Mental illness in today’s world.

Whether its seasonal depression or biopolar disorder, it’s time to get rid of the stigma.

HALIE MATOSKI ILLUSTRATION

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Although it does not come with symptoms like a fever or a runny nose, mental illnesses such as depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders, eating disorders and many more have a major affect on how people live daily life.

Mental illness can be very severe, as certain thoughts can be on the mind of a student from the moment they wake up until the moment they crawl into bed. Unlike a common cold, a mental illness is not cured in a span of a few days, or even a few weeks, for that matter.

Mental illnesses, though sometimes able to be cured, can take a long time to get used to or helped. Sometimes, if gone uncured, the illness could worsen and it may reach a point where a student feels like their condition will never improve and that there is no light at the end of the tunnel.

But yet, there are still some who do not believe that mental illness is real, and that if there are not any outside symptoms, that it may just be “all in the head.’ That may be true–it is in the head–but the head contains the brain, which controls all body functions, and with the head not feeling well or not working right, all other parts of the body will be affected as well.

Everybody does have feelings of anxiousness or sadness, or even emptiness from time to time, but those with depression or other mental illnesses are much more impacted by them. Someone who isn’t suffering from depression may feel sad, but then be able to move on. Depression prevents a person from doing that, and just weighs down on them.

Even though there is much more recognition for mental illness and those who suffer from them, we believe there is still a stigma surrounding the topic. Even today, people are shamed for talking about their mental health, unless it’s in a good light.

The stigma surrounding mental health makes it much more difficult for people to share their struggles to other people. People may feel like they are going to be made fun of, so they will bottle their feelings. Keeping feelings inside is not good for anyone to do. Many people will post on social media or say in a conference or announcement that something must be done, but there is no plan behind that statement, and nothing will be done until the stigma is gone.

One of the parts about mental illnesses that contributes greatly to the stigma is that the symptoms can’t usually be seen. A person may seem perfectly okay on the outside, but inside they may be all out of sorts, making it hard for people to see they are hurting. This contributes to the stigma, as well, because if somebody who doesn’t recognize mental illness cannot see a problem, they will not consider it as one.

If we want to eliminate the stigma surrounding mental illnesses, we need to be accepting of everyone. People need to realize that in our day to day lives, everyone has their own problems that they have to deal with, and it is okay to talk about. Mental illness is not a simple fix. It takes a long development of trust between the person and their mental illness. Until they are able to accept their illness, they will not be able to seek out the correct help to improve their mental health and better themselves for the future. There definitely is still a stigma surrounding mental illness because every day there are people contemplating suicide because they are so depressed, people not eating because they don’t feel that they are skinny enough, and there are people continuing not to get help because they feel like no one else will listen to what they have to say.