Mental health is taken too lightly


Danielle Stevens, Reporter

Approximately 26 percent of kids are under age 18, and 1 in 4 adults have issues with their mental health, The Kim Foundation states.

Kids take the words mental illness lightly, and that can be harmful or offensive to people who struggle with it. The most common mental illnesses for high schoolers are anxiety, depression and bipolar disorder.

A popular “meme” that makes light of mental issues is “I’m triggered”. Some do not find it funny, and it could be offensive to people who are affected by mental illness and cause them to hurt themselves in any shape or form.

Suicide is another thing that can be joked about. “I’m going to shoot myself,” is one expression often used by teenagers. This is not funny because approximately 800,000 people commit suicide in a year on average globally, World Health Organization states. According to The Jason Foundation, suicide is the second leading cause of death from ages 10-24.

“Depression is more of a chemical imbalance inside of their body,” West High Nurse Linda Schlapkohl said.

There is a difference between having mood swings and having bipolar disorder.  According to ABCNews, having bipolar disorder is when a person has such strong emotions that he or she can’t function properly. Mood swings are common in teens because of hormonal changes. Teenagers may be more short-tempered and angry. People often confuse bipolar disorder with mood swings.

Mental illness is taken very lightly and people ignore the fact that it affects people on an everyday basis. Now with the technology and how kids are connected to people everywhere, they can make up a trend that pokes towards mental illness.

“I think that people need to think before they speak because words can be very harmful and people often play those words over and over and over again in their head and further traumatize and sometimes make themselves feel worse,” counselor Jennifer O’Hare said.

Kids make almost anything into a joke, even the most inappropriate materials such as mental illness. People should be more careful when it comes to what they say because they can hurt someone’s sensibilities who suffer from mental illnesses.