DISCLAIMER: First of all, I’m going to trigger warn this post. Not that I think anyone would get triggered, because that’s certainly not my intention. But anyway, you never know what can be a trigger for people struggling with mental health and such. Secondly, I want to say that I’m not an expert regarding mental health (what you probably already guessed, haha), and everything I write here is either something I’ve read, researched, heard of or witnessed. If you disagree with something or want to ask me something, feel free to do so:) And now, let’s get to it.
A study from 2019 regarding mental health diagnoses in Denmark shows that 15 pct. of children have been in treatment for a mental illness before they turn 18. Furthermore, around half of all mental illnesses hit before the age of 14. 14?!
Recording to statistics, there are two students in each 9th grade class, who suffer from a mental disorder. It could be anxiety, depression, an eating disorder or obsessive-compulsive disorder. And those are just some of the most common mental disorders. Not to mention the possibility of suffering from more than one illness.
A lot of young people don’t seek help, when they struggle with their mental health. Maybe because they’re embarrassed, or they don’t think their problems are ‘big enough’. Or maybe they want to get help, but they just don’t know how or where to find it.
I admit, going to a therapist does seem like a big deal requiring big problems. But if we seek help in time, before our struggles turn into monsters that turn into real illnesses, we might save ourselves a lot of time. And tears, too. I’m not saying everyone experiencing mental health struggles should see a therapist. Every person is different and has different types and levels of illnesses and different ways of dealing with those illnesses. And also, therapists are unbelievably pricy. That is another big issue that I could talk about for hours.
However, I think we need to make it more of an everyday topic to talk about mental health. It’s perfectly normal to have periods of your life where you struggle more with your mind than usual. Having a mental illness or symptoms of one isn’t definitive. It doesn’t turn you into anything different than what you are. Just like a broken leg, a mental illness is something that you carry with you, some people longer than others, and it can be difficult and it can make you lose your mind and it can hurt and feel like it will never go away. But you’re still you. And it definitely shouldn’t be something that you carry on your own. That just intensifies the feeling of being the only one, who feels that certain way. A feeling that, by the way, is completely useless. Simply, because it isn’t true. But that’s the tricky thing about mental health. A lot of mental illnesses trick you into keeping it to yourself, because you somehow come to think that no one can understand or help you. It’s true that not everyone will be able to help you. But help isn’t always the thing we need most. Sometimes, we just need someone who listens. And if we dare look around, there are more people than we think caring for and worrying about us. And yeah. I get it. Who wants to take up space and make people worry about them?
Truth be told, people who care for you have a way of sensing your issues anyway. If anything, it might actually make them worry less if you choose to confide in them.
At the age of 24, 75 pct. of mental illnesses have made their first appearance. That’s another 25 pct. since the age of 14. Yup. that’s kind of insane. There is a lot of life left to live, both at the age of 14 and 24. And though I know life isn’t supposed to be perfect and happy and funny all the time, it definitely isn’t supposed to be only the opposite. Not that you can’t experience happiness whilst dealing with a mental disorder. That is totally and completely possible. But again, it depends on the type and level of the illness and also on the person experiencing it. Nonetheless, what I know for sure, is that no one deserves to struggle with a mental illness.
But how come so many young people experience these issues? It seems that external conditions such as a stressful school system, trouble at home, a globalized, digital, never sleeping world (and so on), might have something to do with children and young people not thriving. So, what on earth do we do about that? What can we do?
Well, for starters, try and check up on your friends every once in a while. Ask them, how they’re doing. And maybe ask yourself that question, too. There is nothing wrong or embarrassing about it, and it’s only a taboo till we stop making it one. So, let’s stop making it one. I’ll start. How are you doing?