Mental illnesses deserve as much attention as physical illnesses


Caitlin Samargian

Director of guidance Ms. Girardi, and guidance counselors Mr. Shannon, and Mrs. Mattimore all agree that mental illnesses are just as important as physical ones.

Caitlin Samargian, Staff Writer

The definition of mental illness refers to a wide range of mental health conditions — disorders that affect your mood, thinking and behavior (Google dictionary). Examples of mental illness include but are not limited to depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, eating disorders, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and bipolar disorder.

The list of mental illnesses known around the world is nowhere near small. Each and every illness is specific in its own way and there are unique ways to deal with each one.

Illnesses are important, like the flu, but are they more important than a mental illness? Many people are quick to jump to the conclusion that physical illnesses and sicknesses are more important than mental illnesses.

The claim of mental illnesses not affecting you physically is untrue. When dealing with a sickness such as depression for example, your entire life feels as if it is being thrown around.

Many mental disorders give people the same symptoms. Some symptoms and signs of a person possibly struggling with a mental illness are:

  • Feeling sad or down
  • Confused thinking or no ability to focus
  • Fears or worries increase, or extreme feelings of guilt
  • Extreme mood changes
  • Withdrawal from friends and activities
  • Tiredness, low energy or problems sleeping
  • Inability to cope with daily problems
  • Major changes in eating habits
  • Excessive anger
  • Suicidal thinking

These symptoms are just some of the most commonly seen symptoms of a possible mental illness.

People also claim that no studies have been conducted that show or provide any proof of a mental illness affecting you physically, which is yet another untrue statement.

Children and adolescents should receive brain scans as a routine part of medical care.

Brain scanning research is important in the process of showing parents and school officials that children with a mental sickness, but not a physical one, are still being strongly impacted in their decision making and in a large physical way

“Additionally, brain scanning is very acceptable to patients as most people consider it a routine diagnostic test,” said Dr. Sophia Frangou of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in a news release.

These new brain scans are able to compare and contrast people who don’t have a mental illness to someone who does.

So far the brain scans have shown a large difference in the way the brain functions with mental illness compared to a brain without a mental illness.

Many people assume that if the child is hyperactive, the brain must also be overactive and processing too much. However this is not the case. A brain scan from the research of Dr. Zametkin shows that the glucose metabolism in a person’s brain with ADHD is much slower when asked to solve a problem than of someone without it.

Looking at what is happening inside the brain of someone struggling with a mental illness could help scientists and researchers better understand and handle somebody with a mental illness.

Knowing what is really going on inside of somebody’s brain through a brain scan is a very real way to show how physical mental disorders really are.

Overall, mental illnesses are serious and should be regarded as such. As we continue to learn more, one can only hope that people, especially young people, can get access to the right treatment.