Politics is a very sensitive subject in many places across the world. People harbor a lot of anger against people who belong to the other side of the political spectrum. Everything is considered a battle between left and right, even though many people don’t know where they stand in these terms. It is hence important that I talk about which side of the spectrum the issue of mental health lies on.

The Two Sides

In what I have been seeing, the right likes to claim itself as more rational and logical and the left likes to be considered empathetic and progressive. I don’t agree with these divisions but they are what I have personally observed and it’s possible that this is completely erroneous. Considering mental health is also a sensitive subject that demands empathy and understanding, it is a very common assumption that people who talk about mental health are liberal in their approach and lean towards the left. I am afraid this assumption is wrong.

The problem is that when the two sides argue, the argument touches various issues and the argument very often gets heated. This leads to mental health and some other universal issues becoming the victims of the cross fire between the two sides.

Mental Health and Politics

Depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts don’t see a person’s political leanings before striking him/her. The severity and symptoms of the disease are the same in both the sides. What may differ are the mechanisms that people choose in order to cope with these diseases. We need to stop generalizing the issues among the two sides and start talking about them to understand the different perspectives.

I have said it many times; mental illness is not an ‘us versus them’ fight. It is important that we talk to each other not only on this issue but on other issues as well. These conversations need to be frank and peaceful. Two people shouting at each other whether in person or on social media bears the same non-existent fruit.

When it comes to politics there is a lot of hate among people. People are outraged at different opinions and this leads to more rabid ranting rather than productive conversations. I know there are people with cruel intentions on the extremes of both sides but I like to believe that most of us are trying to create a better, more peaceful and more accepting society.

There are people who think there is no such as mental illnesses and there are those who think everyone who feels they are depressed can call themselves a depression survivor. Balance is what we need to establish and in order to establish it; we first need to find it.