Mental health stigma
Teenagers living in this swiftly changing societal landscape may presuppose to themselves that they are practically being reared “online”. They think mental health issues of their generation conveniently coincide with their disoriented puberty.
Based on the data of the World Health Organization published in 2021, one in six people is aged 10 to 19, or the adolescence period which is a unique formative time. Adolescents are more susceptible to mental health issues due to physical, emotional, and societal changes, such as experiencing poverty, abuse, or violence. One’s health and well-being during adolescence and into adulthood depend on safeguarding them from harm, fostering socio-emotional learning and psychological well-being, and ensuring access to mental health care. The prevalence of mental health issues among 10 to 19-year-olds is estimated to be one in seven worldwide, although these conditions are usually undiagnosed and untreated. Teenagers with mental health issues are especially susceptible to social isolation, discrimination, stigma (which can impair their willingness to seek care), academic challenges, risk-taking behaviors, physical ill-health, and human rights violations.
Most of the time, due to access to the Internet, when teenagers are faced with mental issues, they divert their desperation to understand themselves online, because they feel much comfort there, rather than risking an alarm for those who are close to them.
Researcher Lindsey Phillips in a 2022 paper argues that for better or worse, self-diagnosis is becoming more and more popular as a result of social media posts regarding mental health and the convenience of Googling one’s own symptoms.
Free and quick information about mental health and mental issues makes teenagers think that they know and understand what mental disorders such as anxiety or depression look like said Jodi Aman, a psychotherapist, in an article, “Depression affects all personalities and can look very different in various people.” It’s a health condition that comes in different shapes and forms and affects people in different ways. The cause may be a combination of genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors.
The image most people attach to the word “depression” is of a solitary, lonely figure, despairing, and downcast. Yet this image isn’t always accurate. On the surface, some depressed people appear to lead bustling, fulfilling lives. They’re functioning so well that even the thought that they could be depressed seems outrageous. There’s apparently a term for it, it’s called high-functioning depression.
A highly functioning person can suffer invisibly too as these individuals inhibit the desire and effort to succeed with goals and having the drive to accomplish towards getting things. This means that people who have depression may also still maintain every day and sometimes exceptional tasks but are clinically depressed. They feel sad or hopeless for no reason. Depression can be more of a low-grade chronic unhappiness with life, or it can be intense feelings of hopelessness and negative thoughts about yourself and your life.
Some people often have good intentions and just might not know much about mental health disorders remarks as “But what could you be depressed about?” or “What could possibly be so bad about your life?” What people don’t realize is that depression is a medical condition caused by a chemical, biological, and structural imbalance that impacts mood regulation and that those of us dealing with them spend plenty of time asking ourselves those same questions. Due to ignorance and inaccurate information about mental illness, as well as some people’s unfavorable views or beliefs, stigma develops (prejudice). This may result in prejudice against those who suffer from mental illness.
Individuals who have mental illnesses may experience stigma; they may be treated differently, seen negatively, and made to feel ashamed or unworthy, as though they are somehow inferior to other people. Discrimination may result from stigma, which may exacerbate mental illness.
There is still the challenge of overcoming the stigma of mental health problems, which continues to be a severe barrier to mental health care across all countries. In the field of mental health, there’s still so many teenagers and adults who don’t know. But what they do know is that depression and anxiety disorders affect far too many people for our society to remain ignorant about them. The bottom line, the condition can essentially hide in plain sight, making it difficult to help, be compassionate or even acknowledge that someone needs support.