Teens with Mental Problems are "Crazy."

February 9, 2010
By Alwaysawriter BRONZE, Fayetteville, North Carolina
Alwaysawriter BRONZE, Fayetteville, North Carolina
3 articles 0 photos 2 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I’m selfish, impatient, and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I’m out of control, and at times I’m hard to handle. But if you can’t handle me at my worst then you sure don’t deserve me at my best." -Marilyn Monroe


At fifteen, I've cut myself, taken anti-anxiety medication and gone off it (completely cold turkey), seen a therapist for over a year, stood up to my emotionally-abusive dad, been hurt many more times than I can count, had my blog watched because moderators thought I was suicidal, and have gotten panic attacks. Why? I'm one of the thousands (maybe millions) of teens that suffer from anxiety problems (in my case, Social Anxiety).

As a person with anxiety--and a person who has seen how a mental illness can destoy a family--I've learned a lot. What I haven't learned, however, is how the "normal" people can so easily call those with mental issues crazy. We're not crazy; we're hurting. In fact, most of us are even stronger than those who don't have a mental illness in the end. Why? Therapy teaches you a lot. I've gained self-confidence, a person to confide in, worksheets to look over. I've made goal lists and completed them. Best of all? I learned to apppreciate the little, everyday accomplishments.I know that it's okay if I failed, just as long as I tried. I learned to believe in myself.

Most people that have a mental illness have lived in a mental prision for a few years or most of their lives; they've been through their own personal hell and I assure you, it's much worse than whatever drama you think is the end of the world. Drama goes away within a few days, a week, or a month. But recovery after getting help, if they do, and the mental prision they live in before they get help? That can take years.

Worst of all? You can probably go to your room to escape the drama. They can't. The thoughts whisper in their heads long after they've been in their rooms or houses.

Next time you call someone with a mental illness "crazy," think better of it. You have no idea what's going on in their heads and if you did, you'd be envious of everyone that lives semi-normal lives, without the "crazy," "suicial," and "psycho" comments and names.


The author's comments:
I have been an anxiety-sufferer for as long as I can remember and I've been called names because of all the times I got scared in class and ran to the counselor or started crying in the middle of class. I want others to realize that it's not okay to call those with mental illnesses names.

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This article has 4 comments.


on Dec. 27 2010 at 4:19 pm
Alwaysawriter BRONZE, Fayetteville, North Carolina
3 articles 0 photos 2 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I’m selfish, impatient, and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I’m out of control, and at times I’m hard to handle. But if you can’t handle me at my worst then you sure don’t deserve me at my best." -Marilyn Monroe

No idea why it posted it twice. Grr.

Right now, I'm lucky if I get a panic attack a week. December 10th marked two years of me being in therapy and of being diagnosed with SAD (although I had it since I was in third grade or around there). I can still tell you how I used to be. I couldn't sit on the front porch for any length of time because I was convinced that my neighbors were staring out at me through their windows, even if their cars were gone or the blinds were shut. I'd stand at my bus stop, not moving or talking because I was so scared, then, on the bus, I'd sit in a seat to myself, terrified to move an inch because I just knew they were all staring at me and whispering about me. At school, I clung on to the few friends I had because every single place scared me and the people associated with them, and school bathrooms were the worst places of all. I couldn't go out to eat because I was convinced I was being watched and listened in to. I couldn't go to the mall--even as a freshman in high school, I cried in the middle of a store in the mall because I was so terrified of everything. If I was out in public, which I rarely was because I'd throw tantrums to get out of going because the anxiety was so bad, someone had to go with me-there were no if, ands, or buts-and the anxiety was still there, almost as bad, but slightly better because I didn't feel so alone. I wouldn't get up to sharpen a pencil by myself and perfected the art of going to sharpen when someone else got up to sharpen theirs--it wasn't a perfect system, seeing as I was always left to sharpen my pencil by myself, but it was a little easier for me. In middle school, I had people that scared me and then groups of people that made me so sick that I had panic attacks constantly. Even now, one of those groups of people still scare me more than others, although not nearly to that extent. I had panic attacks as early as fifth grade, always random, always without a name, always lasting no more than five minutes, always being no more than four in a day, but always making me feel even worse. Now a junior in high school, I have express permission to go to Guidance whenever I need to, even in the middle of class. Despite being so much better, I do have relapses--you're going to have them pretty much regardless. There are some days where the anxiety will be as bad as it used to be or I'll get four panic attacks (all lasting at least an hour, if not longer) and I will spend half the day in Guidance. I'm not ashamed of it.

 

As for the whole obsessing about things your brain has convinced you is true when the logical part of your brain knows it isn't? I still struggle with that a lot and I still obsess about it. It's part of it.


1234wahoo said...
on Dec. 27 2010 at 3:01 pm
yess,  i know that this will be quite a journey for me..... getting away from this all. haha, iv got more questions... what exactly is anxiety like for you? do u ever obsess on anything, something that youare almost positive isnt true, but u obsess and bulyy yourself into believing the idea u are almost sure is false, and then it bothers u all the time? (just trying to see if u are similar to me, its fine if not) 

on Dec. 27 2010 at 2:29 pm
Alwaysawriter BRONZE, Fayetteville, North Carolina
3 articles 0 photos 2 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I’m selfish, impatient, and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I’m out of control, and at times I’m hard to handle. But if you can’t handle me at my worst then you sure don’t deserve me at my best." -Marilyn Monroe

Social Anxiety Disorder is a disorder but I mean them interchangably, even though they're not. Both groups deal with the same stigma about them being "crazy."

Sorry I didn't distinguish between the mentally challenged and the ones with mental illness. I didn't even think about that.

Tips:

One of the most common I've heard is just to breathe. Breathe through your nose, not your mouth. Keep doing so until it becomes habbit. When you breathe through your nose, slowly, it forces your brain to stop your worries and just concentrate on the breathing.

Another is to use imagery. It's never really worked on me, no matter how many times I've tried it, but it's helped other people. Pick a place, a place you love more than anything else and that makes you happy. Then close your eyes, with the image in your mind, and let your mind go blank. With the image still in your head, let your mind get imersed in the place. Smell the smells, feel the atmostphere, touch objects, and so on. The goal is to feel completely relaxed when you come back to the place you're in at the moment.

 

Distract yourself! One of the best tools I've used as I continue to get better is to let myself be distracted. It doesn't matter what it is, as long as it's something that will keep your brain from attacking you for a while. Music is one of the best distractors, as I've discovered.

Tell someone you trust. Having friends who know what you're going through or at least are there for you make all the difference.

Personally, therapy was the best choice I ever made. It's going to be hard, probably one of the hardest choices you'll ever make, but it's worth it. It might a while to find the right therapist for you but give them two or three sessions before you decide you don't like them. It's not right for everyone and it doesn't always work with everyone. I'd suggest you go for it. Medication alone doesn't help much, especially when you first start on the path to "normal," and self-help books and websites will help you little once you get as bad as you have it. Good luck and feel free to ask me any more questions. :)


1234wahoo said...
on Dec. 27 2010 at 1:02 pm
wow very nice.... but is this a disorder or an illness? u c i suffer from anxiety and am having one of the biggest battles i ever have had with it, when i was little it was severe but i could escape it, now its almost always. i completely agree with ur paragraph about how normal people can escape the drama, as where people who suffer ffrom something such as anxiety cannot. i think that has been one of the hardest things for me to deal with, the fact that no matter what you do its there, this has caused me to greatly fear myself, and avoid being alone or not doing anything for the extreme fear of having a full blast obsessing session with myslef. but i cannot agree with u over therapy and how it makes u grow, as i havent been. i must admit even as a sufferer iv tried to avoid therapy, b/c of all the social taboo the media reports on it. that is a big part of the reason, mental issues have always been tabooed and the media has always portrayed them in an unfriendly way. though that is beginning to change, it will definitely be hard to change an image that has been pressed into peoples' minds for hundreds of years. about ur writing, i can agree with what u are saying, and this is just a note about the wiritng itself, i dont know if u intended to do this to get the point across or if it just happened, but u really divide up mentally troubled vs not mentally troubled, and almost pin the two groups up against each other. i am not really one to favor this, b/c that isolates each group. but i can see where u mite have wanted to do this for people to understand what u r saying, in which case i find it acceptable. do u have any tips for anxiety help? do u think treatment always helps (although this really isnt my position, i probably wont be making the choice of wether or not i get help) and should i go for it?


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