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Maddy Andresen, Photo Editor

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When you look around at the people you are surrounded by, what do you see? You probably see people of different genders,  ethnicities, styles, and faces, but what do you know about those faces? Do you know  one in five people suffer from a mental illness? Considering this, how often do you say that you are feeling so depressed because you have to do homework, that you have so much anxiety about a test, or that you want to die because something bad happened? These are words and phrases  people use on a daily basis to describe situations, but they don’t realize what those words actually mean to certain people. Because of all these comments, the majority of people dealing with these issues hide it behind a smiling face. Society has a small perspective that makes people feel insecure about what they are going through.

Depression is different than being sad. Depression is a long-lasting and overwhelming feeling, while being sad is short lasting and easier to get over. People say they are depressed about not being able to go to a football game, when in reality, they are just sad to be missing out. When people make comments about being depressed, they don’t realize that depression is a disorder characterized by a consistent depressed, isolated mood that results in loss of interest in activities and causes a significant impairment on daily life. People with depression struggle with getting out of bed in the morning, not because they are tired, but because they are incapable of making it through another day with the darkness they are drowning in. Saying you are depressed over one bad thing is offensive towards those who truly have depression and feel depressed over Every. Single. Thing.

Anxiety is different than being nervous. People have anxiety in their daily life and it is long-lasting, but nervousness is over a certain situation and is short lived. People say they get anxiety about taking a test when, in reality, they are only nervous-there’s a difference. When people say they have anxiety, they don’t realize that anxiety is an intense, persistent worry or fear about everyday situations and causes physical symptoms as well. People with anxiety have a relentless obsession and can’t do normal activities because they are afraid of the outcome. People without depression and anxiety need to stop and think about what they are going to say before they say it and how much it could affect the people around them.

It is extremely rude and disrespectful to jokingly say you want to die when someone right next to you could be dealing with suicidal thoughts and truly wants to die. Those jokes can affect those people to drive them deeper into their mental illnesses, and it makes it seem like they are a joke to society. When you hear someone making a comment about something you are going through, it makes you feel ashamed and embarrassed, and it shouldn’t be like that. People with mental illnesses shouldn’t feel like a burden and a disgrace to the human race; they should feel like they are still humans and that it’s okay to not be okay sometimes.

I personally deal with my own struggles, and it is hard for me to hear people make inconsiderate comments about the type of issues that I haven’t fully been able to overcome. When people say, “just be positive,” “think happy thoughts” or “you’re going to be okay,” they don’t realize that it’s easier said than done, especially when you have no control over your thoughts.

Our small minded society makes it seem like having a mental illness is embarrassing, and if you seek help, you are considered weak, being dramatic, or are an attention -seeker. If people were to realize what was actually going on inside people’s heads, they would be able to understand how difficult it is to deal with living your life on a daily basis and how much those comments and thoughts truly affect them.

Mental illnesses are more than just a struggle, they are lifelong afflictions for people that should be listened to and paid attention to more often. People who are put together and always seem happy, might be the most depressed;  they might have the biggest issues behind their smiling faces, but they feel the need to act okay to society. Look closer behind the smiling faces because there is always more to the story…

For     more  information,  go   to   page     10.

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Always more to the story…