Mental Health


Photo Credit: Tumisu

Saish Satyal, Editor

With the looming figure of midterms on the horizon, mental health is once again a topic to talk about. Approximately 18% of the adult population in the US, which is classified as 18 years or over, has suffered from some form of mental illness. The CDC says that just over 20% of children have had a mental disorder. That means that approximately one in every five children, aged younger than 18, has had a mental disorder. Yet, many people ask a simple question: If life is so much easier than it used to be, why is mental illness on the rise? The answer, for most of us, is in a wooden cubby that is placed in our Form Master’s office.

With the rise of smartphones and computers, people have been able to connect to the world in a much easier way. These little boxes give us access to the entire world and the world isn’t the best place to be. Sure, they give us great things like Netflix and Hulu and memes, but these devices also put a large amount of burden on us. Along with your favorite TV show, your phone or computer is able to show you how amazing everyone else’s life is and it shows you how much fun everyone else is having, while you’re stuck in your room, scrolling away. Through the use of certain social media apps, your device is able to highlight everything going wrong with your life by putting it into sharp contrast with someone else, who seems to be having the time of their lives.

Not only that, the internet provides us with a constant source of news and how bad the world is doing. Even as this article is being written, the wildfires in California rage on, the stock market has been decreasing, and politics is still an incomprehensible mess. It took me less than 3 minutes to see all of that, just from the news headlines after I opened a new tab. Not only that, just a few weeks ago, the UN released an official report stating that the world could end by 2030 due to climate change! These things that connect us to the internet can cause us joy, but they can also cause us a lot of stress.

Another reason for mental illness rates rising is that people have started paying attention more carefully to the warning signs. What was once classified as a teenager being lazy is now revealed to be a student with depression trying his best to hide his interior struggles. By decreasing the stigma around mental health, people have started realizing that they may have mental health issues and started seeking help. Talking about it has helped more people come forward and seek help with their problems, rather than harboring them and letting them fester and take root.

In reality, life is just as stressful as it has always been, if not more. Students strive to get good grades and eventually push themselves to the breaking point in the name of success. Many people who can’t afford expensive colleges take on massive student loans for the chance of getting a stable job. In a large and scary world, people are expected to know everything and to become a great figure to lead the way, and that just makes the world scarier. These psychological pressures of being the perfect person in a world that is fragile, broken and getting more broken by the second are tremendous. Any student worried about their mental health or just worried about their life should go talk to a counselor to seek advice. In Cistercian’s case, our counselor is Coach Walsh, who is located at the end of the cafeteria. Anyone feeling uncomfortable should always talk to someone that they trust about, even if it isn’t their counselor. Having someone to talk to always help.