by: Maryam Olajide

The world has a new generation of influencers – they are bold, audacious and will do whatever it takes them to achieve their goals. They are called the “Gen Z”. You will then begin to wonder, why these set of people are the ones who romanticize seemingly irrelevant things. 

There’s a new trend of performative activism, people trying to glorify mental illness, giving attention to every emotion they feel, and being overly sensitive to words and actions. 

Even though research has shown that mental health issues affect the way people feel, think, and behave, they are still pretty much signs of personal weakness and not a medical condition worthy of diagnosis.

Life is not meant to be fair, and people need to know that the world has bigger problems to solve than tendering to emotional imbalances. Everyone has at one time or the other have to deal with life issues, so enough of the pity party, people need to learn how to mask it up, internalise it, and maybe give it time, it sometimes gets better with time.

There’s a very thin line between brain diseases and mental illness, they should never be confused for each other, while disorders such as epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis are brain disorders, and are considered neurological diseases rather than mental illnesses. Faux scientists, who should be engaged in researches about actual (physical) illness, are expending resources to investigate the brains of people who have mental illnesses, and are trying to associate changes in the brain’s structure, chemistry, and function to prove that mental illness does indeed have a biological basis.

Well, assuming this is true, reported cases of mental illness as such is rare, and only happens in cases where people had to deal with a life threatening situation, what then is the drive to kill a mosquito with a sledge hammer?!

It’s become a trend these days, so much that you can’t go a day without encountering posts about why you should rate mental health, I mean we’re not trying to raise a generation of weaklings, So it really shouldn’t be that deep. 

There’s this popular joke about how Nigerians can never be depressed, for a country whose people only recognise two emotions, anger and humour, what’s there to be depressed about? Things might not be working, the system might be failing, there might be a little bit of insecurity induced panic attack, but, in the grand scheme of things, it’s not worthy of being tagged a mental illness. 

To all the self acclaimed Nigerian activists, if mental health was  that much of a big deal, why are we still stuck with lunacy act of 1958, in 2022?! This goes on to prove that there’s no urgency to this thing.

As a kind reminder to intending mental health advocates, unless you want to be associated with stigma, shame and questions as to your intentions, you better discard the thought and focus on things that actually matter.

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