Mental Health should be considered the most important issue of today’s times. Sadly we have come a long way as a developed society forming the most advanced global village of all the times, yet still, our acceptance of mental health issues is vague and unacceptable.
Recently Famous American Singer & Songwriter Gloria Estefan made a huge impact on supporting the world’s mental health crisis by opening up about the past experiences that almost lead her to suicidal thoughts.
Estefan and her daughter appeared on the episode of The Red Table Talk: The Estefans and they openly discussed about the mental health crisis that they faced as a family.
Based on the memory recall of Gloria Estefan, she was only 15 years old when her father came back from the Vietnam war. He was a patient of Multiple sclerosis when he came back home. Gloria Estefan, at that time was the one who started to take care of her father. The celebrity whilst remembering about her father's condition & how it affected her, said:
"He lost his ability to speak, he couldn't walk, he would stand up to try to go to the bathroom and he would fall and he would soil himself. I would have to bathe him. He would be crying, embarrassed. That's what would kill me."
Gloria, who is now 63 and claims that she has always felt best with her skin and self, explained how her father's condition and emotional self really deteriorated her mental health. As she was not talking about how this was making her feel to her mother or grandmother to not worry them, she started to have suicidal thoughts due to her mental condition and constant depression due to her father's condition.
"I didn't want to tell my mother that I was starting to feel cracks in my armor."
Gloria said she started to have suicidal thoughts and she very much planned on how she would kill herself. Her father had left a gun back home before leaving for the war as a protection for her mother. She remembers how she wanted to go for the gun to commit suicide. Explaining those horrifying moments, she said:
"I remember going to the place, thinking, 'OK, the gun is there, but what if instead, I hang myself, because that might be bloody.' And I had even picked out the tree that I might do it on, and then I thought, 'Hold on, my mom is going to find me, my sister, I'm not going to be there for her.' And what got me through that moment was thinking of others."
Gloria Estefan could only let go of these suicidal thoughts when she focused on how it could impact her family. She got involved in studying psychology and that also helped her lot plus her husband came into her life which was also a good impact on the mental health of Gloria as she told her daughter:
"I found a lot of self-help and your dad came along."
By the end of the talk, Gloria Estefan mentioned:
"Millions of people are suffering in silence. We are in a worldwide mental health crisis."
We cannot agree more on this with Gloria. Millions amongst us are suffering in silence. There are people who are being ridiculed for having OCD or Anxiety and they are being told that they can control it and that they should be hiding it because it's not normal, which is totally wrong.
What is wrong is not accepting mental health crises is real. People have anxiety which holds them back from shining bright because our societal norms want them to pretend they are okay.
Let's make mental health less of a taboo and more of a discussion center. Let's fight it together and make our world a better place.