Letter from the editor: Let’s talk about mental health

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By Julie Pike, Editor-in-Chief

Recently I’ve been having conversations with both family and friends about the state of our mental health. The fact that people are becoming more open to talk about what can perceived as a taboo topic is encouraging to me. I only hope that others can experience the same thing.

Mental health is a topic we can all relate to. At some point in everyone’s life they are going to be dealing with changes in their mental health, whether it be permanent or temporary. For some of us, like myself, we need medication to help the chemicals in a brain find a balance, and for others, they have found luck in other ways. Whichever way you’ve found to help yourself feel better, the last thing you should feel is ashamed for how you are feeling.

I feel thankful that I’ve found what medication works best for me and my condition, because I know that without it I would not be able to get through my daily life. I do rely on my medication, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.

I admire those that have found natural alternatives to combat their anxiety or depression, but I hope to encourage people to not look down upon those who choose medication. Often times we don’t “choose” to take medication, but we need it. Mental health disorders cause a chemical imbalance in your brain, and oftentimes the only option to help that is through a prescription.

I was diagnosed with chronic depression when I was a freshman in high school. I didn’t have any sort of life-changing event happen. I was an average high school kid. So it took a long time for me to understand why it happened to me, as I was brought up on the assumption that only people who undergo traumatic experiences can develop it. I was clearly wrong. It could happen to anyone, no matter where they are in their life.

Eight years later, I’ve gone through several types of medications, different brands, different pairings, until I was able to find what worked for me. Don’t get me wrong, there are other methods that help me feel better, working out, going for a walk outside, eating well, but without the aid of medication, it wouldn’t be enough.

Sometimes it’s hard to convey to others who haven’t gone through a similar experience. When you just can’t get out of bed one day, it’s hard to explain to others why, as it seems like such a simple fix. But you can never get into the mind of another. Mental health disorders can absolutely take control of you. That’s where medication be helpful. Sometimes we can’t will ourselves to just get better, we need some extra help.

The topic of mental health is often one that people keep to themselves. I completely understand the want to keep it private, but I honestly believe they can help themselves work through their feelings by communicating with those close to you. If we all do this, we can start to normalize talking about mental health. We are all human, we all going through hard times, and we could all use the support and understanding of our peers. Keep the conversation going.

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