The entire world is in ramshackle and people freaking out everywhere. It is times like this, that makes you wish you are with your loved ones but it made me think, how many of you are actually loved and respected? How many of you live where you feel ‘at home’? How many of you feel safe with the people you live with? How many of you go to sleep trusting completely, that the person next to you won’t try strangle you in your sleep? Frankly, how many of you can actually sleep? The world is panicking about the novel coronavirus pandemic but what nobody talks about is the importance of mental health during situations like this. I am going to talk about this mental crisis because most people don’t think it is important enough to address. Trust me. It is equally as important.

As of now, the best solution still remains staying indoors but most of us don’t really comprehend how hard that is if surrounded by toxic people. Staying indoors for days and losing sanity by the end of the pandemic absolutely makes no sense. If you lose yourself mentally, then is there a purpose to fight to stay physically alive?

There is this adage that says, ” People think being alone makes you lonely but I don’t think that is true being surrounded by the wrong people is the loneliest thing in the world.” Kim Culbertson

I felt the need to address this issue as the myth produced by sexist memes and comics where the clichéd ‘constant nagging’ wife forces her ‘poor victimised’ husband to run outdoors. I think it is time to stop that; as honestly, nobody knows how hard it is for a woman with the potential to change the world to wait hand and foot on most Indian men who aren’t even capable of cleaning up their own messes, literally and figuratively and get nothing in return. I know many women who give up their entire lives to look after their families but they are so badly treated at home.

On top of that, I have been reading a few articles about the rise of domestic abuse during this time and frankly, there is anything domestic about it! There is also a prediction of a huge increase in divorce rates by the time lockdown is over! Well, that seems inevitable.I understand and I have been there. It is not easy being forced to stay for days with no relief. And if you do get out of it by some luck, you still face years of PTSD and it’s not ok. Toxic relationships, narcissistic households and family politics might just get too much to handle when you don’t have your job or financial independence to fall back on.

I can only imagine the mental state of people who have been living like this for years with no option to leave from the situation of torture.

It is not ok living under constant criticism, constant nagging, constant restrictions. Restrictions where you are not even been allowed to go to the balcony of your house for a gasp of fresh air, by the very people who are supposed to protect and support you the most.

It is not ok when you are made to feel insignificant constantly so that you stay “in your place”.

It is not ok when you are treated with no respect and is abused; emotionally, verbally, mentally or physically so that you feel useless constantly even if you do everything right.

It is not ok being around constant manipulation and deception and drama and where you have to constantly think on your feet, lest you shall be lied to and fooled again.

It is not ok to live when the pressure gets so intense that you have such terrible headaches that you feel your head might explode! And you constantly even forget what you have to say. You forget how to coin a basic sentence when earlier, you were a very communicative and expressive person.

It is not ok when you feel yourself slowly ebbing away into a mere shadow of who you were. Even worse, realizing that there is nothing that you can do and that you have nobody to care for you there.

It is not ok and believe me, this is just the tip of the Iceberg. Before dismissing it after reading, I request you to take a moment and look at your partner or other members of your family and try to understand how they feel. And if they are in this situation, then I urge you to stand up for them. Please help and support them.

Now for those people who live like this, when you feel like a caged animal with nowhere to go, I need you to know that this situation is temporary. It is important that you understand what is happening to you, only then will you be able to fight it. Even when you have any physical illness, doctors first diagnose and name it, only then can it be treated. It’s the same for this too!

You will slowly feel like you are losing yourself bit by bit but I need you to understand that you have a lot of people who care for you. You are just stuck at the wrong end, so hang in there till help arrives. Don’t take mental health in such situations lightly. I know it’s not easy to reach out for help. But please do. Talk to a therapist or motivated friends and if nobody is available during this time, then try meditation or exercise. Or just lock yourself up in your room and give 10 minutes to your mental peace everyday by doing nothing, by cutting away from all toxicity and reviving yourself. Or if you can, then dance or sing. Even if you make yourself look like a fool, it’s ok. Your body needs your sanity and so does your family. Take care of yourself first.

In fact, the truth about life from my experience is that when you go through immense pain ,you are broken into pieces time and again, but don’t worry. Let yourself be shattered so that when you put the pieces back together you get something greater and stronger than you ever imagined. You get the chance to rebuild yourself the way you want! So make it count.

Dr Zaeba S Gani
Celebrity Dentist and Model