You matter: Importance of mental health

Alyssa Acevedo

I am a victim and a survivor of mental illness. Being diagnosed with my illness at a young age is hard to live with. Every day is a struggle. Living with illness sometimes affects my daily life. Having to get out of bed and think about if my day is going to be good or bad. Not only does it affect me at home but it also affects my school life. It makes it hard to try and control myself whenever I have an anxiety attack or a crying session. It affects the way I think, feel, and act. Bipolar depression, anxiety, and ADHD are apart of my life now. I learned to accept that it’s what makes me who I am. 

What is mental health?

Some people may not know that mental health includes emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It helps determine the way we handle stress, how we relate to others and make decisions. Not many people think about one’s life and what they’re going through. Each person will have different experiences, even people with the same diagnosis. 

A diagnosis of mental illness isn’t caused by one situation. Research suggests multiple overlapping causes, such a stressful job or home life. It makes some people more susceptible, as do traumatic life events like being the victim of a crime. Biochemical processes and basic brain structures can also play a role.  

Knowing about something is the key to understanding what mental health is and how families can receive the help they need. Public knowledge is important in accessing community resources. The lack of knowledge towards mental health is not just “their” problem, it’s our problem as a community. 

People with mental health problems say that the sets of very negative beliefs by others attached to mental illness and the discrimination they experience, can make their problems worse and make it harder to recover. Social isolation, unemployment, and poverty are all linked to mental health. So stigma and discrimination can trap people in a cycle of illness. 

“When we deny our stories, they define us. When we own our stories, we get to write a brave new ending” – Brene Brown