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My Name is Tabarak

Mental Health issues is a big subject ranging from psychology to politics and ethology. MysteriousT presents this article based on research.

Mental Health Awareness is Important!


Mental health issues in the world of Marginalisation?

Tabarak. That is my name. In the Quran, it is defined as “blessed”. My name is
representative of my journey, my religion, my race and my culture. As a Muslim and as an Arab, I have seen mental illness being treated as a taboo topic in my community, as it is in many other cultures.

Through my personal perspective, I have employed my sociological imagination to reflect on the reasons behind the negative attitudes that some cultures have to mental illnesses. On review, a certain mindset is influenced from conservative societies. Assuming I approached a fellow aunty within my community and informed her that I may be mentally ill, my name will not be “blessed” anymore. I will be discriminated against, and dubiously avoided. A look of disapproval will be directed at me. To understand their perspective, I spoke to an aunty about it, and she said, “you are powerful enough to strive to be happy and release any negativity.”

She doesn’t believe in the medical perspective of mental illness, she believes in a philosophical aspect and that if her grandfather and his grandfather before him dealt with it this way, then so too should future generations. I agree with her perspective; I do not agree that it is easily solved because medical terms are different to philosophical terms.

Culture and religion in most cases are interconnected, and this is one of many reasons as to why mental health is often perceived with a negative attitude. Stigma is widely prevalent towards individuals suffering from mental illnesses. Sufferers will be regarded as the ‘other’, and different. They will be told that they lack faith in God. They won’t think of it as an illness requiring treatment, just as any other physical illness is. I agree that faith greatly influences positive energy; however, chemical imbalances are a physiological process of the brain, which affects the mood of a person, therefore affecting their mental stability (Abdullah &
Brown, 2011).

Reflecting on the other reasons behind the negative attitudes towards mental illnesses, one that stands out is ignorance. It is simply impossible to have a meaningful and respectful conversation about something we are ignorant of. This was evident once I reviewed studies that looked at what people thought of mental illness.

A ‘personal weakness’ is how depression is described by over half of African-Americans, more than a quarter of African-Americans say they can deal with depression themselves and approximately 33% would accept medication by a professional (Carr & Halpin, 2019). World Mental Health suggested 22% of individuals in developing countries and 11% of individuals in developed countries felt ashamed, afraid and avoided seeking treatment due to discrimination ("Cultural Perspectives on Mental Health", 2019).

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There is a crucial need for increasing awareness and education about mental health among all schools of practice and faith. Why engender isolation within your community? I feel exasperated at the nescience of some communities. I feel disheartened for all those who suffer with a mental illness only for their suffering to be made worse by their community. Yet, thinking with clarity, I asked myself, “why is this the case? Why are mental health and illnesses a taboo, why are they dealt with so negatively by some cultures?”

Cultures in Asia stigmatise mental illnesses because of their core values: “Conformity to norms, Emotional self-control, Family recognition through achievement” (Kobau, 2019). It’s because of a community’s ignorance of mental health, and it’s also because of how the media negatively portrays mental illnesses. Furthermore, it’s because of conservative mindsets.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2022 MysteriousT

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