The student news site of Jordan-Elbridge High School

The Voice of JE

  • June 8WE PUBLISH CONTINUOUSLY SEPTEMBER-MAY! CHECK BACK OFTEN FOR NEW ARTICLES AND STORIES!

  • March 23For comments and/or suggestions, email us at JEVoice@jecsd.org.

HELP! What Do I Do If I’m Totally Freaking Out?

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Ever felt like you were totally going crazy, but were afraid to tell anybody? You are not alone. Many teens question if what they feel is normal or if it is actually a medical problem, such as mental illness. The fear of being judged keeps them from getting help, even when deep inside they know they desperately need it.

The stigma surrounding mental health goes back as far as 5000 BCE when it was a common conception that demonic or spiritual possession, sorcery, and other supernatural phenomena were causes of mental illness. Mentally ill individuals living in the Middle Ages were believed to be in need of religious intervention. This widespread negative outlook on mental health persisted into the early 18th Century in America, leading to stigmatization of the mentally ill and led to the unjust treatment of patients. Some of these treatments included: lobotomies, exorcisms, and trephination. Although the majority of these treatments are no longer commonplace (some have even been outlawed), the stigma surrounding mental illness is still very much in existence.

We were able to confer with the Director for Treatment of Teen Mental Health Facilities in New York State, Edgardo Lopez. Mr. Lopez was generous enough to share his expertise on the subject of teen mental health and the stigma surrounding it. One of the points Mr. Lopez accentuated was that mental illness is much more common than many people believe it to be- stating that  “one in five Americans have experienced some sort of mental illness.” For teens, suicide is the third leading cause of death, and 90 percent of the teens who die by suicide have an underlying mental illness.  In addition to the frequency of mental illness among teens, according to mentalhealth.gov, “…people with mental health problems get better and many recover completely.” Although this is the case, as many as half of the Americans with mental health conditions will not get help. Many are embarrassed due to the stigma surrounding mental health, and many simply don’t know where to seek treatment.

There are many mental disorders that plague teens. According to Mr. Lopez, anxiety disorders, ADHD, eating disorders, elimination disorders, and affective mood disorders are some of the most prevalent.

When it comes to seeking treatment for teens, there are many factors that go into deciding a plan of action. Mr. Lopez explained that a process of, “…screening, evaluation, and review…” helps a psychiatrist decide whether to admit a teen to a mental health facility (psychiatric hospital), refer a teen to a family doctor or another health care provider, or to discharge the teen with additional treatment and/or services. When a teen seeks treatment, there are many steps taken by medical professionals to support them. According to Lopez these include,” 1)Providing emotional support to the teen, 2)  Providing educational materials, 3) Contacting medical staff to express your observations, 4) Helping the teen through recovery, and  5) Supporting the family of the teen during this process. ”

There are numerous mental health facilities across the nation that provide inpatient and outpatient mental health treatment and services to teens. According to Mr. Lopez they vary in size, and some are specialized to treat more specific conditions such as clinical depression or schizophrenia. He expresses that the mental health community is constantly moving forward to provide better screening, treatment, and services, and that communication, education, and support are essential for teens with mental health problems.

It’s important to remember that no shame should be felt if you have a mental illness or any need of a professional because you are not alone. As Mr. Lopez said, “Despite any notion of stigma or any personal belief about mental health, educating and providing support is the most important avenue for us to follow”. Don’t be afraid to tell someone. Go to a friend, a parent, a teacher, guidance counselor, your doctor or any other trusted adult. Have the number of the confidential National Suicide Prevention Lifeline in your phone. You never know when you or a friend might need it.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline : 1-(800) 273-8255

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • HELP! What Do I Do If I’m Totally Freaking Out?

    Featured News

    The Deadly Storms Affecting Our Hearts and Minds

  • HELP! What Do I Do If I’m Totally Freaking Out?

    Featured News

    ALPHA, BOOMER, X or Y: Which One Are YOU?

  • HELP! What Do I Do If I’m Totally Freaking Out?

    Classroom/Clubs/Creativity

    Pick a Book and We’ll Buy it!

  • HELP! What Do I Do If I’m Totally Freaking Out?

    Featured News

    Walk Like a Spider

  • HELP! What Do I Do If I’m Totally Freaking Out?

    Featured News

    LGBTQ Defined

  • HELP! What Do I Do If I’m Totally Freaking Out?

    Absolutely Amazing Anonymous Poem of the Week

    Poem of the Week

  • Archive

    Boys Varsity Track Meet

  • HELP! What Do I Do If I’m Totally Freaking Out?

    Archive

    Volunteering at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo

  • Archive

    Image Collage- 1964-2016

  • HELP! What Do I Do If I’m Totally Freaking Out?

    Archive

    Bethany

The student news site of Jordan-Elbridge High School
HELP! What Do I Do If I’m Totally Freaking Out?