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Mental health is crying out for help and not being heard: we need to embrace the pain - 02/21/2022

Mental health is crying out for help and not being heard: we need to embrace the pain – 02/21/2022

Talking about mental health in a country like Brazil, which tops the classification of mental disorders but makes people with this type of illness invisible is urgent and has been my daily mantra. The data is scary.

Unfortunately, we are second in the list of countries with the most affected fatigue syndromeAccording to the International Stress Management Association (International Stress Management Association). Exhaustion, which can be confused with anxiety and depression, already afflicts more than 33 million Brazilians.

Brazil also tops the sad rankings of depression in Latin America and is second only to the United States in the Americas. There are more than 11.5 million Brazilians, and by 2030, this will be the most common disease in the country, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Among health professionals, the situation – which has worsened during the pandemic – is even more worrying. Every day I receive several calls for help on my social networks that touch me deeply. One of them was for someone who had been expelled from medical residency because he was depressed. she told me:

I was dismissed from the medical residency in the intensive care unit due to my illness and depression. I wanted this disease to bleed so people could understand my pain.”

The message made me think: How many cries for help have gone unheard?

Soon, I received another report. This time from the medical student:

I also struggle with this during my internship in medical school. These are doctors who understand nothing about mental health. You can help a lot by highlighting the suffering of medical students.”

In the corporate world, this fact is repeated. There are managers who are unable to understand what a framework is depression. Between March 2020 and March 2021, mental disorders caused more absences from work than Covid-19, according to a survey by B2P, a consultancy that specializes in monitoring and managing employees on medical leave.

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The mental health debate has evolved a lot in recent years, but social stigma remains an important obstacle to the recovery and rehabilitation of people with this type of disorder. So welcoming and legitimizing this pain is urgent.

I have already had a skin problem and I know that those who go through it feel, above all, that they have been misunderstood. It is essential that we struggle daily with symptoms – which often interfere with autonomy, independence and quality of life – and at the same time, face discrimination. The internal and external judgment is very harsh. We feel invisible and loneliness increases the pain. Moving beyond shame, fear, feelings of vulnerability, and beliefs about not being “good enough” and gathering the strength to seek help is the first step — a revolutionary step in self-esteem.

For this reason, support networks play a vital role, especially in a country as focused on diverse realities as Brazil, where the possibility to seek immediate medical help is a privilege. Creating listening spaces, both within and outside of companies, to give a voice to distress and where pain can be welcomed, legitimized and transformed is essential for all people to be able to walk the path of self-respect and overcoming.

Self-awareness of others’ pain builds bridges and allows us to question the beliefs and prejudices that prevent us from developing as individuals and as a society.

I remember a definition of illness I heard when I was at Brumadinho (MG), covering the Bem Estar tragedy for TV Globo’s. I cried profusely as I listened to the relatives of the victims and a nurse called me aside and told me the following sentence: “I went to college, worked for many years, but in the Mariana disaster I realized that the real patient is someone who does not feel the pain of another.”

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It is for strong belief sympathy From this alliance I end the text with an invitation: Together with health professionals, such as psychologist Cynthia Alves and physicians Ana Paula Carvalho, Henrique Rigo and Fabio Martins Fonseca, we will hold the first round of conversation on burnout. At the meeting, those who need this emotional support will be able to vent into a welcoming and safe environment, as well as find information about the illness. It’s free.

Fatigue conversation wheel
Date: February 22 (Tuesday)
Opening hours: 20:00 to 22:00
I make for you here Subscription*

* Support group space is limited. Please register only if you are sure that you will be able to participate on the specified day and time. Entries can be made until 23:59 on 02/21/2022.