Talking about mental health issues is not easy. It’s difficult to understand for people who are lucky to have never dealt with it, it’s equally hard for those who are affected. It’s very personal, and it makes both parties very uncomfortable to have an open dialog like that. No one likes “uncomfortable”. Let’s look at the way our society has been traditionally communicating for ages. Say, you casually meet up with a friend. What’s the first thing you say? “Hey, what’s up? How’ve you been?” – something along those lines, right? How often do you hear: “Hey man, I’ve been really struggling lately, it seems like nothing makes sense, I’m kind of lost, I don’t know what to do, I need to talk to someone”. I bet you’ve just raised your eyebrows, like, “Well, why the hell would they say something like that?”. It’s because we are EXPECTED to just brainlessly spit out “Fine, and you?”. We are expected to be fine. We’re told it’s not “normal” not to be. It builds up from a young age, when some children will refer to others as “crazy” or “weird”, when they just don’t feel good emotionally, and these terms are used even throughout adulthood as well. So we’re just embarrassed to talk about it, or even frightened, just like gays were once embarrassed to speak about their sexual preferences, and women were once not allowed to vote or to have a job. Our perception of this problem is archaic. And we pay the price.
Suicides have become a #10 cause of death in the United States (Health United States, 2016 Table 19). 18.1% of Americans ages 18 and older experience a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year (SAMHSA 2014: Behavioral Health Trends in the United States, p.28). We’re talking about depression, post-traumatic stress, panic attacks, anxiety, etc. And think about it, those are only people who actually got diagnosed, which means they went to the doctor or asked for help. But, unfortunately, most of the time it doesn’t happen. There are many reasons behind that, but the most important one is the lack of knowledge about this matter. People who deal with depression and anxiety on a daily basis, they often don’t realize something is wrong with them, for them this state of mind is their norm. Or when it reaches a critical point, they don’t realize that it could be treated, and get stuck in fear, that pushes them to end their lives. On the other hand, people who surround those affected, need to be aware of the symptoms and possible signs of decreasing mental health. They need to be there to offer a solution in time or call for help. It’s especially important when we talk about vulnerable, sensitive groups of people. Like people of arts, for example. In the modern world art became very underappreciated and undervalued. People take everything for granted: music, movies, photography, fine art… everything is available at the click of a button. And artists have a very strong emotional connection with their art, so when some people crushing those waves of pointless criticism and hate speeches, usually hiding behind the screen, it’s irritating, and it hurts. Since 2011, more people died of suicide in the United States than in motor vehicle crashes! The numbers are telling us to seriously educate ourselves to treat people with respect, to recognize the signs of emotional suffering in ourselves and in others, and to change the culture of mental health for better. We work hard to make our cars safer, right?! So why not making our society a safer place? Starting with ourselves.
(Written by Andrey Borzykin of Major Moment)
Combining captivating original sounds of alternative rock with their international roots, Major Moment knows how to create new worlds within their music. Inspired by acts like Linkin Park, Nine Inch Nails, 30 Seconds To Mars and more, the band is on a mission to inspire others, encourage them to follow their dreams, and learn to appreciate life.
This September, Major Moment brings you One Small StEP, a record of various strong topics, including relationship, perspective, and loss. What makes the record even more special, is its dedication to Chester Bennington of Linkin Park, one of the band’s biggest inspirations. One Small StEP features a #makechesterproud tagline.
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Photo credit: Kevin Donnelly.