Brashier Middle College Charter High School News....written and created by students, for students

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A Revolution. #breakthestigma

Mental+illness+can+often+make+you+feel+as+if+you+are+drowning%2C+and+other+people+around+you+are+perfectly+fine.+%28Picture+credits+to+Pixabay%29.
Mental illness can often make you feel as if you are drowning, and other people around you are perfectly fine. (Picture credits to Pixabay).

Mental illness can often make you feel as if you are drowning, and other people around you are perfectly fine. (Picture credits to Pixabay).

Mental illness can often make you feel as if you are drowning, and other people around you are perfectly fine. (Picture credits to Pixabay).

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Talking about mental health has always been difficult. For centuries, people believed mental health was caused by the work of the devil or demons, so treatment was often something horrifying. Even now, years and years later, mental health is still surrounded in this dark, negative light. Talking about your problems can appear daunting, and, to people who suffer with a mental illness, it can be even more terrifying. So most people keep their feelings locked away, sweep their problems under the rug, and ignore them until they are unable to ignore them anymore. It doesn’t help that most people do not know how to react when mental health is mentioned.

“Most people think mental health involves crazy people who need to be locked away from society, when, in reality, it’s just normal everyday people who are struggling internally in a horrible way. It’s difficult because people don’t always believe others who claim that they have a mental illness. It can get exhausting having to defend your illness constantly,” says sophomore Ivy Boudakian.

This ignorance often results in people subconsciously judging the mentally ill or forming a stigma towards them. This stigma only enhances the problems already present in the mental health community. Most people have seen some form of judgment directed to mental health.

“Some of my family members don’t really understand it, so they often have this stigma to someone who had or has a mental illness. I don’t think they mean to have one, I believe it’s more of a misunderstanding of what people with mental illnesses go through, how they live, rather than having a stigma,” says junior Allie Rojas.

However, luckily, the stigma in the mental health community is slowly decreasing. Most students are aware of the severity of mental health illnesses, the most common being depression and anxiety. On the downside, some students don’t realize how serious these illnesses are, and they start self-diagnosing themselves.

“I have seen it many times, lately more than usual, that kids are self-diagnosing themselves and claiming to be depressed and such, all for attention. The unfortunate reality is that, when these self-centered kids get so obsessed with getting all this attention, it takes away from those who actually need help, who actually are suffering,” says junior Hunt McCloud.

However, even if the person is saying these things for attention, it should still be taken seriously. Most people still do not know how to approach the topic, though, which can cause a rift between someone who needs help and someone who wants to help them.

“I think, when mental health is mentioned, people get uncomfortable. They might not know how to react, and I’m sure they don’t want to be rude, so they just remain uncomfortable,” says Rojas

People are working in many different ways to create ways to speak openly about mental health. To raise awareness, ordinary students are starting to bravely come forward and talk about their own personal battles about living with a mental illness.

“I have personally dealt with mental illness. In middle school, I was diagnosed with depression and struggled greatly for a few years [from] that and also self-harm. Sometimes, I have days when it gets to be too much, I’ll have a relapse and everything just comes back all at once. However, I feel pretty good with where I am right now though,” says Boudakian.

With the help of these strong, brave students, stories like Ivy’s are being more openly talked about. Hearing people talk about their own problems often encourages other people to come forward and share their own battles. Thoughtful ideas about how we as students could come together and work to decrease the stigma have emerged, also.

“We should be more kind to each other, help build each other up instead of creating cliques and separating as a student body. We need to unite together as one,” says junior Kenya Adams.

As the days pass by, the topic of mental health becomes more prominent. The students who need help are starting to seek professional help, and they aren’t afraid to speak of their experiences with it either.

“I think us students do have a voice, [and] whether that voice is listened to or not is a different topic, but I think we have strength in numbers. If we get enough attention to mental health and its stigma, we might be able to make people understand it better and perhaps lose its stigma,” says Rojas.

However, the fact that most people remain uneducated about what mental health can be, and it makes it hard for them to know how to help.

“When people think of mental health, they usually think of depression and anxiety. While those are important, other mental illnesses should be talked about, too. Also, people mostly know about the negative parts of mental health, so maybe we could inform people in like classes, instead of just skimming over it,” says junior Thomas Kraus.

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Brashier Middle College Charter High School News....written and created by students, for students
A Revolution. #breakthestigma