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Young people are among the most commonly diagnosed with mental health issues. Not only are they much more likely to be diagnosed with mental health issues like depression and anxiety, but they are also much less likely to receive proper treatment.
Part of this may be the attitude that adults have towards young people – especially teenagers. Older adults have often been through many of the same problems, but were more emotionally stable. Younger people don’t have this same depth of experience – which leads older people to dismiss them as just “silly kids”, and stigmatizes their illness.
If you’re a young person with mental health issues, we know you exist. We understand your problems. They are real, and they are significant – but they don’t have to be forever. Here are three ways to maintain a healthy perspective as a young person with mental health issues.
1. Realize Things Will Get Better
Young people don’t have the same experiences behind them that older people do. That’s just a fact – and in no way does that fact diminish the experiences of a young person with mental health issues. But experience is crucial to maintaining perspective.
A person who has already gone through a rough patch in their life will understand that things get better. Things always get better.
What may seem like a huge deal in your life at age 16, 17, or 18 is no more than a bump in the road 10 years from now. Crises that seem totally unsurpassable at a young age become manageable as you age, and gain more experience in life.
So realize that even if you’re at a low point, things will get better for you. If you’re the lowest you’ve ever been, there’s nowhere to go but up.
2. Understand That Now Is Not Forever
The worst part of feeling depressed, sad, frustrated, or anxious is the belief that you’ll never escape from these feelings. When you’re going through a particularly bad episode of depression or anxiety, your brain fools you into thinking that you’ll feel that way forever – which is not the case.
No matter how bad your present situation is, it will pass in time. As an ancient Persian adage goes – “This, too, shall pass.” Understanding this can help you set yourself outside of your present issues, and gain a better perspective on your place in the world.
3. Minimize Factors That Can Exacerbate Your Issues
When you’re in the midst of a major crisis or a depressive episode, it’s very tempting to take negative actions such as drinking too much, smoking, using drugs, or harming yourself. But these are not solutions to your problems.
In fact, negative actions such as these can contribute to your poor mental state. If you feel guilt or shame at your actions, that can further exacerbate your depression or anxiety – leading to an even worse state than before. These actions will not help you feel better; they will only dig you into a deeper hole.
If you feel as if you want to harm yourself – or others – talk to a parent or a trusted authority figure right away, and seek help.
Discuss Your Problems – And Find Solutions
One of the best ways to feel better about your place in life is to talk about why you feel sad, depressed, or anxious. Confide in a loved one, a family member, a close friend, or even a stranger using Paralign as it let’s you anonymously chat with new people via it’s mobile apps available on iTunes and the Google Play Store.
Expressing your mind is the only way to rid yourself of negative thoughts – and once you get rid of your negative thoughts, you will be surprised at how much better you feel.