What students say about teen mental health, speech moderation and special talents

My personal journey on mental health has been a long one. I’ve been in and out of therapy since a very young age and I’m pretty heavily medicated for depression/anxiety. I live with the guilt of what I did to myself, what I did to my parents. I was only 11/12. I had thoughts I couldn’t process, urges to do things I shouldn’t have done. I hated everyone, especially myself. I missed my childhood because of extreme fear, and I will never get it back. I feel like something is missing, even now. I’ve been clean for almost three years now and I’m doing a lot better. I’m on medication, on stable therapy, and I have a really good support system. But recovery is not linear. Days, weeks, months, years of progress are not erased if you have an episode or relapse. I’m so glad I’m alive today, but I have episodes where I’m not. That doesn’t destroy my progress. To everyone in these comments, I’m proud of you. <3

b.

Nearly all of my peers have some form of mental illness, they just aren’t being treated for it. If you say this to someone of older generations, you might get snarky comments like ‘your generation is just too sensitive’, but that only reinforces my idea that older generations struggled just as much with mental health, but got no help. Even now, mental health may be considered taboo, but compared to the 19th century, it’s not nearly as serious. I suppose the reason why it seems like mental health is only a recent problem is because in the past people have feared being locked up in asylums for seeking help. I believe the solution to our current “crisis” is to be vocal about mental health advocacy in order to destigmatize it.

s.

If I’m honest, I didn’t think I’d be sixteen. From an early age I was always anxious, sleeping in my parents’ bed when it thundered, crying because I was too scared to go to school, and missing birthday parties and the like because of my anxious nature. As I got older, I also got a depression. The past two years have been the worst of my life. I became [part of] the eighty-eight percent [rise in] teenagers in hospital for self-harm, I allowed myself to go on for so long feeling that life isn’t too long for me like I did. I hid it from my family members, along with my raging eating disorder, which was a major contributor to my negative mental health… Looking back on it, I wish I had done something, said something, but the truth is I took comfort in how terrible I thought. Social media also contributed to how bad my mental health was, and how many others are feeling, there’s no doubt about it. The social media platform Tiktok is a nasty place at times. I personally used it as therapy rather than going through the “struggle” to actually tell someone. It would show me videos about pro-anorexia, depression and suicidal thoughts. It made me feel like I was less alone, when in reality it was more damaging than I would know…

A.

Applications such as Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat are all platforms that create an online environment that best suits the user. Sometimes when we are in a sad mood, we may want to scroll through TikTok or Instagram, but what users don’t know is that they will tailor an algorithm for their wishes. If they decide to listen to sad music, more sad music will be advertised to them and then it becomes an endless cycle. Social media is also notorious for highlighting people with ideal body types and this can be very difficult for young people who undergo body changes in their teens. For me personally, I only scroll on social media when I’m feeling sad and, spoiler alert, it never helps me feel better. Social media has done a lot of good for our society, but we need to be aware of some of the hidden consequences of accessing the whole world at the click of a button.

s.

We have been in a pandemic for 2 years now and I believe that social media is the most important factor that revolves around the mental health of teenagers. Endless scrolling through videos, not leaving the house and comparing themselves to fake images diminishes their sanity and self-esteem. It can also lead to exhaustion, as many, like myself, have a tendency to scroll through messages and watch videos from the evening until the early hours.

t.

I’ve seen many different teens at my school, in stores, or just in public who seem to be struggling with mental illness. Signs I’ve seen are, sitting alone, never smiling, always looking depressed by their body language and facial language and their actions. Personally, I think the pandemic has made a big change in the mental health of teens. There isn’t much left to do and it’s a lot harder to socialize. Teens and children need socialization in their lives, otherwise they will become sadder and won’t know how to talk to people. I think teenagers today are more afraid to seek help and that’s why they live with this struggle on a daily basis and no one will ever know.

b.

Many of my friends went into deep depression during the pandemic, some of which were near suicide attempts. I wish I could say I’m surprised at the drastic jump in self-injury and suicide rates, but I’m not. Children are always told that they are the future, but little is done to ensure that they are really there in the future. There needs to be massive education about mental health, otherwise I fear the problem will only get worse.

s.

Leave a Comment