Mental Illness Medication

Unlike previous generations, young people today, more than ever before, face mental illnesses. Today’s pop culture – the music, tv shows, and movies – all show how teenagers, just like you and me, often turn to prescription drugs rather than choosing more beneficial options. According to the National Alliance of Mental Illness, about one in every five children is challenged with a battle with their own minds, as well as the negative stigma attached to it.  I myself have undergone through a similar time. A dark time of loneliness, fear and absolute depression. Constant fights with my friends along with the stress of school and family issues fed into it constantly, but I searched for the right solution, resolute in my attempts to overcome it. In a school as large as John P. Stevens, there are bound to be other cases of mental illnesses, and it is important to keep in mind that motivation to make the right decisions is the key to overcoming it. In an attempt to strike back against their disorders, teenagers often rashly choose prescription pills over therapy, an immediate solution that often leads to even worse outcomes. There are very few telltale signs to determine who is battling mental turmoil, and the student body of John P. Stevens is no exception. It could be your lab partner, or that shy girl in the back of the class – maybe even that confident boy who excels at public speaking. Having a mental illness doesn’t stop teenagers from trying to seem normal, for they too can post funny Snapchat stories and have creative Instagram posts. Most of the time, social media is but a facade, where people seem entirely different from whom they really are, and feelings are obscured by meaningless captions. Drug companies manufacture thousands of types of medications a year, which prove to be easy to obtain and use. These medicines have countless side effects and can oftentimes be more detrimental than give helpful results. Depending upon the illness, the side effects vary; they range from uncontrollable muscle spasms to hallucinations, along with paranoia and suicidal thoughts. The battle that these teenagers go through leaves them vulnerable, and their behaviors become unpredictable. With what they’ve had to face, most teenagers would be susceptible to anything – not just the side effects of their medicine – whether it be a harsh word or a rough day. I recall that in my experience, even the slightest bit of criticism or any sort of negative comment would set me off, leaving me in a well of tears and a pool of hopeless pessimism. Mental instability creates a state of fragility, which is why the need to be kind is emphasized so greatly. Simply a sarcastic comment or a meaningless joke can wreck all the progress they have made and ruin their day as well as their hopes of getting better, so really – just be nice. As reported by the National Institute of Medical Health, more than 80% of people that have a mental disorder don’t get the help they need, usually due to the treatment method they undertake. Without being addressed properly, mental disorders can last for a lifetime. Faced with not only social and political implications of having a disorder, children encounter biological impacts as well. Most of them hide their problems, even from their friends, afraid of the negative attitude it may cause, which may further worsen the isolation they stand against. I, myself, only told a trusted few about the intensity of my situation. Although initially, it proved to be difficult to expose the part of me that remained hidden from the rest of the world, there were countless breakdowns that my friends supported me through. It can really help to gain support from close friends, for they were the glue that held me together in dire circumstances. Physically, those who suffer from mental diseases can experience excessive weight gain, or excessive weight loss. Stress causes a varying response in different people – some tend to eat more, and some less. This can also lead to a troublesome result, causing body image insecurities which would then only aggrandize their problems. Teenagers respond more to psychological intervention than to medicine, because they release their thoughts like I did, and instead of constantly building up their emotional dilemmas, they are given advice and possible solutions to release them of further problems. The presence of a single mental disorder can lead to the accumulation of others, giving way to more stress and imbalance of the chemicals in their brain. As the pharmaceutical industry creates more and more products to help these teenagers, they are prompting them to take these pills without precaution, and remaining unaware of the other treatment options. Doctors suggest therapy, but by offering pills that they present as a substitute for talking to a professional and exploring different techniques that may help change their mindset, they are inclining teenagers to opt for medicine. Prescription medicine only provides a short term relief from their issues, and after it wears off, another dose needs to be consumed. However, therapy has proven to be a more reliable solution which eradicates the very root of the problem a child is going through rather than implementing a temporary fix. With most medication found in pharmacies, constant usage usually makes the user immune to it over time. This only calls for a higher dose to be required by the body, therefore requiring a purchase of more of a stronger medicine. Potent medicine, especially in teenagers, is found to give way to substance abuse, resulting in an overdose, which just creates a larger issue. Addiction to prescription drugs will simply augment their negative lifestyle, now causing a need for more medicine to create a high; it introduces an escape from the throes of their mental illness for a limited amount of time. We’ve all learned about drug abuse and the life threatening consequences it has, and that, along with a mental illness, is a concoction for a crisis. Children who have mental health problems are urged to simply take medicines rather than talking out their problems which isn’t directly the fault of a doctor, nor the condition the patient is in, but rather the seemingly easy solution offered by the pharmaceutical industry. They aren’t made aware of the dangers present that come along with these apparent panaceas. It is evident that teenagers facing any sort of mental illness or disorder should seek therapy and psychological help rather than simply opting for a bottle of pills. Facing their problems by discussing them with a professional therapist in order to conceive a successful method to help with their specific troubles and eliminating them is the more logical, and proven to be more successful, method of dealing with mental illnesses.


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