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Teens, depression and mental health

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Isabella Maule, guest columnist

People nowadays are being diagnosed with depression and anxiety earlier on. Kids see photos of people cutting and think that’s how they can escape instead of putting their thoughts on paper or on the dance floor. Adults look down upon teenagers who are going through problems. We can’t find a happy medium with this and most likely we never will.

Teenagers nowadays are experiencing problems at a much faster rate. Adults who work in schools or in certain fields with kids see them as “slackers” or “people who don’t care.” Most kids experience thoughts and problems that are worse than what most adults have. Divorcing parents, loss of people due to drugs or suicide, drugs in general, depression, sexual and physical abuse, and anxiety. Kids get all the blame. If they fail a big test but have a lot of stuff going on at home and had no time to study then it’s their fault they didn’t find an alternative to their problem. If they left the house, maybe their parent abused them.

Mental health is not treated the same way as physical health. Kids who have a physical injury get special treatment such as sitting out or hospital checkups. When someone has depression and anxiety, people look at them like they have a weakness or a liability. Mental health has such a huge influence on physical health. If a kid is depressed and would rather not get out of bed than suffer in school he or she is likely to not do well in classes — especially gym. If a kid is happy and calm they will throw a football or make tons of baskets as much as they like. Those who act kind get walked over more than those who are cold and mean because people see them as easy targets. Kids who get walked over turn into bullies or develop depression because of how many times they have been hurt.

In conclusion, physical health is important, especially in these days when we are obese, but mental health deserves just as much attention. No kid should feel like they can’t tell someone how they feel without being told, “there are people who have it much worse, be happy.” No kid should get told to just walk it off, and they’ll be fine. Take care of everyone equally and it will all be fair.

• Isabella Maule is 14 years old.

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