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Grandparent’s take on mental health – based on true events

Have you ever asked your grandparents their opinion on the most trending topic around the globe right now?  mental health though slowly but is being accepted by many as important.


I can comfortably say that our generation, the children of the late 90’s and early 2000’s understood the importance of mental health.  We all focus on self-improvement and ways to deal with stress.


During a heated discussion among friends, someone said that their grandparents did not think the issue of mental health is so important.  This made me curious.  I was curious to know what my grandparents thought about it.


What is the purpose of this article? To share a snippet from my life that changed me and my grandparents as a person, to inspire you to get more people from the older generation on our side, and to help you understand why grandparents need to know about mental health.


Let me first summarize what my colleague’s grandparents think.  During the regular conversation around the dining table, someone raised the topic of mental health.  Since my colleague said she found it difficult to deal with and wanted to go to a therapist for help, she was fired immediately.


  She was told by her grandfather that there was no such thing as mental health and that she had to concentrate on her work.  You would be surprised to know that her grandfather was well educated.


Surprised, she called me at night and explained the events of the evening.


Although it is understood that they are from older generation, I think it is important to educate them too.  You may ask why it would bother to change the opinion of someone stuck in their way.


   But grandparents are a very important part of our lives.  We are pampered and loved by them.  I’m not generalizing that all grandparents are good but if we go by the majority, we can say that most make great second parents!


 So if they are such a big part of our lives, shouldn’t we focus on helping them understand us and themselves better?


Learning about mental health helps us in two ways. First, you are better equipped to deal with your problems. And second, you become more empathetic. You imagine yourself in someone else’s shoes and learn to respect and understand why they did what they did.


So if I have the chance, why not enrich my grandparents’ life?


I sat down with my grandparents while they were having coffee and I asked if I could talk to them about something important.  I started by asking them if they knew what mental health meant.


My grandfather confidently said that mental health is equal to being admitted to a mental facility because you are considered insane.  I was not surprised.  I was expecting many more bizarre answers.


  I knew he couldn’t understand the dynamics of mental health but the thing that bothered me was that I had to start with the mental health alphabet now before I could help him understand things better.


  I went ahead and asked my grandmother.  She answered correctly.  So I had 2 students to teach, one I had to start with the alphabet and the other I had to explain the importance of mental health.


I'd sit with my grandfather every day and teach him what mental health meant. Id gives him daily life examples so that he could understand the topic better. During this course of his, I saw slight changes.


He was a little less annoyed with small mistakes, he was more polite towards us and he learned to put himself in the shoes of another person. I had finally felt peaceful. I was able to alter the attitude of someone from the older generation.


Moving on to my grandma, I started by explaining to her how it is sometimes very difficult to just get up and do any work. She said she felt similar when she was a teenager and thought that it was completely normal. You’d be surprised to find how many from the older generation have suffered from depression but remained undiagnosed.


She was a quick learner, it didn’t take much effort to help her understand.


Now that their education was over, it was time for a test. It was weird that as I was helping them understand, I was dealing with demons of my own. I slowly slipped into depression and felt miserable.


I would stay confined to one room and would hardly speak to anyone. It was a tough phase and my parents understood what was happening but didn’t know how to help. Do you know who came as my knight in shining armor? My grandparents.


They quickly assessed my symptoms and immediately asked my parents to take me to a professional for help.


I couldn’t be more proud even if I tried. I appreciated their help.


it might seem that it was easy to bring them onto this road. It wasn’t, it took me months to help them understand.


No change is easy.  We are all 20 years old and I am stuck in my way.  Whenever someone tries to explain something new, it takes time for us to wrap our minds around it and accept it.  So imagine at the age of 77 and you have suddenly learned something forbidden in your country since you were born.


  Hard as it was, it was thrilling.  I was able to help 2 people become more equipped to manage themselves and others.  Now they both tell their friends how to cope with stress and boredom.  They have become truly unproven professionals.


If I can help my grandparents, you can too.  It is important to surround yourself with people who take care of not only your physical but also your mental health.  It is important to have people in your life who can read your symptoms and help you.


  Grandparents are not only cute, but they are also very intelligent.


 


 image credits: inc magazine


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