Archive for the ‘Mental Illness’ Category

I witnessed one of the most scary, yet intriguing trends being brought up in adolescent America while I was in high school. I wasn’t just a witness to it, I was also hugely involved in it. It had the ability to tear friendships apart, to break the hearts of parents and make them wonder if they weren’t good enough while raising they’re child, to manipulate the person involved into thinking that everyone around them was the enemy and all they wanted was to report them to the school psychologist. The trend, was cutting.

Freshman year is a confusing time for anyone no doubt. Friendships from middle school sometime come to an abrupt end, new friends come into your life and life itself takes on a whole new meaning within you. It’s the year  most of us spent trying to understand ourselves better. Freshman year was also the year I saw cutting play a bigger role in our society than I ever did before.

Cutting shouldn’t be a trend. I remember knowing people who cut themselves because they thought it was cool and they wanted to fit in. Others of us did it because it was a way of escape from the mess going on inside our heads. Either way, it was becoming something bigger than we thought it ever could be. As it was having its way in my life, I saw what it was doing to others as well.

Once people found out about it, you became part of the gossip train. Some people thrived on that attention. They didn’t want that specific kind of attention, but having people know who they were gave them some sort of thrill. Those who were cutting for deeper reasons, the attention was a nightmare. Their one thing they had that they could control was now exposed to the world. The one secret they wanted to keep was out.

Either way, I saw cutting growing and growing into our society. It was once a well kept secret that nobody wanted to talk about, and soon it was all some people could talk about.

Cutting isn’t cool. Cutting is a serious problem. Cutting shouldn’t be the thing to be doing. Cutting can be dangerous. Either way you look at it, no matter what the intentions of the cutter are for doing it, they need help. Yes even those who wanted the attention; there’s still something there that needs to be exposed.

Cutting shouldn’t be an epidemic.

Our society has been increasingly more receptive to mental illnesses over the past decade or so. I was on the internet and found an interview that actress Winona Ryder did with ABC, after she executive produced the 1999 film, Girl, Interrupted. At the time, she was considered brave to publicly speak out about her fight with depression and her anxiety attacks she suffered as a young adult.

You look at most celebrities out there nowadays, and you notice that they all have something in common. Mental illness. Depression is one of the most common mental illnesses, and most celebrities admit to having suffered from the disease.

It’s pretty obvious, if you look at the facts, that the stigma surrounding mental illness has become less severe over the years. Depression, doesn’t hold the “crazy” stereotype it once did. Heck if that were still true, most of us reading this would be considered crazy. Still, sadly it’s growing in number of how many people suffer from depression, but people now are more acceptable of reaching out.

I think back on that interview of Winona Ryder, and you can tell it was a big deal at the time. The questions they asked her, and situations she talked about being in, were things the public weren’t used to hearing from a celebrity then. She talks about hiding the fact she was depressed and having anxiety attacks from her co-workers, out of fear that they’d think she was “crazy”.

It’s relieving to me to know that mental illness and it’s effect on people is so less taboo than it once was. That people are out there talking about it, and helping others, all while possibly helping themselves.