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The Power of Sharing Stories

Updated: Jul 18, 2022

It is rightly said, “Your thoughts matter as they influence your reality.”

Many people have traveled the journey of struggling with mental health issues and the associated stigma, and yet they found a new direction to cope.

Anyone can suffer from mental illness. Recently, many celebrities have also come out to share their battle with mental illnesses and they started the conversations about it. Deepika Padukone not only bravely opened up about herself suffering from depression in a TV interview but also took a step ahead to establish an organization for mental health to help people going through similar challenges. Anushka Sharma too, shared that she had anxiety and was getting help for it. She was on medication but openly shared about it as she felt that it is a completely normal thing to share things like that. She says that it is important that more and more people should talk openly about it. It is not shameful or something to hide. Virat Kohli, then Indian cricket team captain, who was one of the finest batsmen of that time and who still is, has gone through a phase where he too struggled with mental health issues. The batsman even revealed that it was the phase where he thought 'it's the end of the world'. He now believes it's wise to have rest days and keep your mind at peace. Golfer Anisha Padukone had also shared her challenges that mentally made her edgy.

When such a conversation goes public, it is an opportunity to learn about it. It is our chance to shatter the barrier of stigma around the subject, reduce fear, and reduce the shame of a person who might be managing the same problem. I believe that it is important for everyone to share their stories. While celebrities sharing their struggles with mental illness does a great deal to chip away at the stigma, we need to see that such conversations are more common in normal life where people can also have struggled with mental illnesses.

Why is it Important?

  • Sharing our stories is therapeutic for our own self. It takes away the burden of feeling shame, of being scared and helps build a better relationship with ourselves.

  • Sharing stories chips away at the stigma. People will be able to speak openly about their mental illnesses and health issues and more easily receive support and professional guidance stepping towards their recovery.

  • When people share their stories, they educate others who may have their own perceptions of mental health. It helps to give others a better understanding of some of the challenges of living with a mental illness.

  • Hearing a real story may give a glimmer into the sense of what it feels like to lose all hope, become numb to all feelings, and believe that you have become a burden to others but it also evokes empathy in others towards you and towards humans in general.

  • When people share their stories, they offer support to others who may be going through similar struggles. It allows others to see that "they are not alone", who are going through the struggles and challenges of a mental illness.

  • It is a way of offering encouragement to people to engage in the conversations around mental health and start seeking ways to overcome it.

  • Those who are currently struggling can also learn about tips and suggestions that helped others to get through the difficult times or manage their mental illness.

Therefore, one should be committed to challenging the misguided perceptions of mental health and increasing public understanding of mental health. We must strive to create awareness, shatter the social stigma and initiate constructive conversations about mental health. Sharing stories of recovery, struggle or hope can correct misconceptions and stereotypes. By sharing your story, you can help spread knowledge and modify the perspective about mental health issues.

Unmuting yourself would help you in opening up and acknowledging your own experiences and struggle as well as offer support and encouragement to others with similar experiences. ‘Be The Change ’ by having a conversation. It can help to break down the barrier of stigma, silence and shame around the subject as well as change the way people think and act about it.

Initiating constructive conversations and addressing mental health problems at the community level will enhance the sensitivity and acceptance level in people for them to show compassion and support towards people who are suffering silently. It is compassion that is vital for establishing social connections essential for humanity. Offering compassion, empathy and support will resilience and fortitude.

Silly Opera is making it possible to create spaces where you can share such stories, have deep conversations around mental health and much more. These spaces are open to all for more information write to us.

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