all buy into the theory that acquiring things beyond our means, will somehow make us happy, whilst accumulating sizeable debts.

Some people struggle with navigating a system which judges you based on these acquisitions and the ability to exist within this system. Those people on the outside, constantly find themselves under pressure financially, emotionally and socially.

A Story..

This story is a heart-wrenching as it concerns a young, impressionable woman who simply wanted to be happy. Her idea of happiness was vested in marrying the man that she loved. Sadly his family did not share this dream, and opposed their relationship. However, love being love, the two lovebirds did fall in love; and soon after the young woman discovered she was expecting a child.

The family did not welcome this news, as they sadly had their prejudices, and 'cast' or colour was of paramount importance to them. They decided their son would never marry outside his 'class'. Their interference did not end there, as they knew that unless dramatic steps were taken, the relationship would flourish against their wishes.

A plan was hatched and they contacted the young girl to play out the script. She was from a less-connected family, that was unable to offer her any support. Therefore, she welcomed the suggestion by her 'outlaws' to offer the baby the best future. They suggested that she let them look after the baby, whilst she completed her education, and that she would later marry the son whom she loved.

Sadly, she handed over the baby to the affluent family and soon after they disappeared with the baby, moving across the globe. She did not have the means or help to track her baby daughter. 

The woman suffered as clearly she was heart-broken to have suffered the loss of the two dearest people in her life. Yet, such were the times that the story was shrouded in secrecy, and she no doubt probably felt naive to have trusted the family. This situation played out many years ago, but despite this occurring those around her remained tight-lipped. Health professionals assumed she was 'crazy' and she suffered for the main part of her adult life. 

It is difficult to imagine anything could soothe the pain of losing her child in these circumstances; however understanding by those around her may have made life easier for this woman, who is now in a sheltered institution. 

I should explain some of the behaviours that were exhibited by this woman, as maybe knowing the circumstances, we can view this much more empathetically and with understanding. She would fiercely protect her home and possessions, even to the point of getting violent if she felt anyone was invading her territory. She would verbally attack first, and appear hyper-vigilant of those around her. This lady often found herself in trouble with the police, even being locked away in police cells rather than receiving help.

There were several reasons to share that story not least to understand how the mental health issues arose, but even more to see how prejudices occur within healthcare, which prevent those suffering from accessing help. This lady was seen as a crazy aggressor each time an incident occurred, being judged by her skin colour and symptoms rather than understanding why she was exhibiting the behaviour, and then making her feel safe.

Hopefully, it is now easier to appreciate that different things can cause mental health issues, but that assistance rather then alienation is always a better course of action.

Final Thoughts

Mental health is just as important as physical health as we are holistic beings, meaning we are indeed multi-dimensional. We must ensure the wellbeing of all the elements vital to this, which include the physical, emotional, spiritual and mental aspects to retain a balance and be happy. 

Although we ultimately strive to be happy, we need to experience sadness to gain a proper appreciation of happiness. Just as we strive for physical fitness, healthy diet, and so many other goals, we need to apply the same importance to our mental and emotional health. Mental health wellbeing vests on the line between happiness and sadness being balanced carefully.

by Elle Smith


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Domestic Violence

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