Mental Illness Prevalence: 1 in 5

A recent survey conducted at my college found that 1 in 5 students were aware of having a mental health condition or disorder. If we take into account the number of people who are not diagnosed or not willing to admit to a condition via a survey, the number of people struggling with their mental health at UNC increases even more! How many people among us are facing a battle with depression or OCD or excessive anxiety?

Given the prevalence of mental health, it is unfortunate that it is still treated like a forbidden topic. Why not be open about it? What is the problem? Everyone can related to these conditions, whether it is from personally feeling/dealing with it to knowing someone who has/is doing this.

Keeping everything “hush hush” is pretty harmful in itself. This harm happens in various ways:

  1. To self- trying to deny the issue rather than address it can make the symptoms even worse, leading to a more intense form of the condition
  2. To family/friends/loved ones- not seeking treatment might cause condition to worsen, making it more emotionally distressing for the family unit as a whole
  3. To work/academic life- not addressing the issue makes it more likely that the condition will impair cognitive functioning, whether that be in the form of inability to focus or another form; this could impact the ability to get assignments/tasks done to the best of one’s ability and on time
  4. To social life- some conditions can have a severe impact on social functioning, whether it is in the form of isolation or even the polar opposite of excessive communication (i.e. starting conversations with strangers)

Mental conditions are not something to be ashamed of.

Talk. Learn. Grow.

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