In my last post, I discussed the mental health crisis on college campuses. After reviewing the post I felt that the illnesses themselves deserved further explanation. One of the major issues fueling these global mental health issues is a lack of understanding of some of the more prominent mental illnesses such as anxiety disorders, depression and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Though none of these illnesses always presents themselves the same way in every person, and there and many different ranges of each, there are a few common behavioral traits associated with each.
Earlier today Humans of New York posted a persons story where he described anxiety as “…the indescribable fear and nothing.” So many of these illnesses appear as behavior we are conditioned to brush aside. They often appear in ways that are can’t be easily defined, which helps create misconceptions. The clinical definition of an anxiety disorder is a continued feelings of worry, fear, and anxiety that are interfering with one’s daily life. Anxiety disorders are exceptionally common today and often times result in obsessive behavior/Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), panic attacks, depression, and PTSD. Many of these disorders have close relationships with one another and present at the same time. In 2014, Poet Sabrina Benaim, performed “Explaining My Depression to My Mother” where she coins anxiety as “the cousin visiting from out of town depression felt obligated to bring to the party; mom I’m the party.” Depression is known to present with a host of different behavioral symptoms as well as other issues. People with depression can have anxiety, or be guilty, apathetic. They can have moods swings or have no moods at all and have a general discontent and hopelessness. These moods can lead to irritability, isolation, crying, or screaming. Depression hits in a way that affects multiple facets of life such as one’s sleeping patterns. When suffering from depression one can either be consumed with sleep, or suffer from insomnia and restless sleep. Depression is closely linked with suicide as well as weight loss. I believe that through understanding the ways in which these disorders manifest, we can learn to treat each other accordingly and help each other battle them.