To anyone struggling with mental illness: you have everything to live for, your life is valuable, and if you are suffering there is a better future ahead. You are loved, you are love, and you deserve love.
If you think the use of trigger warnings on college campuses coddles students and stunts intellectual growth, you don’t understand trigger warnings. A trigger warning is not censorship and it is not topic avoidance. Trigger warnings, or content notes, are a simple way to respect other people’s boundaries without intruding on their privacy.
Consider this hypothetical scenario between co-workers Charlie and Jamie: Jamie’s partner recently killed themself. If Charlie knows about Jamie’s loss, it would be cruel to nonchalantly strike up a conversation about suicide attempts. Even if Charlie doesn’t know about Jamie’s loss, Charlie is aware that tragedies happen to everyone and thus it would still be insensitive to discuss self-harm in a brainstorming session without first letting all attendees know it was on the agenda. That courtesy is a trigger warning.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Remember small victories, like patting yourself on the back for feeling okay and making it through an activity without feeling anxious.
In the fog of a depressive storm, I am overcome with the kind of fatigue normally attributed to all-night study sessions or marathon training. My entire body is exhausted and moves in slow motion, everything takes an enormous amount of effort to complete. In a recent foray into depression, it took me all day to fold one load of clean laundry. Instead of hating myself for “only” completing one small task as if I didn’t do enough, I was gentle with myself and allowed what I did to be enough.
Finding the energy to complete essential daily tasks can be a struggle when depression hits. When it comes to taking recovery-based actions, it isn’t just difficult, sometimes it is impossible. Setting little goals, realistic goals, will improve your sense of self-worth. Those goals need to be based on you, not anyone else. For one person, having the goal of running daily might be realistic, but it’s just as good to have the goal to change into clean pajamas before you crawl back into bed.
Mental Health Reminders
One of the main reasons people with mental health issues don’t seek health is because of shame, stigma, and discrimination. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, an estimated 66 percent of people with diagnosable mental disorders do not try and get help.
Depression is not about your life circumstances, while stressful situations can exaggerate or even bring on a mental illness, without proper care no matter how wonderful your life situation is you will still suffer from the disease.
My saving grace has been learning to cultivate gratitude, even in smallest measure. No matter how down and out you are, there are ways to access serenity during the darkest days of trauma.
The mentally ill are overrepresented amongst homeless adults. Around 46 percent of homeless adults in shelters have substance use disorders and/or severe mental illness. Contrary to Trump’s commentary, most of the crimes committed by people who are homeless are non-violent offenses, like not paying to get on public transportation or selling things on the side of the street without a license. Research published by the American Psychological Association found that there is no link between repeat criminal activity and mental illness.
Youth with Mental Health Conditions
A lack of mental health services for children and teenagers is a major problem around the world with serious consequences. Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death for people aged 10–24 and the 2nd leading cause for youth 15 to 24 years old.10