Life is not too hard if you learn to love yourself

September 1, 2023 | 04:00 pm PT
Luu Dinh Long Book author
A friend called me from the U.S., crying as she spoke about her boyfriend's death. "He chose death," she said.

She said he had showed no abnormal behavior, and had been going out and having dinners with her as usual.

"He was lively and he liked to make people laugh."

She had had no idea he was struggling with depression until he committed suicide.

It is not easy to recognize someone who is depressed or having problems in life, especially when they try to show they are strong and fine.

When I was in college, I and some friends received a message from a friend one night saying she felt suffocated. I was confused for a moment and then I called her and found out she was under pressure as her studies did not turn out as expected and her parents were going to divorce, among other family problems.

After the phone call, I and the other friends drove 60 km that night from HCMC to Tien Giang Province to meet her and talk her out of any hasty decision.

We then also spoke to her parents about her condition, and they decided to try and resolve their conflicts to avoid having a severe impact on their daughter.

Nearly 15% of people in Vietnam, or one in every seven people, suffer from mental disorders, according to the Ministry of Health.

But most of us do not seek treatment.

The global rate is one in every eight people.

According to the World Health Organization, the Covid-19 pandemic has worsened the situation globally, damaging the mental health of millions of people. Anxiety disorders and depression surged by more than 25% during the first year of Covid.

These worrying numbers deserve serious consideration for coming up with national programs to equip young people with skills to survive similar turmoil.

All of us will encounter difficulties, breakups, losses, unpredictable troubles sometimes in our life.

The inability to accept losses and pain is the reason that makes our pain grow and last longer.

But there are few places that teach us how to deal with undesirable things and about losses.

We are not willing to talk about them; we mostly want to talk about happiness, luck, desirable things.

If everyone is trained to recognize that there are undesirable truths, that nothing lasts forever, and changes are inevitable, things will be different.

The second step after recognition is learning to live your best whatever the circumstance, or, in other words, learn to love yourself.

"Save yourself" or "Love yourself" are keywords to remind a person to stop and think deeply about their suffering: Where did it come from? And wherever it was, there is always a solution, sooner or later.

WHO estimated that 71% of people suffering from mental disorders around the world do not receive mental health care, and countries spend just around 2% of their medical budget on mental health.

Vietnam also needs policies for mental health care, especially for young people.

But most important of all is to instill in everyone the ability to walk past sufferings on their own instead of relying on others.

Find a balance in life, pay more attention to your mental health, and do it now instead of waiting until your life is really shaken.

*Luu Dinh Long is a book author.

The opinions expressed here are personal and do not necessarily match VnExpress's viewpoints. Send your opinions here.
go to top