It’s intolerable, and amongst everything that has been partially bearable this past year, it seems like this specific conundrum has put so many in so much unease – it’s when your train of thought happens to run on a track with no grease, creating an abrade screech that seizes you  at any moment. The physical restrain that this matter causes isn’t with due to an unfortunate fracture, but one that is ushered in an unpleasant degree of objectivity to the simplest degree; Mental Illness.

Spending around two weeks researching about the several mental disorders that have reigned over the previous, and current generation for my university assignment, I figured out that the best way to actually understand these disorders is from a personal point of view. I don’t claim that I’ve never been depressed, that I’ve never been within the mild scale of anxiety, nor have I ever been diagnosed with a food disorder that I suffer from to this day – but I think that an individual’s honest, and bare perception suffices for a scientific one (to an extent).


Looking at  the various types of mental illnesses, my classmates and I focused on depression, as well as anxiety. Picking up from that, we based our research off of creating polls on social media platforms, to illustrative neuroimaging of the brain, portraying the different stages of depression. On the day that we had to present, I personally thought that whatever we said had to be elaborate, and simultaneously wholehearted. In all honesty, a certain sense of vulnerability came into place, personally speaking that is.

It’s funny how we middle eastern individuals live in a society that views the matter of depression, or the general matter of mental disorders as a taboo. It’s funny how we blame the internal commencement of those things to the lack of practicing religious duties, and it’s quite baffling how when a person speaks of having such illnesses, they tend to be neglected.

Glenn Gustafson, from Graphic Artists Guild’s Directory of Illustration (1989)

Trust me when I say that just a hug, or saying something like “Good job on getting out of bed today” or “I’m here for you, what do you need” can make such a huge difference. Be compassionate, genuinely care, become a backbone to a person with depression, or anxiety, because at times their bones are fragmented, or just like an infant, they’re forming, or reforming in this case.  Try to deviate from promptly using medication, and try alternative things like writing, or going out for a jog, or even dabble into the arts, call it art therapy if you wish.


At a recent meeting that took place at Malja Bahrain, a writer named Natasha Burge talked about an initiative titled MAD ART. What this initiative aims for is to raise awareness and reclaim the narrative of mental illnesses. Artists, or individuals that have been through a mental illness are asked to submit artwork pieces that relate in some form, or way to the experience. If you’re interested, please do contact her on the following email:

Awhile deliberating on the matter, and working on your art piece, give this week’s music playlist a listen – also, I just wanted to let you know that things will be okay. You will overcome the situation you’re in, and you’re far more than what others think of you awhile facing a mental illness. Treat yourself gently, care for yourself, and take as much time to heal. Surround yourself with people that love you, people that appreciate you, and altruistic people that fill you up with emotions that make you glow.

I just wanted to say that at times, things might seem hard, and I’m sure they are, but always know that you’re loved, that in someone’s heart, you have a home that’s unattended to by anyone else, but yourself. Your heart beat surely must have left an imprint in someone’s body.

Stay safe, and take good care of yourself.


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