My Experience with Mental Health

Growing up, I did not have much exposure to the concept of mental health. For the most part, my family members were too consumed with work to even think about mental health – which is why there was no such thing as 'stress,' 'depression,' and 'anxiety' to them. They thought that any symptoms of a disorder were most likely caused by laziness or disorganization. Even before coming to college, I was not exposed to the topic of mental health.

Reflecting on the absence of mental health affected me negatively. When I started feeling extremely overwhelmed in middle school and high school with school work, I did not have any explanation for the way that I felt sometimes. I would not want to socialize with my family when I got home from school and would just want to take naps. I preferred to be alone, and I would be grumpy most of the time. Yet, I would not show this behavior in school.

Since I did not know that stress was deeply affecting me, I just thought that this was typical of most students my age, especially when they were always enrolled in honors courses. I was not even aware of my own mental health, and my family life at times made things worse when they assumed that I was just being unproductive. To them, I was “smart but lazy.”

Image source: Stocksnap

In retrospect, if my family had known how important it was to take mental health into consideration, I think that my middle school and high school experience would have been significantly better – I know that I would have had a more enjoyable experience compared to the experience I did have. I wished that someone was there to guide me toward seeking professional help when it was most needed.

If you believe that someone has been struggling with their mental health, don’t remain silent. Take the time to talk with that person in order for them to seek professional help. Mental health should not be something that should be set aside just because we consider ourselves "too busy." It should be something that should be addressed immediately in order to live a happy and healthy lifestyle.