My native language has so many derogative terms for the display of ones feelings. When it’s not kyejjo, which when loosely translated means being a cry baby, it’s “kutijja” ( in the case of love or romance) which would mean an exaggerated display, I think. But it’s not really a good thing. If you pay attention, what everyone is trying to say in essence is put a lid on it. Whatever it is, no one else needs to know. Your feelings are your business. And so you have a whole lot of people walking about with no idea what it means to actually feel stuff.  A bunch of robots, if you ask me. How does anyone live like that?

Anyway, I think our cultural refusal to acknowledge emotions has a huge role to play in our people’s refusal to acknowledge things like depression, anxiety, bipolar, schizophrenia etc as real. We imagine that like emotions, that stuff can be locked away and forgotten about; that those who actually suffer from these things (read: those who fail to ‘deal’ with their emotions responsibly ) are cry babies and/or attention seekers, which are collectively termed ‘kyejjo’. Basically, what they are saying is you can get over it. You can forget it. You can choose not to let it affect you. What is it anyway? Those are white people problems/ diseases for the rich/stuff that only affects the current generation. It’s very sad; sad because so many are forced to live in silence and in shame (on top of the on going turmoil in their heads) and many still are being subjected to mental assylums, traditional healers etc in an effort to make them normal. Not to mention those who , unable to cope, resort to suicide as an end to it all.

The stories break my heart. Why would anyone consciously let themselves suffer if there was something they could do about it? Who in their right mind would want attention/sympathy so much that they would make up something like this? Does that make any sense to you? No, I didn’t think so. Anyone who can say something like that has clearly never woken up in the morning feeling internally paralysed and unable to function. You’re probably thinking “unable to function? Just get up and get moving”. I’m no doctor and so I will not get technical with this post. But these images speak volumes.

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Do not make someone’s life unbearable because you do not know. Do not directly or indirectly contribute to the growing rate of suicide (both attempted and successful). Ignorance is not an excuse.  Educate yourself. Today’s world is flowing with endless resources. Let’s educate ourselves and create a better world. It begins with you and me. And it begins right now.

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