Generally speaking, you know when people have a common cold, a limp or a skin rash because it's noticeable. But you might seldom identify people with anxiety or panic disorders because it mostly goes unseen.
That doesn't mean people with mental health issues are affected any less than those with physical ailments. They simply mask their inner struggles and emotions, for whatever reasons.
In much of the cases only close family and friends are privy to what they are going through. Outside of this support system, they usually suffer in silence. As experiences go, it can be terrifying.
According to an October 2023 report in The Economic Times, an estimated 60-70 million people in India suffer from common and severe mental disorders.
That's more than the population of most states in the country and several times higher than the population of Europe.
This is not a call to action, a public service request or an urgent appeal for empathy and compassion.
This is about awareness. The ability to recognise the signs in a friend or a colleague. To just be there for them, and listen actively.
It’s a small step, but conversations help ease the psychological burden.