The Silent Epidemic: Some Reminders for When You're Having a Bad Mental Health Day
Editor’s Note: This article was written by past Defiant writer, Jordan Zhang.
The United States is facing a major health crisis. You might call it a “silent epidemic.”
About one in five kids living in the U.S. shows signs of a mental health disorder, and that number continues to grow. So in a classroom of 30 students, approximately 6 students may be struggling with anything ranging from depression to anxiety to ADHD to BPD to bipolar disorder. These issues are destructive forces that have huge implications for the future, especially amongst today’s youngest generation. Despite this, nearly 80 percent of children who need mental health services can’t get them.
As students prepare for high school and college, it is more important than ever to look after yourself and your friends. Here are some gentle reminders for anyone who’s in need of positivity in their life right now:
It is okay to not be okay. Give yourself permission to feel sad. No one expects you to always be happy! I know that you are putting on a tough face, but it really is okay to show what you are actually feeling.
Make sure that you are getting enough food, water, and sleep. It can be hard to find the motivation to make yourself some food and grab a cup of water, but I can promise you that looking after yourself physically is a huge step in the right direction.
Take things slow. Don’t feel pressured to feel better right away. Learning how to love and take care of yourself is a long process that could take months and even years, and it’s never an easy thing for anyone. No matter how long it takes you, remember that you are still valid and worthy of love. If you’re having a day where you can’t even find the strength to get out of bed, that is okay - again, take things slow and steady! Did you only get out of bed to use the restroom? That’s awesome! Did you make yourself a sandwich? Great! It can be extremely difficult to pull yourself out of bed and I’m proud of you for doing these little things.
Know that you deserve to get help. You are not alone in this. You are loved by so many people who want you to get the help that you need to feel better about yourself. Your smile, your laugh, your passion, your personality, your courage, your mere existence brightens the days of people around you. Never, ever forget that.