Society and Mental Health

"You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view. Until you climb into his skin and walk around in it."

That's something many people nowadays forget. Or maybe it's something they choose to ignore. Nowadays, that quote is something people should keep in mind every single day when communicating with people. A lot of us are blind to the struggles of the people around us. Many times, because we never really know what goes on in other people's lives, we say hurtful things. Hurtful things that bring up the past. Hurtful things that trigger the people around us. You might be asking why I'm writing this. I just feel like it's something that I see every day, and if I can raise awareness through my blog, despite it not being well known, why not do it?
     The title of this is Society and Mental Health. When I say mental health, I am talking about one specific thing, and not necessarily mental health as a whole; I am talking about depression and suicidal tendencies. I feel like society needs to be more mindful of other mental health issues others have as well, but depression and suicidal tendencies are things that affect me in my daily life and I feel like society chooses to make those two things a joke so often, it's truly baffling. This post is just me talking about my experiences with society and those two things.
     Let's talk about social media for a second. Personally, I'm most active on Instagram, and I follow quite a bit of people. Some meme pages here and there, some random accounts as well. I've been on Instagram for about... I dunno... six months maybe? And I have yet to go through a day without reading a caption that says "KYS", "KMS", or anything along those lines. I have yet to go through a day without seeing a meme that doesn't make suicide a joke or make self-harm or depression a joke. A few months ago, I came across a meme that turned a suicide note into a meme. Let that sink in... A SUICIDE NOTE. Someone's potential last words.... turned into a joke. It took all the strength I had not to cry... because I never realized that people could be that cruel. I will never forget that day, and the simple thought of it is making me shake. Putting memes aside for a second, let's get to people's words. Some people throw the acronyms KYS and KMS around as if their meanings were harmless. As if they're the same as someone saying LOL or WTF. Honestly, people really need to take a step back and realize what KYS and KMS mean. For some people, that's all they can think about. For some people, it's the difference between waking up okay and waking up wanting to die. There are countless people who repeat the words "kill yourself" or "I should kill myself" in their heads every day, and that's something that takes ridiculous strength to deal with. Trust me, I know. The last thing a suicidal person needs is to be told to kill themselves on social media. Social media is a safe haven for a lot of us, and the hate that's spread all over it makes it... not so safe, to say the least. The people that spread hate, however, aren't just people who we may not know; there are people in our own community whose ignorance affects many. There is an account on social media, run by someone that goes to SMHS. Many of you may know her, and some of you may even follow her. I won't mention any names, but I'll leave her bio here: "if ur reading this kys" That just isn't okay, and it's ridiculous how many people think it is. This person clearly thinks it is, and that's why I don't associate myself with her anymore. She isn't the only person who think these... words are okay. There are people who go above and beyond to ensure that they keep spreading this... hatred on social media. There are people who don't like being told they're wrong or ignorant. How can people be so blind? How can people on social media not see the impact they have on their followers? Whether they like it or not, their posts are a reflection of themselves. So if you make fun of self-harm or depression or suicide, please take a good look in the mirror. The person looking back is pushing people closer to their breaking points. The person looking back is causing potentially irreparable harm on his/her followers.
     Now let's talk about real life. Life outside social media. Here's a personal experience for you, and I will use names because this is absolutely unacceptable. Last semester, my AVID class and Ms. Miles's AVID class went on a trip to visit a few universities in the San Francisco area. For those of you that may not know, that's about a four-hour drive. My friend and I sat near the back, next to a few of Ms. Miles's kids. That ride was absolute hell. Let me sum this up: the ride there and back was defined by Ms. Miles's kids saying "OMG drink bleach" "OMG kill yourself" "OMG I'm going to kill myself". It got to the point where I broke down. My friend, who knows my struggles pretty damn well, was with me, trying to calm me down, but nothing helped. The damage was done. 8 HOURS OF HEARING THESE INSENSITIVE REMARKS TAKES A TOLL ON PEOPLE. Similar to social media, people throw these phrases around, not knowing the power they hold. That is bullying on a whole nother level. What did their teacher do? Absolutely nothing. Maybe Ms. Miles paints her students to be these perfect angels or something that don't need to be disciplined, but after that whole bus ride, I vowed to never go on a trip with them ever again. Even if you don't know the people around you personally, it's never okay to throw those phrases around as if they're nothing. If you can honestly say that you've never felt like there's no point in living or if life's all good for you, then you beat many of us who struggle to find a purpose to waking up every morning. Don't say those things around anyone, quite frankly. Those words for many people hurt like hell. It's like getting poked with a knife. Every time someone says something insensitive like that, the knife gets sharper and sharper, until those words feel like they're stabbing you. You never know the pain those words will put someone in, so why say them?
     If there's one post I want y'all to read, it's this one. I may add stuff to it later, but I just wanted to get this off my chest and raise awareness, in a way. Life kicks people down all the time, and thankfully, many people are able to get back up. For some people, however, it isn't that easy and the harmful things people say in real life and on social media only make it harder. Pictures bring back bad memories, and memes degrade those who struggle with suicidal thoughts, self-harm, and depression. Words from strangers only reinforce the words some of us repeat over and over in our heads. It hurts. I guess... the main thing I wanna get across is to be careful with what you say and do on social media and real life. Because you never know how your words and actions will affect the people around you. You'll never understand the struggles some people have to go through, or how hard it is to act like everything is okay. Words are weapons; use them to protect and help other people, and defend them in times of need. Don't use it to degrade people, or push them even closer to their breaking points.


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