Teen depression needs to be addressed

cartoon+by+Attie+Mellman
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Back to Article

Teen depression needs to be addressed

cartoon by Attie Mellman

cartoon by Attie Mellman

Attie Mellman

cartoon by Attie Mellman

Attie Mellman

Attie Mellman

cartoon by Attie Mellman

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One in five American high school students struggle with mental illness. These illnesses are detrimental to the development of the students. By creating new classes, schools would be better prepared to help students that struggle with these illnesses. Students at Eaton High School struggle with depression, anxiety and many other mental illnesses. These students may not show the signs of depression or anxiety on the outside, but if people paid close attention to one another, maybe a change in personality could be seen.  These students are fighting every day of their lives against their brain. They may not have a fatal wound, but depression, anxiety and any other mental illness should be treated with respect and should be taken seriously. When these students have had enough people making fun of them, they make dumb choices that ultimately affect the rest of their lives. These kids may do things that normally would not be an option. These kids may experiment with drugs, alcohol, cutting, or may become sexually active to help avoid the crushing feeling of depression.

These “solutions” to depression and anxiety are not a joke. Doing drugs, drinking alcohol, and slitting their wrists may seem like a good way to cope, but in the end it messes up the kids brain even more. These students become very reliant on those coping mechanisms and when they don’t work anymore, they have to find a new way to cope, causing more damage to their already ruined body and mind. Going to a counselor is not an option for some of the students. They feel that by going to the counselor they are seeking attention and causing more problems than they were already. In severe cases, some kids see suicide as the only option.

Each year, almost 5,000 students from ages 15 to 24, commit suicide. The rate of suicide in this age group has nearly tripled since 1960, making it the leading cause of death in 15-17 year olds. These mental illnesses are not a joke and should not be treated as a joke. They are very serious and people make fun of it. School is not the safest environment for students struggling with a mental illness. Walking through the hallways of Eaton High School, you can hear people saying things like, “OMG this class makes me want to kill myself…” or “I’m so depressed I can barely function…”. These sayings can trigger a student. Eaton High School should have classes informing kids about mental illnesses. These classes should help promote awareness and should teach kids and teachers about the affects the illnesses have on the body and the brain. By making these changes in the school system, the suicide rate could go down, kids will feel less pressure to talk to someone and get proper help, and by taking mental illnesses seriously, people will be more open to talk.