Discovering that I have OCD has really made me think about the world that we live in, and how uneducated people are about mental illness. I was suffering for years before actually reaching out for help, and while I knew about OCD, I never knew that I had all of the symptoms, as despite 4% of the UK (where I live) having OCD, people are so unaware of the real symptoms. This got me thinking about how many other people out there are suffering without knowing that they aren’t alone, and that there is help available. In PSHE in schools, we are taught all about sex and STI’s and STD’s because they are so common, but seeing as 1 in 4 people in the world will suffer from a form of mental illness at some point in their life, surely that is something that children should also be made aware of, so that they are able to deal with it when it happens, and so they are not left in the position that I was in for all of those years; scared, depressed and alone. How different would the world be if people were educated on how to look after their mental well-being as well as they were on looking after their sexual well-being? A more compassionate and understanding world in my eyes.
Anyone else have any opinions on this? Has anyone else here been a sufferer living in silence because they were unaware that they had a problem?
In high school, I actually learned about some psychological disorders because I was in AP Psych. My AP Psych teacher was kind of sexist and also completely inept at her job. She actually taught us a few lessons completely backwards. It took me some time to unlearn all the incorrect stuff she taught. I bring this up since mental health requires a whole lot more finesse than STDs and normal academic curriculum. Some people become hypochondriacs when you teach them about mental disorders, which maybe one reason why Tumblr has such a high rate of self-diagnosing idiots. The saying “A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing” comes to mind.
The US education system is no where near equipped to deal with mental illness. We have a heavy bias towards teaching towards women. Some teachers even mark students down on tests just for the student’s behavior in class. We also have a problem with over medicating boys. I want mental health to be part of the national school curriculum, but I know that for every teacher that teaches mental health correctly, there will be an onslaught of over paid baby sitters who will only make mental health awareness even more difficult due to ideological indoctrination and/or just straight up inept teaching. In the US, we have mostly baby sitters in our K-12 schools, not teachers.
I hope both the US and UK have a massive over haul about mental health. I don’t think it will be easy, but talking about mental health is a good first step.
"Now, I’ve forgiven the world and myself, too. I teach myself to smile again. One day I’ll get there, I know I will. Even if it takes me not nine, but nine hundred lives." -Susan Ashworth from The Cat Lady
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