A redefinition is in order. It is time we finally addressed these issues, looked after the mental health of future generations of young men and ditched these limiting, archaic stereotypes. Only then can we implement positive societal change and proactively reduce rates of bullying and crime, as we now know these to be interlinked.
When I was first diagnosed, I became extremely withdrawn. I hated being touched, hugged, or shown love because I felt I was unlovable, unworthy, unclean, and frightened. This was even with my own family. My mum continued to support and hug me even when I would push her away. A simple hug makes all the difference, this allowed me to grow to trust and love again.
Research has emerged that suggests bullying could be more detrimental to a child's mental health than physical abuse. A US study of 1,420 children found that those who had been bullied, but not maltreated, were almost four times more likely to have mental health problems than children who were maltreated... So why do we continue to diminish the effect bullying has on children's mental health?
The new school year has started. First day photos have been taken, schoolbags have grown heavy with new books, and the reality of homework and early morning alarm clocks is beginning to set in. The evenings are shortening and the papers are speculating about the chances of an Indian Summer. It's September again...
When the new Indian family moved in and bought the shop, I was selfishly very happy. As a seven year old, I was over the moon that 'proper' Indians had moved in and my mother and I were no longer the only 'Pakis' in the village. They had two children the around same age as me. They were darker than me, they had Indian names, they were Hindu and they owned a shop.