Series on Mental Illness Present in Society
Last updated 10/13/2020 at 10:19pm
Maddy is a student at Little Cypress-Mauriceville High School. She is a talented young writer whose columns offer unique insights from the perspective of a local high school student. Intended primarily for young people, all of The Record readers are welcome to enjoy our columns by Maddy Smith.
Living with depression isn’t something that comes easy no matter how severe it is or becomes. You wake up and immediately think about how you can’t wait to get back into bed to go back to sleep. Sleep and isolation has become your motivation to get up in the morning. As you get up to get ready to go to school, you notice the sadness wash over you in a strong wave as if reintroducing itself to you even though you have met too many times. Your feet drag on the cold tile floor and you shiver due to the lack of warmth surrounding you. When your bathroom is covered with mirrors, it becomes a dreadful task of looking in the mirror and not recognizing yourself. You notice your bloodshot eyes and how puffy they are. You notice the dark circles underneath your eyes that are always there now. The baggy clothes you wear do well to hide how skinny you’ve become because of your irregular eating habits. You look past it all like you do every morning and continue on with your day like normal.
It’s been an hour so your friend should be arriving at your house soon to pick you up for school. You sit and wait downstairs in the silence of your home because no one is home. Your thoughts race like they always do. You begin to get sucked into them until you are snapped out of your thoughts by your phone ringing. You prepare yourself and put on a smile and add some happiness into your voice. Your friend is here to pick you up for school. You take a deep breathe, open the door and leave. As you walk to the car you look anywhere but the car just in case they tell that something is wrong just by looking into your eyes. You arrive at school and hope that nothing goes wrong so that your day can be as peaceful as possible. Your classes come and go slowly. All day, you use all your energy to calm your nerves and breathing pattern. It’s hard to focus now as well as making decisions.
Weeks go by and nothing has changed. If anything, it has gotten worse. Nothing satisfies you anymore like it used to. Going out with friends isn’t as pleasurable if you can only think about going back home and lying in bed or hoping something doesn’t trigger a panic attack in public. However, used to the only thing that would motivate you to get out of bed is now something you fear. Going to sleep isn’t something you want to do anymore. It’s the most vulnerable time for you and your thoughts. It’s the time that all the thoughts you have suppressed all day finally break though the barrier. All you want to do is be able to go to sleep. Maybe it will relieve some of the pain that is constantly filling you up. But it has become the most difficult task for you to achieve.
Your friends have begun distancing themselves from you because of your mood swings. You feel so many emotions all at once along with constantly felling sad that it becomes so overwhelming that you have been angry and irritated. Because your friends don’t like this they avoid you. You begin falling into an even deeper hole than you were in before. In your mind you beg them not to leave you, not to abandon you for people who aren’t as irritating as you are. Questioning yourself and the way you act has brought you to the realization that no one likes you and you need to change even if it’s fake.
You don’t know who you are anymore. You don’t look the same or sound the same or feel the same. You feel heavy with fear, sadness, anger, longing, and jealousy. You sound so different you begin to wonder if you are the same person you were a few months ago. You look different, ugly. You’re pale and skinny. The tiredness in your eyes is something that you have learned to mask well but your darks under eyes are a dead giveaway. You feel worthless, like you don’t matter or your life doesn’t matter. A terrifying thought makes its way into your mind: who is going to pull me out and how quickly can they get to me?
Mental illness is something very relevant in society today especially in teenagers. Approximately 9% of children from the ages of 2-17 have been diagnosed with ADHD, 8% of teenagers aging 13-18 have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, 8% of teenagers from 12-17 have had major depression episodes, and 2.7% of teenagers from 13-18 suffer from eating disorders that can include bulimia, anorexia, and binge eating. The list of mental illnesses that can affect everyday life goes on and on. These articles are meant to help those that don’t understand fully what a certain mental illness looks and feels like. Everybody deals with mental illness in a different way and show different signs.