Amidst Mental Illness Awareness Week came World Mental Health Day on October 10 and Hajra Khan has something to say on this occasion.
The footballer, who has been very vocal about mental health awareness, took to Twitter to open up about her depression and shared a message for all those suffering.
This is my story – #SpeakUp about yours!
On this World Mental Health Day, let’s commit to eradicate stigma and enforce mental health.
— Hajra Khan (@hajrakn) October 10, 2019
Khan says in the video, “For the past couple of years, I’ve been having mental health problems and [while] I knew something was off, I wasn’t speaking up about it. I didn’t get any help, I didn’t wanna come across as weak or feel like an outcast because being weak is an anti-thesis of what an athlete is suppose to be.”
“But as I read through, I learned that about 800,000 people die due to suicide every year and I wasn’t ready to lose my life to an illness.”
She went on to describe her experience, saying, “About three years ago, I experienced my first ever anxiety attack after a practice session with a national team and that’s when I finally decided to get help. I was clinically diagnosed with high-functioning anxiety and clinical depression and have been undergoing treatment ever since. Getting better every day.”
Khan had an important point to make about the stigma around mental health and how it should be treated.
“Almost exactly like our physical health, mental health requires hard work, repair and maintenance so it’s okay to feel unstable, it’s okay to disassociate, it’s okay to need help and it’s okay to not be okay. Your mental health is not a personal failure, it’s nothing to be ashamed of.
She ended her note with, “Let’s lift the silence and speak up and commit to eradicating stigma.”