The Stigma on Mental Health and Attention Seeking

Photo bt Lucxama Sylvian

“She doesn’t want to sit with us today. Leave her alone, she’s just seeking attention.” “Apparently he feels lonely. Lonely from what? He’s just looking for attention.” “She’s apparently not feeling well, but doesn’t know what’s wrong. That girl likes attention.” “She’s apparently going to see a therapist. Wow, the extreme that people can go just to get attention”….and..and..and. These were the common phrases I grew up hearing that taught me one thing: “Whatever you’re feeling that may seem different and you don’t understand, DO NOT TALK ABOUT IT! You don’t want to be known as the attention seeker”.

So what did I do? I learned to talk louder so that the high pitch in my voice could distract anyone from hearing the cracks in my speech. I learned to walk really fast so that no one could ever see my legs trembling from fear. And I learned to laugh the loudest so that no one could ever realize the confusion that was underlined beneath my eyes and embarrassment I felt towards my own feelings. Whatever it took, I was determined not to be the girl who “seek attention”.

This is my story. A single individual. How many more stories have our societies created for millions of more people simply because they rejected brain dysfunctions as essential issues? How many more stories of alcohol, drug, and sex addictions have our societies created for people simply because they refused therapists as crucial professionals in every community? How many more stories have our societies ended way too soon because the only options we offered was suicide?

Be an attention seeker!

If I could go back and tell pre-teen and teenage me one thing, it would be this: “Be an attention seeker!” Fine, lets accept that people with brain dysfunctions are attention seekers. What is so wrong about seeking attention when you need help? Individuals who have diabetes seek attention from their health care providers to manage their blood sugar levels. Those who break their legs seek attention from the surgeons. Those with (I could go on forever here, but I’m sure you get my point by now). So why do we put a negative connotation on attention-seeking when it comes to individuals with brain disorders??

It took me a good year and couple of months to create this blog. Procrastination was definitely part of the reason (it’s hard to have an all-or-nothing personality). Still, a big part of this was that I was afraid that I may lose control over my anxiety again because people would simply think I’m just “seeking attention”. But, you know what, YES, I’M SEEKING ATTENTION. I’m seeking more attention for those who battle with mood disorders like depression and bipolar disorders. I’m seeking more attention for those who suffer from anxiety. I’m seeking more attention for those who battle with OCD, PTSD and eating disorders. We live in a sick society that needs help. I hope soon enough, we become more receptive and approachable to the friend who says they feel alone. And we do not shame them for the chemical imbalances that are occurring in their brain.

It’s all cool and “woke” when the post is an inspirational quote like “The greatest wealth is health”. But God forbid that you actually speak about the health.

I now understand the society I grew up in. Technology was not what it is today. I couldn’t dream of spending more than 2hours on the internet then, let alone a whole day because the internet package we had then was limited. School curriculums were outdated, and we barely had any social workers provided at schools. Research was limited, and only a few had access to this information. But today, I fail to understand why this is still something relevant to write about. How is this even a topic of discussion in this decade? In today’s world, you’re all cool and “woke” when you can post some “inspirational quote” on mental health, but God forbid that anyone actually displays their own voice.

What was before, isn’t what should be today and definitely not what must be tomorrow!

If the world ever wrote your story for you, I hope you can find the courage to rewrite it yourself from here forth. And I hope it’s going to be a beautiful one.

Until next time, leaving you with all that good-good mental health vibes…xx

Published by JustSoMagda

Hi there, I'm Magda Not actually my birth name, but sometimes people fall asleep by the time I get to the -leena part...yes, Magdaleena, and welcome to my world. With my wide range of interests and opinions, I decided to create this blog to display most of my thoughts for the world to indulge. After all, what's the worst that can happen by allowing the world to judge and critic your views, right?! Which brings me to--ANXIETY!!! Being somewhat of an extrovert who suffers from anxiety is probably the most confusing personality triat ever. On the one hand, I have this LOUD, wild and carefree personality to be whoever I want to be and do whatever I want to do (yep, you guessed it, I'm your typical VERY OPINIONATED, FREE-SPIRITED and REBELLIOUS SCORPIO female). But on the other hand, there's the other self that shrinks itself because it worries too much what others think of them, and can't stand the fact that they are misunderstood and just hopes that the world doesn't judge them too harshly for the unconventional ways that they choose to navigate this thing called life. Because, it still makes no sense why everything in life comes with a manual, EXCEPT life itself. The beauty in this though is that anytime I get told "I just don't understand you", I tend not to take it to heart, coz guess what, I don't understand me too!! So why did I choose to create a blog I will have to post my views that will probably leave me with endless sleepless nights worrying about who may be reading them and judging me?? Because I WANT TO (you see, there's that fierce queen who goes after what she wants). Also, you can call it a type of exposure therapy. Speaking of exposure therapy, I'm a passionate about all things mental health related. I eat, live, breath, sleep (you name it) mental health. My passion on this is likely due to the fact that I didn't even know I had any mental illness issues until late in my adulthood because I never grew up hearing about this issues. Where I come from, if anyone acts/feels different from societal norms, you gotta "PRAY ON IT" because that's the devil right there, or his cousin "witchcraft".. YOU GOTTA LOVE AFRICANS! So here, we will be talking on all things mental health related, from relationships, work, beauty and just about your every social life issues and provide my own "life manual" on how I manage to do this thing called life! Do grab yourself a nice cup of tea or wine (we don't judge here) and enjoy living for a moment in my thoughts..

3 thoughts on “The Stigma on Mental Health and Attention Seeking

  1. You are talented, what an interesting piece, I am surely learning a lot from you, reading your posts feels soo natural!

    It’s time we started taking note that people are not just “looking for attention” but rather offer the attention they need!


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