May is Mental Health Awareness Month


Viviana Rivera, Features Editor

A Mental Health Overview

Mental health issues spurs a series of downfalls. It’s crushing to know that you are against yourself and sometimes, you’re also against the world. Feeling deprived of self worth, enjoyment, and pleasant feelings is equivalent to feeling empty, to being lacking. The world is stripped of color, stripped of vibrancy and fresh air and beautiful life. And sometimes you feel like all you can do is hug yourself until the voices stop.

When you’re depressed, nothing feels good and you are unmotivated. There’s nothing to be proud of because you feel too broken to do anything. There’s nothing to smile about because you feel too numb to comprehend feelings.
When you’re anxious, the whole world feels like a battlefield, like no matter where you are, bullets are flying at you from all angles. There’s nothing to reassure you because everything is a threat.

When you’re bipolar, there is a rise and fall to everything you do. Feeling good is a bad sign because it signals a future crash and feeling bad is just torture.
Being mentally unwell can be detrimental. However, no matter how broken you feel, no matter how unfulfilled you feel, no matter how lost you may be, happiness is achievable. Having mental health issues can make you feel like pain is forever. It’s not. There are ways to conquer these feelings and become anew.

Kill It With Kindness

Some people don’t understand that they can help themselves. Sometimes people need medication, but some people with mental health issues need to help themselves. Here are some helpful tips:

  • Write down how you feel. It sounds silly but it really helps. Sometimes when you write down how you feel, you discover new things about yourself and you put the situation into perspective.
  • Meditate. This is not for everyone. But sometimes listening to calming sounds and centering yourself is important. Understand your inner strength.
  • Fix your sleeping schedule. This is something people always reject, especially people that are night owls. I was that way. I used to stay up all night and sleep all day. It’s proven however that a better sleep schedule can improve your emotional stability.
  • Stop yourself in the tracks of negative thoughts. A lot of the time, people tell themselves horrible things, they degrade themselves. However, that has to be put to an end. In the middle of saying negative things, say “No”. Do not convince yourself that these negative thoughts are true. Tell yourself that you’re not always right about yourself, especially because you are your worst critic.
  • Arrange therapy or find an outlet. It is so good to express how you feel. I get it, it’s really really hard. You feel like a party-pooper or a burden. That’s not true. You can’t always help how you feel. No one should punish you for that. And you deserve to be heard. Plus, sometimes it’s good to put things into the air because then it’s no longer inside you and being bottled up.
  • Let. Yourself. Cry. A lot of people refuse to cry, saying it’s embarrassing or they don’t want to be vulnerable. Crying is so good. It’s so healthy. Let yourself cry. Let yourself sob. Punch the pillow if you must. Just don’t hold back the tears.
  • Don’t pretend you’re okay. It’s okay to not be okay. It’s okay to admit you’re struggling, that you’re unhappy, and that you need help. It’s normal. You are human. You will not always be happy or healthy or satisfied. No one is. You can be messed up sometimes and say “Y’know what? I’m not doing so well.” Someone is bound to stand up if you are honest.

You can help someone who’s struggling too! You have some leeway. You may not be able to totally cure or heal them, but you can do something. Here are some ways you can be there for someone struggling:

  • Tell them you care. People struggling with mental health issues think that no one cares. That no one would take the time to listen to them, or hold them, or wipe their tears. Tell them you care. Reassure them that you will be there for them. Make sure they know that they’re not a burden.
  • Tell them that it’s normal. They need to know that there’s nothing “wrong” with them. Some people with mental health issues feel like there’s something wrong with them, that they’re incapable. Don’t let them let those thoughts take over.

Having a mental health issue is just like having any other health issue. It’s normal, it happens. It’s not convenient or healthy, but it doesn’t make them a freak, there’s nothing “wrong” with them.

I hope this advice could make at least a small difference. Oh and also…

You make a difference. You are important. You are amazing. Give yourself a chance.