Even though crying is a fundamental part of our human being from the beginning – your parents will surely agree – it’s often met with a lot of prejudice. All men have probably heard the phrase ‘boys don’t cry’ more than once in their lives and as a woman, one single tear suffices for people to start calling you ‘overly sensitive’. Although it’s just another necessary way to express your emotions, just like laughing or yelling, crying in public isn’t exactly socially accepted. And neither is talking about your mental health.
Yes, of course things are changing. Compared to a couple of years ago, mental health is much more of a discussable topic, or at least, it should be. In reality, it all depends on the people you’re dealing with, both at home, at work and in life in general. For some, it’s totally okay if you bring up the fact that you’ve for example dealt with depression in the past. And seeing a psychologist isn’t a big deal at all. Yet for others, the stigma remains. And as long as it’s up to you, the human being dealing with the mental “issues” as society likes to call them, to decide whether or not you can go up to someone else and talk about what you’re feeling or not, mental health isn’t at the stage where it should be today.
Was it this what the makers of La Lloreria in Madrid wanted to address or not? We’ll probably never know but it’s almost certainly something in that ballpark. La Lloreria, literally translated into ‘The Crying Room’, is a neon-lit immersive exhibition that goes much further than most in its genre. Of course, the neon signs, the poppy colors and the lighting will look perfect on your Instagram feed. Yet it’s there for a wholly different purpose.
Amongst all the fun stuff, you’ll also find a bunch of telephone numbers to call. And no, those aren’t fake. They’re actually really real. When calling them, you’ll get in touch with various mental health specialists, including a psychologist. With the exhibition, the makers want to push people to talk about their mental health and to make the whole topic more socially accepted. La Lloreria actually comes from a Spanish phrase, which, when translated, gives something like this: “If you want to cry, go to the crying room.” No need to say the taboo is real. Hopefully, other initiatives will follow and it’ll soon be totally normal to speak up about mental health in public.