I spent most of high school dealing with anxiety. Only, it wasn’t until about three years after graduation that I recognized what I was feeling during the duration of high school and ever since as anxiety.
What do mean not everyone feels this way?
I don’t know if this is a common experience, but at my school we didn’t learn about mental health. In four years I can recall two occasions where mental health was mentioned.
The first mention was an assembly where a woman with bipolar disorder came to talk to us about her experience living with bipolar disorder. The second was after a boy in my grade committed suicide. There was an assembly about it, talking a little bit about depression.
The problem with both of these talks is that they happened as assemblies, with maybe 200 students at a time. There was no room for students to have all their questions brought up. There was no on-going conversation. There was no mention of any of the other multitude of mental health issues.
We were never taught how to recognize or deal with mental illness symptoms.
I think that’s a big part of why it took so long for me to realize what I felt wasn’t normal. That maybe I have a mental illness.
We need a better way of dealing with mental health. Not everyone feels comfortable or safe asking for help or even just information. Having a mandatory and comprehensive mental health class could save a lot kids.