How can leprosy lead to mental health conditions (Tamil)
If a person is affected by leprosy, she or he often needs to handle a lot of issues. There may be fear of the disease and the impairment of the body that may occur. There may have been changes in the body because of the disease. Although this is not true, the person may start to believe that she or he is less worthy.
Because of false beliefs and discrimination in the communities, the person may sometimes face social rejection or exclusion. This can make the bad feelings even stronger. Although this is not true, the person can get the feeling that she or he does no longer have a purpose. Also, there may be the fear about the education, work or future plans. Especially as a girl or woman you might feel fear. Women often do not have the same access to education that men have. You might feel dependent and fear that the disease will lower your social worth, that you will be abandoned from the family or that you will have less opportunity to get a job or will be affected by poverty.
All this can lead to mental health conditions, like depression, anxiety or suicidal thoughts. If you are affected by this, don’t be afraid. It is not true that this means that you are crazy. And you are not alone. Millions of people worldwide are experiencing the same and there are many ways in which you can get support. There might be self-help groups, where you can talk about your feelings and get support from other people in the same situation. Here you can learn about your rights, and how to make use of them. You can learn how to make your own decisions and take control about your life.
But there might also be other options, like individual support. In any case, it is very important for your physical and mental health that you ask for psychosocial support. You can get detailed information why it is important and the options you have to get support in the following modules. Also, please talk to a health worker and ask for the options available to get psychosocial support.