We all know what Mental Illness is, and we have heard about time and again. We know it exists and we know that is real and despite all that people in Nepal still hide their Mental Illness. Why you may ask? Well, there are a few things that force us to ignore them. At the very least, hide the issue that we have in our minds. I’m going to highlight the few of the major reasons to “Why people hide their Mental Illness” in our country.
Bad Public Image
Mental Illness has a bad public image. This may be because most sufferers of mental illness are the ones who cannot function in our society. There is also a traditional belief that all mental illness is “madness”. What the public doesn’t consider is that mental illness can range from something as simple as “panic disorder” to major ones like “Schizophrenia”. The world and the Nepalese society do not see this gap in between and every and all mental illness is the same for them. The term “Pagal” is a term that technically means clinically insane. The issue here is that for Nepalese all people with any form of mental illness are “Pagal” and in Nepal, all “Pagal” are hated or avoided equally.
As mental illness already has a bad image, the ones who suffer from them also suffer from humiliation. It does not help their case by making fun of them or talking behind their backs. One who acts a slightly different is humiliated in Nepal. Given this, the victims, whose entire behaviors are determined by their fluctuating emotions naturally act differently. What this leads to is people’s sideline them slowly and when they are included in any group and they are made fun of for their behaviors which leads to isolation.
Lack Of Understanding
As mentioned before, mental illness is not understood in Nepal at all. A few years back, the ones who suffered from seizures were called possessed. This should give you a rough idea of why people hide mental illness. Surprisingly, this not only happens in the rural areas but in the urban areas as well. Funnily enough, a seizure is not even a whole disorder but just a symptom. Now imagine how would a person with Borderline Personality Disorder be treated, if a seizure is treated like that. This is one of the major reasons why people hide mental disorders
Fear of Isolation
Going away from the external issue, I should also tell you that most suffers are somewhat paranoid. They believe that if they tell the world that they are scared of people, people will just laugh at them. This is a real case and much common case as a lot of people suffer from “Social Anxiety Disorder” in Nepal. Also, the fact that we have a culture of saying “you will get used to it” doesn’t help them at all. Instead, they just withdraw more. Depression is real and a lot of people suffer from it. When people say that they suffer from depression, they fear that they may be isolated even more. It is an irrational thought but the ones suffering form not just depression but any mental issue cannot control how they think.
No Place in Society
As we have established that Mental disorders and the people suffering from a mental disorder are misinterpreted and misunderstood. As a result, there is not much place for them in our Nepalese society. The ones with mental issues are, after all, just humans and want to be accepted as well. It doesn’t happen too much in Nepalese society and this is why people hide their Mental Illness. Most of the victims, just want to be accepted into the society which treats their issue like a pandemic.