Love Yourself

Love Yourself

My sister called me from the U.S., crying and telling me about her boyfriend’s death. “He chose death, you know!”.

Before he passed away, her boyfriend didn’t show any unusual signs. He still went out and had dinner with her. “He was an active person, liked to bring laughter to others,” she shared. She didn’t realize he was depressed until he chose death.

It’s not easy to recognize someone who is depressed or stuck in life, especially when they portray themselves as strong. During college, one night, I and a few close friends received a message from a classmate, saying she felt suffocated in her life. A bit confused, I called back and found out that she was under a lot of pressure: her studies were not going well, her family was having many problems, her parents were quarreling and divorcing.

After the phone call, my friends and I ran from Ho Chi Minh City down to Tien Giang in the middle of the night to meet her, hoping she would reconsider and find a more positive solution. We then decided to tell her family about her predicament. Perhaps because they loved their daughter, her parents chose to sit down and resolve their family conflicts.

The rate of mental disorders in our country accounts for nearly 15% of the population, with one in seven Vietnamese people suffering from a disease, most of whom are not treated. The Deputy Director of the Department of Medical Examination and Treatment Management, Ministry of Health, shared this information at the workshop on Enhancing the Capacity of the Mental Health Care System on August 10th. Meanwhile, globally, one in eight people live with mental disorders. The National Adolescent Mental Health Survey 2022 recorded that 21.7% of adolescents reported having mental health problems. Worldwide, over 75% of mental health disorders begin by the age of 24.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the Covid-19 pandemic has affected many people, exacerbating stress and destroying the mental health of millions. Estimates show an increase in anxiety disorders and depression by more than 25% in the first year of the pandemic.

These alarming figures need to be considered for a national program aimed at young people, equipping them with skills to “ride out the storm”. In life, everyone will have times when they face difficulties, uncertainties, breakdowns, losses. Not accepting loss and pain is what makes people more painful and prolongs suffering.

But there are too few places that equip people with the possibilities that they may encounter unpleasant things in life. Partly because most of us are afraid to talk about loss. Most just want to talk about happiness, luck, things as desired. If everyone is trained to recognize unpleasant truths in life, that nothing lasts forever and impermanence is inevitable, then perhaps it would be different. The next step after recognition is learning how to live best in all circumstances; this is also a way to love oneself and loved ones.

Loving oneself deeply enough to make oneself happy and peaceful is loving others; it’s the most precious gift we can give our loved ones. The first time I heard this I didn’t understand much. Until I went through incidents when I had to leave my loved ones did I realize: if I sink into pain or depression or choose to end my life then my loved ones would probably be heartbroken.

“Save yourself” or “love yourself” are keywords for each person to stop and think deeply about their suffering: where does it come from? And no matter where it comes from there’s always a solution for every problem whether fast or slow.

The WHO estimates that 71% of people with mental disorders worldwide do not receive mental health care services. Countries spend on average just over 2% of their health budget on mental health. Vietnam also needs policies for prevention, assistance, and mental health care for its citizens, especially the young.

However, above all, it is essential to equip each individual with the skills to overcome their own suffering and pain, rather than relying on others. Leading a balanced lifestyle, taking more care of mental health, and not waiting until one is in a precarious situation to scramble for solutions should be practiced daily.

Lưu Đình Long

You are viewing the article:
Love Yourself

Post Date: