A person’s mental health is one of the most important needs to be up to par. It affects your psychological behaviors including how well you can execute physical health. But for some reason, many believe that having a mental illness is something you can easily walk off. Thinking that it is a small thing that you as a person are trying to make it look bigger for attention. But in reality, having a mental illness is very serious and not just something that you are able to turn on and off when convenient.
To start off I would like to say, having a mental illness definitely doesn’t mean you are crazy. With actual crazy movie plots displaying them as deranged behaviors, the overall stereotype is definitely seen as very negative. People need to realize that having a mental disorder is unlike all the mumbo-gumbo shown on tv. A person facing mental health problems could be anyone. They do not have a certain physical characteristics separating them from others because they are seen as kooky. Mental disorders happen in the brain and can only cause physical changes in a person if the person is in extreme pain. Instead of putting a negative stigma on mental health, learn more about what you are trying to cover up. People are hurting and when they are coming out of their comfort zone to get help, the least you can do is not bring them down in shame
A very popular and widespread disease is depression. Depression is not a heavy feeling of melancholiness after failing a test. It is much more than that. When your body is stressed out, it tends to produce an elevated level of the stress hormone cortisol. If you aren’t facing depression, once the stress diminishes, cortisol will also go back to being produced in normal levels. On the other hand, depressed patients have permanent levels of elevated cortisol. On top of that, mental illnesses are definitely biological because there are specific genes associated with different disorders not seen in people not facing mental illness issues.
A major side-effect to a mental illness could possibly be self-harm. Many people look at this and just believe that this means that the person is in fact just trying to kill themselves. But it is so much more than that. Think of it as a cry for help. The person is not actually trying to kill themselves but moreless trying to cope. People look from the outside and just find that this doesn’t make sense. They do not understand the how serious this subject is and instead of learning more about how it works and focusing on what others are going through, they just keep enforcing their ignorance in their head. That is why many imposed with the sickness have trouble with relationships. It is hard to have another human being understand what you are going through. But that does not mean that the sickness means they are not allowed to have stable happy friendships. Instead of mirroring, surround yourself with love, positivity, and support- as much cliche as that sounds.
Miranda Mendiola a fellow student at Benicia High School graciously decided to share more about her day-to-day life and how it really affects her. She has Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Chronic Depression, and Situational Anxiety with all passed down to her biologically. I just want to include that it if you have any sort of mental disorder, do not think straightaway it is from the way you are raised. Another major parent could be genetics but unless you had anything traumatizing, it should not be the case.
“I have always been a weird child having to do a things a certain way.” Mendiola was very open and went on to say she had, “Three years of therapy and has went to five different doctors (Holistic Healer, Therapist, Physician, Psychologist, Psychiatrist).” She has been coping for a long time and just wants to state to anybody else going through the same or similar thing as her should. “Just hold on, it is going to suck for a while, but it will eventually get easier, especially if you believe it will get easier.”
The best thing you can do to further understand mental illness is to know how it feels. The Guardian said it best describing it like, “There is a heavy, leaden feeling in your chest, rather as when someone you love dearly has died; but no one has – except, perhaps, you. You feel acutely alone.” Imagine feeling this for about four to eight months nonstop. This not only would ruin your self-esteem, but your overall mood and view on life would be flip-flopped. This is not an obstacle easy to face alone. You need others to support you along the way to not only make life easier but make it more bearable.
Mendiola described her panic attacks as, “Sternum is pressed against your lungs, hyperventilation, passing out, shaking, crying, skin-picking, and panicking.” This is not a healthy combo of actions. So as you can, mental health is significant. Maybe even more that physical health if you want to get into specifics.
The internet is seen as sometimes as doing more harm than good. With more information out there about symptoms of common mental illnesses, a lot of people start to self-diagnose themselves possibly without even knowing it. This is a serious problem because you are misdirecting yourself. You are setting yourself up for failure. Instead get a professional diagnose from a doctor so they don’t miss any symptoms you are having and give you the correct treatment. If you decide you have anxiety because you are constantly at unease, that can cause you to get the wrong prescription and that can actually mess up the Dopamine and Serotonin chemicals in the brain.
Another major reason you should think twice before self-diagnosing is that you are hurting the people who really have a mental illness. You fuel the fire of the stereotype that people with mental health problems want attention and that it is not a real disease. More people who are facing the real problem, are further discouraged to seek help. Yes, you are learning more about the much-ignored region of healthcare, but you are using that information very irresponsibly. Use the information to further educate others, not jeopardize the health of others. Having a mental illness is not “trendy” so stop acting like it is and be smart about the decisions you make surrounding it.
Mental health is a lot less noticeable when you look at a person. It affects more people than you think and is ongoing right now. You can help by providing more happiness to everyone. You never know what someone is going through and a smile in the hallway could possibly help more than you think. Lastly I would like to say that if you or a loved one is struggling with depression or have thoughts of self harm and/or suicide please contact 1-800-273-8255.
By: Nanki Sekhon