OP-ED: The Aspects of Mental Illness


Many think mental illness is an excuse, a thing that’s talked about, for someone to gain attention and pity, trust me, I know that’s a belief concerning the matter because I’ve heard it all before. While that’s not at all true, people wonder why those that have a mental illness don’t let people know or talk about it. I mean people just don’t take it seriously, say that, “it’s a phase”, “you just have it because others do” or, “you just want attention”. But, that’s not it at all. While, yes there are many degrees of mental illness, to different extents, like, mood disorder, anxiety, depression, personality disorder, psychotic disorder, eating disorder, bipolar disorder and many more where that comes from. With anxiety, depression and eating disorders tending to be most common in today’s society. With me, personally saying that about all my friends have at least one of these, I do as well. For example, I get terrible anxiety, it just comes and goes when it pleases, doesn’t go away. I feel as if I have a huge weight in my chest, I begin overthinking, shaking, becoming nervous about everything, being very jittery. It’s very emotionally and mentally consuming as well. I’ll find myself becoming mad for no reason, rude to family, emotionless, wanting to sit in my room all day. Mental illness takes away your personality, hurts you as a person. Although it does help to minimize it when you have a distraction, with mine being work, I’m busy, social and sort of have to be happy. I’ve even started a medication for “anxiety”, an antidepressant. It lightens you up a little, but makes me oh so exhausted. But, enough about me, what i’m saying is mental illness isn’t an attention craving scheme, we don’t choose this. Do you really think we’d choose to hate ourselves, compare ourselves, despise ourselves each and every day? It makes us not want to eat, because we tend to begin to gain body dysmorphia, even if we are skinny, we see the flaws within ourselves, hating yourself more and more each and everyday, seeing everyone as visually pleasing, except ourselves. It’s very draining. While, yes, some mental illnesses people are born with, that seriously mess with their brains, but in this article that’s not the degree of which i’m talking about. Whereas, these mental disorders, more so tend to focus on our generation, gen- z, the children and teens, even young adults of this generation. Social media has greatly contributed, due to the fact that we pretty much grew up with it. Where, it’s stated that, approximately one in five teens (aged 12 to 18) suffer from at least one mental health disorder. Where, I gathered a two contributors, including, Alexa Eason & Alayna Evans to give us their take on the aspects of mental illness. 

Do you experience a setback from any prone mental illnesses? If so, elaborate, explain the extent of it, what does it does to you individually, what do you see it do to others?

AEA: I do experience setbacks from mental illness sometimes. I sometimes let mental illness overcome me and my life, and I just give up on everything. I see that it happens like that for others as well.

AEV: If it goes to an extent, yes it can give me a setback and it can take over my life and get in the way of every day I come across. It can be hard for me to get back on track and I definitely can see it happening to others and their struggles as well.

Do you believe mental illness, as some believe, can just be “cured”, “go away”? Elaborate.

AEA: No, I do not believe you can cure a mental illness but you can lessen symptoms and make it “go away” for certain periods of time.

AEV: I don’t believe it can be cured because it’s not that easy for it to go away and it’s not a sickness that will only be temporary. There’s medicine people take to help it calm down and there’s many different ways to cope and manage the symptoms you’re experiencing.

What’s your viewpoint on the stereotypes of mental illness, what do you believe some of the leading ones are? Further explain.

AEA: Stereotypes are stupid to me in general, but especially around mental illness. I believe one leading stereotype is that if you have anxiety you must show physical symptoms which is completely not true. All people struggle and cope in their own way.

AEV: Stereotypes on mental illness are definitely common and a lot of them are false and assumed. Some of the leading ones are if you’re dealing with anxiety or depression, you have to show the syptoms or you’re lying about it which is completely not true because everyone deals with it differently and no one knows what other people go through. 

Lastly, Has there been a time when someone has downgraded, your having of a mental illness? Explain what occurred, the situation.

AEA: Mental illness to me is always downplayed especially for people you wouldn’t think were actually struggling. My mental illness has definitely been downplayed before, when I tell my story or what I’m going through and they come back and make it sound like theirs is so much worse than mine and not even acknowledging or validating my feelings. 

AEV: There are some times that people downgraded my mental illness. I deal with it a lot and if I ever tell someone or try to ask for help, it can be a struggle because it doesn’t seem like a crisis or they simply say to just go out more and be happy but no one truly knows what someone is going through once you see it from their perspective and that’s why my feelings can feel unimportant when people assume things about it or they make theirs seem much worse.

Whereas, as you may infer, if you have a mental illness, you’re not alone, it’s very common in today’s society & tends to greatly drain you as a person. It’s not an excuse or distraction, it’s an illness.