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The Deeper Picture

A culture may seem to be all sugar and spice, but sometimes, you need to look deeper into the whole picture.

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How do you tell someone that they need help without offending them, especially in a culture like this? Thailand is a place where people are taught to keep their emotions bottled up, making sure that their outer image is as perfect and clean as a pure white sheet of linen. Anything that would stain that perfect piece of linen is kept on the inside, where no one else can see it. Keeping it in isn’t the problem, the problem is that fact that it is slowly leaking out; seeping onto the smooth clean piece of linen as they try to hide the stains away. What I’m trying to say is, it’s obvious when someone is keeping too much inside. The dark stains eventually ruin the white cloth and it become a huge ugly mess. This is where seeking psychological help should come into play; it doesn’t. In Thailand, anyone who has a type of psychological disorder, anything between anxiety all the way to schizophrenia, will never admit that they have it. The first step to defusing the time bomb of stains is to admit it, admit that you are suffering from a problem and realize that you need help. Unfortunately, seeking help for a psychological disorder is seen as taboo in Thailand. People believe that, despite the degree of illness, you are psychotic or mentally insane. They don’t seem to be able to grasp that a psychological disorder is a part of life, everyone suffers from some sort of emotional or personality disorder; the only difference is the type or disorder and the amount it affects one's life. This leads to never being able to fully accept that you have a problem. Keeping everything bottled up will cause it to manifest into something much darker and more dangerous as times goes on. Think of a petri dish with bacteria growing inside. If you let the bacteria grow, it gets to the point where the entire petri dish is full of bacteria. On the other hand, if you open it up and clean it out with alcohol or whatnot, you end up with a clean petri dish. Sure, more bacteria can find it’s way back into the dish, but each time it grows again, it’s small and manageable. Back to the analogy on the white sheet. If you’ve ever seen a stained piece of cloth or clothing, you know for a fact that it was stained because either the person wearing it is acting strange, or it just looks out of place. On the contrary, if you see a shirt with designs, patterns, or colors that seem to work with the sheet, you know that it wasn’t a mistake. It’s the same thing.

Other people who look at you know that something is up, they just might not say it. Why not let the colors out, let them design your clothes, and let that be a part of who you are. No one will even bat an eye; embrace it. In the end, keeping it in will make things worse for you and people around you. It’s not like others can’t see what’s up. Accept the truth, don’t abandon yourself, seek help, and you’ll become a brand new person. It’s really not shameful to want to live a happy life.

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