I am naturally an overly protective person, towards myself, my family and my friends. So when I hear that some of the people close to me have to been attacked, I get so defensive. But today was a testing day.
I found out that my bestfriend had been bullied. This is not the first time it has happened, she has been bullied by strangers about her body size, her partner and today, her race. She is naturally an introvert, which makes it hard for her to talk back, and so she hurts inside while allowing her resilience to deal with the pain.
Every time she is bullied, I am quick to ask if she knew who exactly the people were (because I’d like to give them a piece of my mind), but unfortunately, she never does. Today, it was a customer who had walked in her shop and decided to offload trashy comments to her. She held on to “the customer is always right” and again kept her silence.
But the continuous of such events scares me, I keep asking myself as to how much damage are they causing, more especially to her mental health. I keep fearing that she might get depressed, get anxiety etc.
I have seen what bullying does to a lot of people, most of them end up being
• Some get anorexic or obese
• Substance abuse and the list goes on
So this being the Mental Health Awareness Month, maybe it is time we focus on the after-effects of being bullied. The damages it causes to the victim. And I want to take such stand because Malawi, or a lot of African countries, do not fully talk about mental health. Our societies have put a stigma towards it, that makes it look like it does not affect black people.
We really neglect the fact that depression, anxiety, PTSD, Bipolar disorders are reasons why we are losing a lot of young people to death, substance abuse, sex abuse etc. All due to our negligence.
To anyone who knows that their friends are going through a hard time, or are being bullied, please make sure to constantly check on them, assure them that you are there for them, show them the love that they need. We all need each other to survive this cruel earth.
During this month of May, I will be talking more about Mental Health, we need to make noise about it for people to accept it.
Have a story to tell? Please comment or send me a direct email by filling the contact form. I would love to hear and share some of them.