Accepting Eating Disorders and Mental Illnesses

December 22, 2011
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Eating disorders and mental illnesses are common among teens, yet they are not accepted by teenage society. A large portion of society makes fun of these problems. People with eating disorders or mental illnesses are sometimes called fatty, ugly, crazy, stupid, or freak. Just imagine what they have to go through every day walking down the halls at school, people laughing, and teachers weirdly staring at them. I know if I was put in that situation, I wouldn’t be able to stand the mental torture.

Eating disorders are described as extremely unbalanced habits of eating, and actually are a lot more common than society thinks. Almost all people with eating disorders cover up their habits and don’t tell anyone about what they do or when they do it. The biggest victims of eating disorders are teenage girls. Anorexia nervosa, the most common eating disorder, is when people basically starve themselves to extreme thinness or even death. Since no nutrients like calcium are being consumed, hair falls out and fingernails get discolored. Many people get made fun of by this and get trapped in a state of depression. I certainly would not want my best friend to be depressed or get called baldy, or tortoise toenails, or something rude like that. I want people to have sympathy for eating disorders. Also, if you know anybody with an eating disorder, get help from a trusted adult. But, make sure not to upset your friend in a horrible way.

Mental illnesses are imbalanced chemicals in the brain making one react to something in an inappropriate way. Sometimes people laugh at victims of mental illness, and call them crazy, nut job, or wack pot, or think they need to go to the crazy house. I think society should evict these horrible words from everyday life, so people with mental illness can be accepted.

The other day, I saw two teenagers, about three years older than me, walking down the street. They were heading toward a boy who was acting very odd. I could tell that he had a mental illness, because he was zoning out and talking to himself. But, he wasn’t mentally disabled. When the two older kids walked past him, they stared at him. The boy kept looking into blank space, so the older kids laughed hysterically. The first laugh made the boy snap out of his daydream, and when he realized what was happening, his eyes got very glossy. They sort of looked like toy marbles with those blue swirls in the middle. Then, the blue swirls started to flow out of his eye and onto his cheek. “Hey, get lost you punks!” I furiously screamed.

The kids started to sprint away as fast as they could. Ha! Wimps! I thought. They boy wiped away his tears with his sad hand. “Thank you”, he said, “so much”. “No problem. So, why were you ignoring the kids at first? You should have stuck up for yourself” Wow. I can’t believe I just asked why he was ignoring them. Now I feel bad he has to admit what really happened. “Well, I heard voices in my head.” I knew then that he probably had schizophrenia. Schizophrenia is a mental illness that makes people hear strange voices and see odd visions. Schizophrenics sometimes think they’re way is the right way of doing things and that it makes sense to them. However, it doesn’t make sense to the average person. These people usually fail school and don’t attend college, leading to minimum wage and even homelessness.

Eating disorders and mental illnesses should be considered as a common type of health problem is society, and should be accepted by everyone. How would you feel if you had one of these problems? I would certainly want people to accept me if I had a major problem like this.

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