The Thing With Mental Health

By Jaime Reyes

What do you think of when you hear the word, illness? Do you think of the flu? Diabetes? Cancer? Does it make your feel sorry for them? Now how about when you hear the words, depression, anorexia, and ADHD? Do you think crazy? Weird? Attention-seeking?

Mental health is a touchy, sensitive topic to talk about in today’s society. With the growing number of teenagers experiencing a mental illness. I feel as though it needs to be addressed.

Mental health problems are illnesses too; they are illnesses of the mind. And just like physical ones, can be treated. But so many people choose to not talk about it, they ignore it and hope it will go away when they won’t. There is such little compassion and understanding towards these illnesses. When people take Advil for headaches, Vaporub for colds, or even insulin for diabetes, it’s fine and accepted but when someone is seen taking antidepressants it’s suddenly weird and not normal.

Studies show that at least one in four people have experienced a mental health problem at least once in their lives. That means that at least one person in your family has, had, or will experience a mental illness. 20 percent of people who suffer, die from it. That is 8 million deaths a year.

I once knew someone who had battled depression all his life. He would tell friends and family about how he was feeling but they would just tell him “get over it,” until one day he took his own life. The stigma and the stereotypes need to end; be supportive; be aware. Pay attention to the people around you. You could potentially save a life.

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