Lets talk Mental Health:
In today’s society, 1 in every five youth ages 13-18 have some mental illness or mental health problem, 37% of students with a mental health condition age 14 and older drop out of school and Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death in youth ages 10 - 24. We have to do something to break the stigmas around Mental Health and to empower youth who have an of mental illness or mental health problem to seek help and to take control of it.
How I cope with my Mental Health:
From a very young age I can remember feeling very sad or withdrawn from those around me,
I remember feeling hopeless unloved and unwanted by society and having thoughts that the world would be better if I weren’t in it. Growing up I suffered from and to this day still suffer from two mental illness, one is known as borderline bi-polar depression, a disorder associated with episodes of mood swings ranging from depressive lows to manic highs. The other is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or (PTSD), a disorder in which a person has difficulty recovering after experiencing or witnessing or experiencing terrifying events.
For me living with a mental illness is very changing and somedays I don’t want to do anything at all, and I just want to lay in bed all day and feel sorry for myself, but then I feel even worse because I'm nonproductive. So I get up every day owning the fact that I have mental health-related problems and live my life to the best of my abilities that day. Like the millions of others who have some a mental illness, I have my good and bad days, but I have learned that for me being active, productive and open about my mental health helps me feel empowered and to heal. I know that my mental illness may never go away and that I have to make the best of what I have and I am learning to be ok with that. I strive to be the best person I can be each day and to share my truth with others in hopes that it helps not only them but myself as well.
Breaking the stigma Mental Health:
For myself and millions of others who suffer from mental health perhaps the most challenging and painful thing that we have to do is not only learn to live with the mental illness we have but that we also have to live with the stigmas associated with mental health issues put on us by society. People often are not educated on mental health and have no idea what it’s like to live with a mental illness, so they are very quick to judge and make jokes about it in a sense to lighten the issues, but this only makes it worse for those living with this illness on a daily bias.
Mental health is nothing to joke about and needs to be treated the same way as if someone has a broken bone, it takes time and love to heal, and stigmas only hurt the healing process. Some peoples’ mental health issues might just be an isolated moment in their lifetime lasting a short amount of time and others like myself will live with it the rest of our lives.
No matter the type of mental health problem that someone might have, it is important to remember that mental health is a personal life journey, that no one person’s mental health journey is going to be the same and that the stigmas around mental health and mental illness must come to an end.
If you or someone you know is living with a mental illness or are currently experiencing poor mental health, please believe me when I tell you that you are not alone. There that people do love and care about you and that there is someone out there who will be more than happy to help you deal with whatever might be going on. And those living with a mental illness remember that you define yourself, not the stigmas or the illness its self and that you do have the power to rise above the stigmas, to ask for help and live life just like everyone else stigma-free.
Below are the numbers to three suicide lifeline, if you or someone you know need to talk they are always available, you can also always contact a trusted friend, family member or councilor for help. Always remember that you You are never alone.