Staying Positive While Testing Positive

Mental Health Awareness Remains Important During Pandemic

Staying Positive While Testing Positive

Tedi Blassingame, Reporter

During this time of social distancing, cancellation, and confusion, mental health remains a concern. Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It tends to affect how we think, feel, and act. Mental illness is something that has been a major problem since the dawn of time. There are more than 200 classified forms of mental illness, and they’re more common than people might think. 1 in 5 young people struggle with mental illness, and many people never get a proper diagnosis. Only 4% of the total healthcare budget is spent on mental health.

While juggling education and other obligations, students and adults should be aware of their mental health and ask for help when needed.

 The current annual suicide rate is 13.42 out of 100,000 individuals. Men die by suicide 3.53 times more often than women. On average, there are 123 suicides per day, or 1 suicide every 40 seconds.

About 1 in 3 people aged 13-18 will experience an anxiety disorder. The average high school student today has the same level of anxiety as the average psychiatric patient in the early 1950’s. Anxiety is one of the most common mental illnesses, yet it often goes unrecognized and untreated. The symptoms are feeling nervous, restless, or tense, have a sense of impending doom or danger, experience hyperventilation frequently, or worry more than the average person. 

Depression is another very common mental illness, but it’s not what people seem to think it is. Depression isn’t just being excessively sad all the time, but it comes with lack of motivation, fatigue, angry outbursts, irritability, insomnia or sleeping too much, extreme tiredness, anxiety, slow reactions, feelings of worthlessness or guilt, and recurrent thoughts of death.

There are many other mental illnesses that go unnoticed, such as ADHD and bipolar disorder. There are various articles about mental health that can be found through a simple search on Google. It is just as important to take care of mental health as it is physical health, so never be afraid to seek professional help. 

In the midst of a global pandemic, your mental health can decline without you noticing, so take a moment to assess yourself every now and then. If you have thoughts of suicide, never be afraid to seek help. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 800-273-8255.