iGen21 February 2017 - Page 30

Q. Do I have a mental illness?

A. Before you go googling symptoms and taking online quizzes, I’d talk with a trusted adult, and see a professional such as a therapist or counselor.

Q. How do I help someone with one?

A. This is a hard one to answer because of the many illnesses one can have. The bottom line is listening to them. If they say “I can’t go to the mall. It’s too crowded” just respect that and maybe try and ask what they are comfortable with. Some people have trouble with loud sounds so they might not want to go to that local concert. That is perfectly okay. Make sure you meet their needs and never downplay their feelings. A depressed person may seem very happy to others, so try and understand others before judging. One last tip, never try and solve ones problems.

If they are doing self-destructive behavior and need help. Talk to a trusted adult so they can get help immediately.

Q. Why is it such a sensitive topic?

A. You may be asking why it’s never talked about. Well the sad truth is people like to sweep sensitive subjects under the rug. People avoid subjects that seem difficult or sad. My stand on this problem is that voices should be heard. I have depression and anxiety, I’m not telling people out of pity but because I want people to know they aren’t alone or bad for having problems. We aren’t alone and more people need to tell their stories.

EMILY MONASMITH

You may ask yourself what is a mental illness?

Well the definition is “Mental illness refers to a wide range of mental health conditions — disorders that affect your mood, thinking and behavior. Examples of mental illness include depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, eating disorders and addictive behaviors.” Then you may ask “Do I have one?”, “How do I help someone with one?”, why is it such a sensitive subject *ECT*?

Perhaps I can provide some answers.

MENTAL HEALTH