This is the second part of the essay ‘Living with a broken mind.’ The first part was published on DT on September 25, 2019
During this time of corona, when we are all taking care of our family and loved ones, and are concerned about those who are suffering worse than us, we may be forgetting about our mental health issues. We are forgetting that some things are deeply personal, yet crucial for our survival.
Growing up in a country of scarcity and dense population, many, if not most of us, may have mental illnesses, diagnosed or undiagnosed, and it is paramount that we take proper care of our minds in this season so that those issues do not get to a level that would create trouble, both for oneself and those who are around.
I say this as someone who is diagnosed with bipolar disorder -- some things are not in our control and we should not feel so personally guilty about what is happening to the neediest that we lose our own sanity, even if we start to think that that is the time’s calling.
Here are the facts: These are uncertain times. We do not exactly know how long this lockdown is going to last and we do not exactly know how long it will take humanity to beat this virus, or its economic aftershock. But don’t fret. Where there is a crisis, there is a solution.
Although our government is lagging far behind in its responsibilities in fulfilling the demand that that solution seeks, there are a lot of solutions coming out of this crisis. New private endeavours to tackle this crisis are rising. One of the examples of such a crisis is the Moshal Foundation, which is doing amazing work by reaching mental health help to people in need through telemedicine, which is is a great necessity at this time.
I am sure that there are many other organizations which are doing similar work to help you fight your personal demons from the comfort of your home. This, along with other non-governmental efforts is working to the best of their ability to help the nation come out of this crisis. That is why I am sure that this pandemic will come to an end, sooner or later. Still, from my personal experiences, I have found some things helping.
The first thing, as an obese person myself, comes to my mind is exercising. You should take out a specific time in your day for any sort of exercise, even if it is just walking for 30 minutes within the confines of your home. Also, talk to your parents and loved ones as frequently as possible.
Spend some quality family time, if possible and limit your addictions, even if they seem benign. Even caffeine can throw you off off your circadian rhythm, which is one thing that you should try to keep at a healthy level for physiological reasons. To pass time, you can learn new skills, like cooking or cleaning your own house.
I am trying to learn coding, which I have dreaded and feared for long. As I said in a recent op-ed, I am sure that Bangladesh will come back strong from this disaster. Until then, let us just hope for a better tomorrow and keep our own selves healthy and help those who are trying to help others, to the best of our ability. But don’t worry too much, for whatever may happen, a new sunrise is always inevitable.
Anupam Debashis Roy is the editor and organizer of Muktiforum.