What is Mental Illness?

By Amirah ‘Afifah

Pap, papa padum dum

Hi everyone, this is Amirah ‘Afifah and I have been in Club Heal for about three years. I like to sing, eat and do Math and Physics but the weirdest and the most fun activity of all activities I love to do is writing.

Okay, so first of all from me.

What is mental illness?

Get your brain juices working (laughs) (no pun intended, I swear)

Okay, so a mental illness, by Google is – a condition which causes serious disorder in a person’s behaviour or thinking.

Now you might think, “Ooooh, does that person who is eating oreos, orange juice and eats bugs altogether while riding on a wheelchair is mentally ill???”

No. No. no… no… Obviously not.

A mental illness is a psychiatric or mental ailment. Meaning, a person who is mentally ill is experiencing psychiatric conditions which in then affects the person’s behaviour and cognitive processes.

Yes. Mental illness is a real illness.

But isn’t it rare?

Whoops. Hold up.

Do you know that according to data from ourworldindata.sg and nami.org, about 20% of the population do experience mental illness at some point of their life. Meaning if there were at least 5 people in this room, one of you could experience a mental ailment.

*collapses *faint *shock #mylifeisover

Calm down, relax.

Mental illness is the same as any other illnesses, except that it is an illness which doesn’t affect a person physically. Mental illness can affect anyone at any point of their lives. Those who experience chronic mental illness suffer months, even years of mental ordeal where some of them are unaccepted by society; in job interviews, schools and the community.

I have a mental illness. I do. I am not proud of it, neither I am ashamed. I feel that it makes me part of who I am as a person and with that, it helps me mature, grow and learn from my past experiences. Being mentally ill is NOT a curse.

The beauty of having these disorders or ailments is that you can see the world in a different perspective in an array of colours and wonder. In fact, I think that we are the same as everyone else, no doubt. The fact that me, you, him or her who has a mental illness does not discriminate with those who are mentally well. It is like having cancer, a fever or any other type of ailment.


Let’s Fight Against Mental Health Stigma! 🙂 Be aware that you, me or her is no different from others. We are all the same in the eyes of Allah.

Assalamualaikum, peace be upon you my friends