Mental health in America

Photo by Maialisa on Pixabay

Photo by Maialisa on Pixabay

Sarah Y., Editor-in-Chief

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Every year, more and more people are diagnosed with some sort of mental illness. According to www.mentalhealthamerica.net , one in five Americans have some type of mental illness. That’s about 40 million people who have mental illness(es). Along with that, youth mental health is decreasing every year. The statistic for youths with severe depression rose from almost six percent in 2012 to over eight percent in 2015.

With this increase in depression statics, one would think that the ability to be treated would be easier for people to access; however, over 75 percent of teens are left untreated or do not have sufficient treatment, about 1.7 million, “that’s enough to fill every Major League Baseball stadium on the East coast twice” according to www.mentalhealthamerica.net.  As well as 56 percent of adults are left untreated.

There is a sort of stigma surrounding mental illnesses such as depression or anxiety, that one should “just deal with it” or that it is “impossible to treat”, which is completely untrue. There are hundreds of ways to treat mental illness including many different medicines, different types of therapies, and different medical procedures. Some treatments can be as easy as changing your diet, doing some sort of exercise for 30 minutes a day, etc.

The many ways to treat mental illness only makes sense due to the hundreds of ways anxiety, depression, etc. can affect different people. Anxiety and depression is not a black and white illness with the same symptoms for everyone. For some people, it can really affect their day-to-day life, while for others it can just be only there during certain situations, etc.

“The hardest part about depression is believing you are alone,” said an anonymous source.

Another part of the stigma surrounding mental illness is that people should “just deal with it” or  “other people have it worse”. It does not matter if ‘your situation could be worse’, just because it can be worse, does not mean that it is not awful already. This kind of thinking can lead to suicide. Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States according to https://afsp.org. Every year, almost 45,000 people die of suicide, as well as about 123  people commit suicides every day.

People do not choose if they have a mental illness. It is a disease, not a choice. Do not be afraid to talk to a doctor if you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, depression, anxiety, etc. You are not alone. You are loved. “Hope is more than real in the battle against depression.” said an anonymous source.

For more information on mental health go to http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/issues/state-mental-health-america to learn more.

If you are experiencing depression or suicidal thoughts talk to your doctor, or call 1-800-273-8255 to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

 

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