The Art of Contentment: Live as You, Forget Others, and Be Happy

I realized that the more I burden myself with the thoughts of others, I will forget that I have thoughts of my own. In an instant, I decided to let go. Let go of the expectations of my peers. Let go of the expectations of my family. Let go of the expectations of other people.

#BGSpeaksUp: Twitter Chat Sparks an Important Conversation on South Asian Mental Health

The narrative surrounding mental health in South Asian countries is negative at best – and more often nonexistent. As children of those who immigrated from these countries (or immigrants ourselves) we often don’t know how to approach our mental health, or that mental health is even something to consider.

Dear Brown Girls Who Were Bullied: Here are Five Things to Know

Remind yourself that your bullies’ comments on how you look have no validity to them. Remember that Priyanka Chopra and Nina Davuluri are examples of attractive and successful Indian women who still got bullied.

Closed Doors: 5 Truths I Wish I Could Tell My Parents

I think what parents don’t understand is that we are hungry. But not just for food, necessarily. We’re hungry for positivity. We’re hungry for understanding. We’re hungry for things that can’t physically be fed to us.

Poem: ‘A Hope to Bloom’

I told you I would be fine. And you lost all hope,
As I lay comatose.

Gasping for life, on my death bed, numb, cold,
As dead as a doornail.
I did appear in your dreams, didn’t I?

Honoring National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month by Opening Up About Mental Health

The sad demise of US rock star, Chester Bennington, who chose to leave the earth plane in July, still lingers on my mind. A victim of child sexual abuse at 7 years old to a supposed male friend, 10 years his senior. He was afraid to ask for help in case he was deemed as gay or lying. He wasn’t South Asian or a descendant, yet subject to the same taboos that are still deeply ingrained in our culture.

A letter to my Best Friend Who Committed Suicide

And, it’s worse suffering from a mental illness like depression, if you’re a man. After all, men must not cry. They must not complain.

National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month: How You Can Help

Myth: Once a person decides to take their life, there is nothing you can do to stop them. Reality: This is not true. Suicidal thoughts are abnormal and they change constantly.

MannMukti’s New Podcast “Stories of Stigma: South Asian Mental Health”: In Honest Conversation with Salma Vir-Banks

Salma’s ability to stand up and say, “Yes, I have had a difficult journey,” serves as an example to those who are secretly struggling. Her honesty lets people know that their similar struggles aren’t fictitious. They’re not being over dramatic, emotionally weak, or stupid. Her honesty lets people know that being flawed is okay and speaking up is even more so okay.

#TherapyTalk: Choosing the Right Therapist for You

If you’re a South Asian that was raised to always obey your elders, please realize that you’re not responsible for taking care of your therapist. Your therapy sessions should be about you and your needs.

Poem: ‘Depression is The Friend You Never Wanted’

Depression is that friend you never wanted, it’s that feeling you’re being haunted. you tell yourself to snap out of it but the prospect of smiling again is daunting.

Learning Self-Love Through Photography

I’ve never done a photoshoot before. I don’t know how to model. Hell, I don’t even like being in front of the camera. At first, I didn’t even recognize myself. I looked incredible! All the things I was insecure about seemed to fade away. The photography was art.

6 Fun Ways to Practice Self-Care

Self-care is important, but people often think that it’s too time-consuming or that it’s meant to be something extravagant like a massage or a vacation. But even a 5-minute cat nap can help you feel rejuvenated.

‘Why Aren’t You Eating?’: The Ramadan Struggle for Muslims With Eating Disorders

Ramadan essentially mirrors the practice of anorexia and binge eating disorder. For a month, food is prohibited for long periods of time, until daylight ends, at which point, all anyone wants to do is stuff themselves with as much food as possible. Every time around this year, when starving yourself is expected and encouraged, I find myself torn between multiple identities again: the girl who values spirituality and wants to fast, and the girl who still hates herself sometimes and wants to starve.

Stylish Brands Raising Awareness and Giving Back

Over the past few years, many fashion brands have emerged that run on a platform to raise awareness for various social causes. These brands are definitely my favorites and something you can incorporate into your everyday wardrobe.

A Poem on Depression: You Didn’t Think To Say…

Maybe an “I love you” and “I’m here to support you” would have helped to climb out of the depths of darkness that I am no longer able to get out of.

With My Mental Illnesses, One Thing Led to Another

I have dealt with substance abuse, an eating disorder, and I still struggle with depression and anxiety today. My mental illnesses are very interconnected and I’m slowly tackling them, one at a time. I think many people have trouble understanding how all of these can occur at once. I often hear from people that I did this to myself or that I’m seeking attention. There’s so much stigma around mental illnesses and I hope by being open about mine, I can help erase some of that stigma.

Stories of Stigma: Three Generations of Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Over the years, people have become more open about their mental health. We are slowly chipping away at the stigma associated with mental illnesses, but we still have a long way to go.

Anxiety runs in my family and each generation has had a very different experience with their mental illness. Three generations of women have lived and survived generalized anxiety disorder.

South Asian Dance Teams Bring Mental Health to the Stage

In fact, when it comes to people suffering from mental illnesses, an effective way to help them cope may actually be dance. Since the mid-1990s, dance therapy has actually been an approved form of treatment for those suffering from severe cognitive problems, according to the American Dance Therapy Association.

The Mental Health Spotlight: BG Jessie Brar

I started The Mental Health Spotlight to help shed light on the topic of mental health in the South Asian community. Through the power of storytelling and fact sharing, I hope to create a safe environment where we can speak openly about mental health.