Students React: 5 Facts About Mental Health

At the age of 19, I was diagnosed with both anxiety and depression. Although I was only diagnosed three years ago, I have felt the struggle of my mental health issues for far longer. I have felt the loneliness of depression, the fears that come with anxiety, and the stigma that come with both. What so many people fail to understand is that there are so many people all over the world who are struggling with different types of mental health issues. By opening a dialogue, I feel as though we can help others understand the importance of showing people they are not alone. I showed Loyola students five facts about mental health issues to see how they would react.

 

 

1. One in five American adults experienced a mental health issue

2. One in 10 young people experienced a period of major depression

3. One in 25 Americans lived with a serious mental illness, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or major depression

4. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States.

5. Only 44% of adults with diagnosable mental health problems and less than 20% of children and adolescents receive needed treatment.

(Source: https://www.mentalhealth.gov/basics/mental-health-myths-facts

 

“It’s shocking to hear such high numbers because you would never expect it. In today’s society people are so self absorbed with themselves and their image that they repress the serious issues. Asking for help is always hard, but sometimes it’s truly necessary and could make all the difference in the world to someone. We all need to be more aware, and offering of ourselves to those around who truly need us.”

-Justice Lawson, fourth-year

 

“After reading these statistics it has made me reevaluate how I think society should see and treat mental disorders. I know people personally that struggle with mental health. I believe the best thing one can do is to listen and be a good support system for the individual struggling.”

-John Thorpe, fourth-year

 

“I think it’s great that awareness for mental health is a growing topic. Conversations about mental health are never easy, but they are necessary in order to treat the disorders that are treatable. Many people that I care about have suffered or are currently suffering from various mental illnesses and it’s not always obvious what to do when they might flare up. I think the best thing to do in most cases is to make it known that support exists, and that just because someone is suffering doesn’t mean it makes them any less capable at living their life or being successful. It’s good to know you’re not alone. That being said, the fact that numbers are so high, especially among young people, is telling of a much larger problem that should be addressed if we are to truly make progress.”

-Hannah Foster, third-year

 

“Reading these facts make me really sad. As a Psychology major, and as someone who studies mental health issues, I know that without treatment, having a mental issue can be tough. I also think that one of the leading causes of people not seeking treatment is because of stigma within our society.Although this stigma is slowly decreasing, I think that it should be known that having a mental health issue is okay. I do know of people that suffer from mental health issues, and I hope that they can find help within treatment.”

-Keitasha Arnold, fourth-year

 

“Mental illness has been a prominent part of my life for nearly a decade. Around 13, I was first diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder; however, I can definitely recall moments in early childhood where I showed signs of having anxiety prior to diagnosis. At 15, I was diagnosed with Clinical Depression and began taking medication to cope with the symptoms of my mental illness. When reading those statistics, I'm struck with the idea that so many people deal with mental health-related issues, yet access and understanding of mental illness, suicide, and prioritizing mental health is still inhibited by stigma. Knowing that a large portion of Americans live with mental illness but can't access treatment is disheartening.  Even so, if people continue to share their stories and speak openly about living with mental illness I think we will be able to make great strides in squashing stigma and increasing access to quality mental health care.”

-Hannah Cook, fourth-year

 

“Reading these statistics made it alarmingly realistic that mental health issues are very common. When I was 11 years old, I experienced my first panic attack. I was later diagnosed with anxiety and depression. I soon realized how common mental health issues are within society. I feel as though there is a stigma in terms of receiving treatment for a mental illness. No one wants to admit they are burdened by one, let alone admit they are receiving treatment for having a mental illness, yet they are more common than you think. The statistic that mentioned suicide as the 10th leading cause of death in the US is most likely related to people being afraid to admit and seek help to relieve their mental illnesses.”

-Kendall Herbert, fourth-year