JEDDAH: For Saudi writer Ghada Aboud, the mainstream media places too much emphasis on positive thinking, positive vibes and the need to be happy.
“Life is a beautiful puzzle that we continuously try to figure out,” Aboud told Arab News. “It’s life with all its good and bad spots.”
She was speaking about her new novel “Bipolar,” which features a psychiatrist named Karma who is diagnosed with the same disorder as the book’s title.
There were live performances and discussions at the book launch in Jeddah on Saturday.
People talked about mental health issues and how to tackle them, as well as how they could better cope with what life threw their way.
“The intention behind writing this novel was to help people express themselves, accept themselves and the way they are,” Aboud said.
“I found that the best way to make the book launch is to make something interactive and help people talk and feel that they have a comfort zone... without fear of judgment.”
Community awareness of mental health issues is enhanced through social awareness initiatives by volunteers, but mainstream media “don’t do their homework when talking about mental illness,” she said. “They’re usually judgmental, and such issues aren’t addressed properly.”
Life has bad days and dark days, she said, and people fear life because they cannot be happy all the time. “But the key is to accept our lives.”