Breaking the Stigma

2023-10-23 03:01     Comment:0

Mikhaila Martinez, USJ Student

        Despite the fact that mental health is an important component for a human being, it is frequently ignored in many communities. Mental health problems continue to be a major challenge for the people of Macau despite its quick economic progress and modernisation. Civil society in Macau is well renowned for being incredibly competitive and fast-paced. Stress levels might rise, and mental health issues can develop due to the pressure to achieve in school, the workplace, and society. Individuals frequently feel overburdened and unable to handle the demands put on them as a result of the emphasis on achievement and perfectionism. 

 When I was a high-school freshman, I was having self-destructive tendencies. I had no one to rely on, I was in a dark place. So, I sought out our school counsellor, but in the end, it didn’t really help me. They did what they could. The worst part was a few days later when I found out my situation was shared to everyone in school. It felt like my world was falling apart. I felt like all my peers had their eyes on me, judgemental looks were sent my way, worst part, even my own reflection started treating me the same. But eventually I overcame my fears, I bullied myself into becoming a better version of myself than who I was before and, surprisingly, it worked out. 

Now that I’m in college, I have to deal with a lot of new difficulties, and I knew I had to talk to someone about it or else I would explode. I did not want to talk to the counsellors in my new school, I was stuck with the memories of my past. Despite that, I went and to my surprise, they were different. I felt heard for the first time in a while. My speech was not just sounds coming from my vocal cords, they were words. They had meaning and significance and I was taken seriously, a feeling I had not felt in a long time and a feeling I did not know I needed. 

Macau has undergone rapid urbanisation, which has had a considerable impact on the social structure of the city. Feelings of loneliness, anxiety, and depression can be influenced by a fast-paced lifestyle, increasing social isolation, and diminished social support networks, making it extremely common for teenagers to feel the same way I did. 

 It is important to have a safe space for all, especially for the ones who feel isolated. Getting help can improve one’s well-being. There are always other options to refresh your mind. Talking to someone you trust is one way, or simply taking a break from the burnout. And checking on others when you feel they are down may help.

Photo courtesy of Unsplash

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