On Mental Illness

Strangely enough, today I’m here to discuss a rather serious topic, 1 in 10 young people aged 5 – 16 suffer from a diagnosable mental health disorder (Youngminds.org.uk) -more statistics below. It boggles my mind why we don’t talk about such a serious topic, has it become a taboo or do we just not care?

I think it’s clear to see from my writing that I’m riddled with problems and the only advice I can offer is to not do what I do- that is, to shove it down as far as you can- because it will eat you alive. And when I talk about this, I don’t just mean the ‘emos’ that have cuts on their wrists because we all know about that, even though we still take the piss.

Take a kid, perfectly normal but he has issues at home. He keeps a smile on because it’s the only thing keeping him going and all the other little bastards whisper ‘faggot’, 2 feet behind his back. He hears that.

Of course there are places and people they can go to or call but they don’t and they probably won’t. No matter how advertised it is, no matter how much we tell them to, because why would they tell some stranger their problems, the stranger doesn’t care. Maybe they do but you are in fact just one sad person in a queue. That said don’t take this the wrong way, these services do help, especially if the individual is alone and talking does help, however not many people trust these services and the helpers can come off as sarcastic or a little bit rude (speaking from experience).

When someone is going through a hard time you cannot treat it like some kind of phase. It’s important to understand this. And it’s important that they understand this. It’s an actual illness that affects them in one hell of a fucked up way.

So is there any kind of solution?

You could argue that there is, maybe take pills or go see a shrink and yes that helps. But it seems to always follow you around, like some kind of dark creature. What you can do is look at what is wrong and either attempt to resolve the issues or accept them and learn to be happy with them. And I do wish it was this subjective but I guess that this could be a basic structure for ‘healing ‘ if that’s what you want to call it.

MENTAL DISORDERS

The figures below are based on the finding of the latest ONS Child and Adolescent Mental Health Survey which was published in 2004.

  • 6% or nearly 850,000 children and young people aged between 5-16 years have a mental disorder
  • 7% or nearly 340,000 children aged 5-10 years have a mental disorder
  • 5% or about 510,000 young people aged between 11-16 years have a mental disorder

ANXIETY

  • 3% or about 290,000 children and young people have an anxiety disorder
  • 2% or about 96,000 children have an anxiety disorder
  • 4% or about 195,000 young people have an anxiety disorder

DEPRESSION

  • 9% or nearly 80,000 children and young people are seriously depressed
  • 2% or about 8,700 aged 5-10 year-olds are seriously depressed.
  • 4% or about 62,000 aged 11-16 year-olds are seriously depressed.

CONDUCT DISORDERS

  • 8% or just over 510,000 children and young people have a conduct disorder
  • 9% or nearly 215,000 children have a conduct disorder
  • 6% or just over 290,000 young people have a conduct disorder

HYPERKINETIC DISORDER (SEVERE ADHD)

  • 5% or just over 132,000 children and young people have severe ADHD
  • 6% or about 70,000 children have severe ADHD
  • 4% or  about 62,000 young people have severe ADHD

Youngminds.org.uk, ‘Mental Health Statistics – Young People Statistics – Youngminds’. Available online at [http://www.youngminds.org.uk/training_services/policy/mental_health_statistics]

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