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Gibson: Mental Disorders

By Paget Michael Creelman [CC BY-SA 4.0 ], from Wikimedia Commons

By Paget Michael Creelman [CC BY-SA 4.0 ], from Wikimedia Commons

Chylar Gibson, Staff Writer

There are many misconceptions regarding mental disorders, including what is considered a mental disorder, how treatment works and how the disorders “work.” With these misconceptions seems to come fear. Humans tend to be afraid of those things they do not understand, which is why I think that our society needs to talk about mental disorders a lot more in an informative sense and less in a glorifying and humorous one. When people make jokes about mental disorders, their relevance decreases and people become immune to hearing about them. Suddenly, depression is a cool trademark, and autism is used to describe anyone who may be shy or antisocial.

In reality, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is defined as “a complex neurobehavioral condition that includes impairments in social interaction and developmental language and communication skills combined with rigid, repetitive behaviors,” according to an article on WebMd.

People also tend to throw around the terms “psychopath” or “sociopath.” However, doctors call this Antisocial Personality Disorder. While there are differences between psychopaths and sociopaths, they share a “poor inner sense of right and wrong. They also can’t seem to understand or share another person’s feelings.” What bothers me the most is that most people don’t know any of this, yet they throw around these terms like they’re normal and okay and some even use them around as insults.

The people who do have these mental disorders–whether it be an anxiety disorder, depression, an eating disorder or a personality disorder–suffer tremendously. Not only do these people have to deal with their problems on their own, but they have to deal with all the generalizations, insensitivity and common misconceptions of his or her disorder.

For me, I suffer from Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD), Major Anxiety and Depression. Due to a lack of education, I often have to explain what PMDD is, and because of the generalizations of anxiety and depression, no one seems to truly understand what I am going through on the inside. With the lack of education around mental disorders, people think I am choosing to be depressed or anxious. They think I a could “just be happy” and all would be okay. They think that it is something that can be “fixed,” when, in reality, I am not a broken toy. I am a human being who struggles, yes, but that does not mean I am broken.

In a society where women and men are finally finding the courage to speak up against sexual misconduct, sexism and racism, I hope we can all find the courage to speak up with mental disorder education. The more people are informed on the matter, the more people will feel comfortable getting help and being open about their struggles instead of hiding in a deep hole within themselves. I believe that when we become able to open up about our struggles and educate others on what we feel and why it happens, suicide, self-harm, mass shootings and overall emotional hurt in our world will decrease. In a world where we worry about dying no matter where we go, we should not also worry about being alone in our struggles.

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About the Writer
Chylar Gibson, Staff Writer

Hey! My name is Chylar Gibson! I've been writing and telling stories since I was young enough to talk. My main goal in life is to reach people through...

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