Mental Health: You Are Not Alone


Isabelle Morse

Nearly half of Americans report that COVID-19 is harming their mental health, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation Poll.

Mental health is a really important subject and people need to realize that it affects so many. You might not know that someone has a mental disorder, and you might not even know what a mental disorder is. Mental health conditions can affect many aspects of your everyday life, such as your thinking, feelings, mood, and behavior. Having a mental health condition is so much more than being “sad” or thinking you are “depressed” when you are really not. Some of the most common mental health conditions are anxiety, eating disorders, and depression.

Anxiety disorders are related to stress. Symptoms of anxiety can include feeling nervous, breathing rapidly, sweating, feeling weak, and having trouble concentrating.  Some disorders associated with anxiety are post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), social anxiety, panic disorders, and general anxiety disorder. It is critical to recognize there are so many factors in each condition.

Eating disorders, another common mental health condition, are caused by the pressure to have a perfect body. People with anorexia have a fear of weight gain, and it is very hard for these people to maintain a normal healthy body weight. Bulimia is a completely different eating disorder, when a person will binge eat but then make themselves throw up to prevent weight gain. A last type of eating disorder is binge eating, which is when a person will have frequent episodes of eating large amounts of food.

Depression is a common mental health condition affecting 40% of teens today. Depression is an overall feeling of hopelessness. It almost feels as if you are stuck, and it is hard to keep going because you have all of this weight on you. It is crucial to recognize depression is not sadness, or self pity; it is so much more than that. Depression can contribute to a low self esteem or low body image, and cause the person to be critical of themselves.

More people are getting diagnosed with these disorders with the new hybrid learning models and the new Coronavirus protocols. Nearly half of Americans are reporting the coronavirus crisis is harming their mental health, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation Poll. “I feel like I can’t do anything anymore, the learning is harder and everything has changed.” says Emma Carey, a 9th grader at FLHS. With the new hybrid schedule, it has been hard for most students to adjust to classes that sometimes meet online and sometimes in person. 

Everyone has been going through this transition differently. Many students are saying that home learning can sometimes be a challenge, especially google meets. Sometimes it is hard to hear and understand the teacher, and there can be a lot of technical issues with the microphones and cameras. This can cause students a lot of anxiety and stress when they do not know what is going on in class. “I wish it would be different especially since it is our freshman year,” says Kennedy Klein, a 9th grader at FLHS.  

Other students say that it is easier to learn lessons from your teachers in person, while others say that they prefer learning at home because they can do assignments on their own time. It is very crucial to recognize how others are feeling, so talk to them about it and make them feel a little better. We are a school community and we care about each other, even when hybrid learning feels isolating. For many students learning at home, the hardest thing for them to do is even get up in the morning and have the same motivation as they do in school. It is key that everyone feeling this way realizes that other people are experiencing the same feelings. 

For anyone that is feeling stressed or depressed, there are many people that will be willing to listen to you talk about these feelings. The first thing that you can do is talk to a trusted adult, such as your parents, a teacher, or a doctor. They will help you and figure out strategies you can do to lessen the stress or problem. Another thing you can do is you can go to any of the counseling centers at FLHS. This will give you an opportunity to share your feelings and anything that is bothering you. If you would like to go to any of the counseling centers you can scan the QR codes in your homeroom to make an appointment. You can also set up a google meet if you are full online; there is information about that on your Google Classroom. Finally, you can talk to your health teachers; they know a lot about mental health disorders. Overall it is important to know that you are not alone, and we will get through this together.