Mindful Recognition

Mental+health+is+a+serious+subject+that+often+goes+unnoticed+%28Photo+courtesy+of+Pixabay%2C+photo+credits+to+Wokandapix%29.
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Mindful Recognition

Mental health is a serious subject that often goes unnoticed (Photo courtesy of Pixabay, photo credits to Wokandapix).

Mental health is a serious subject that often goes unnoticed (Photo courtesy of Pixabay, photo credits to Wokandapix).

Photo courtesy of Pixabay, photo credits to Wokandapix

Mental health is a serious subject that often goes unnoticed (Photo courtesy of Pixabay, photo credits to Wokandapix).

Photo courtesy of Pixabay, photo credits to Wokandapix

Photo courtesy of Pixabay, photo credits to Wokandapix

Mental health is a serious subject that often goes unnoticed (Photo courtesy of Pixabay, photo credits to Wokandapix).

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An often neglected topic nowadays is mental health, and the illnesses that accompany it. With factors like school and work, teen’s mental health is at risk and that risk continues to go unnoticed. Mental illness is described as a condition that affects a person’s thinking, feeling or mood. It’s common and begins to develop during childhood and pubescent years.

“Many people struggle through problems that go unnoticed throughout society. With our generation especially, we see a large prevalence in it and we need to show that it’s something that you shouldn’t be scared to talk about,” said sophomore Rachel Van Hook.

Surprisingly enough, 1 in 10 young people have a mental illness challenge that can hinder their ability to function at school, home, and at work. A student’s mental state can impede social interaction and learning at school. Depending on the symptoms of the person,—which can vary from person to person— it can result in a faulty environment for learning.

“It’s difficult to provide for one’s self if you’re not mentally sound in a good state of health,” said Nurse Kim Gasser.

Presently, schools need to be taking steps to insure that the need of each individual student is being met. Teachers and administration should be knowledgeable about any mental defect troubling a student. Additionally, it should be an added responsibility for a school’s faculty to be aware of a student’s coping mechanisms. However, meeting these needs would most likely require practice and specific instruction.

“When you become a teacher, you accept that you aren’t just a teacher, but you also are their for the students. When a student comes by, [teachers] should be available, look for signs, and just listen [to their students],” said IBA teacher Barry Burnette.

There are several common mental illnesses that affect teens. Anxiety disorder occurs in 25.1% of teens between 13 and 18 years old in the U.S. This illness is described as extreme anxiety or the feeling of worry or nervousness about a particular situation or an unpredictable outcome.

“Though depression often goes unnoticed due to lack of awareness, internalization, or other reasons, it tends to spike around the time of high school for most teens,” said Van Hook.

Major depressive disorder has occurred among 12.8% of adolescents aged 12 to 17 in the U.S. A major depressive episode is a period of two or more weeks when a depressed mood and other symptoms like problems with sleeping, eating, self-image, and more.

“Mental illnesses can distract from work and create a whole other complex aspect to their life aside from learning, studying for test, and stress overall,” said Van Hook.

Another prevalent illness in teens is attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder or ADHD. It’s a brain disorder defined by patterns of inattention, hyperactivity, or impulsive behavior. About 11% of adolescent aged 4-17 in the US have been diagnosed with ADHD.

“More awareness in our county, state, and country could school mental awareness because sometimes you think you know what to say but [you could] actually [be] harming someone,” said Mrs. Gassner.

Being educated about these disorders are important, but it’s equally important to know the symptoms of someone struggling with a mental illness. The following are warning signs of some mental disorders:

  • Feeling extremely sad for more than two weeks
  • Planning or trying to inflict self-harm or commit suicide
  • Risky, disorderly behavior that can be harmful to the person or others
  • Abrupt, overwhelming fear without a cause, accompanied by a racing heart, physical discomfort, and fast breathing
  • Not eating; considerable weight loss
  • Severe mood swings
  • Repeated use of drugs or alcohol
  • Drastic changes in personality, behavior, or sleeping habits
  • Severe difficulty concentrating or sitting still
  • Intense worry or fear disrupting daily activities

If these signs appear, it is possible that they are a result of a mental illness. Therapy and medication are commonly used for treatments for these conditions. However, some teens don’t receive treatment, even though they are aware of their illness.

“Personally, I know many people who struggle with it. [They] are hesitant to try and get help or do anything about it in fear of being made fun of or those they try to get help from brushing it off,” said Van Hook.

Aside from this, everyone should take it upon themselves to help others with illnesses, physical or mental.

“It’s paramount that we pay attention to what we’re seeing and find ways encourage the individual to get the help that they need,” said Mrs. Gassner.

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