Letter to the Future President
Dear Future President,
I am writing to you because I have some concerns about a big issue in our country today. This problem has grown substantially recently and is still growing. I am talking about Mental Illnesses and Mental Disorders. Mental Illness is not only a problem on its own, but can lead to suicide/suicidal thoughts. There is a correlation between suicide and mental illness and more often than not, those who survive suicide attempts have some sort of mental disorder or illness.
Mental illness is often times overlooked and seen as a cry for attention. Although this might be true in some cases, mental illness should still be taken very seriously. I have had personal experience with mental problems and I know how hard they are to deal with. Although I haven’t attempted suicide or had suicidal thoughts, I still know that others may behave differently than I do when it comes to these problems. I believe that in our country, there needs to be more “safe spaces” where people know they are cared about and that they matter, because that can sometimes be the difference between life and death. The average age of onset depression used to be about 29.5 years old. What do you think it is right now? The shocking answer is: 14-15 years old! The amount of stress put upon teenagers is unbelievably higher than what it used to be considering the increased amounts/difficulty of standardized tests, increased amounts of bullying, and problems within homes.
Overdiagnosis is another problem with Mental Illness in the United States. A lot of patients have said that their doctors ask about symptoms, take a few notes, and write a prescription. I myself have had doctors do this. They give you medicine and drugs that can cause addiction and not even have the desired result. Journalist Robert Whitaker says, “adverse effects of psychiatric medications are the primary cause of overdiagnosis that can cause patients to have episodic and moderate behavioral problems that can become severe, chronic, and disabling”. Whitaker also said, “The scientific literature shows that many patients treated for a milder problem will worsen in response to a drug - say have a manic episode after taking an antidepressant - and that can lead to a more severe diagnosis such as Bipolar Disorder”. Drugs, prescription and others, can cause mental problems to appear and cause pre-existing ones to worsen.
I believe that in order to combat this issue, there needs to be more rules/laws in place to protect everybody, not just people with mental problems, from physical/verbal abuse and bullying. If there isn’t more precautionary action this issue can and will get worse. Not all people who deal with mental issues are able to be treated in the same way. I think that psychiatrists and other doctors should have to go through more extensive training to avoid wasting time and money on false diagnoses. I also think another solution to this problem could be that it is required for students to be properly educated on bullying, the effects of bullying, and mental illness. If this were to happen, teenagers would be nicer and friendlier to each other because they know what could happen if someone is treated badly.
I think that you, our future president, need to take what I’m saying into consideration. Fixing the issue of mental illness and abuse would make our country a better place to live and grow up in. Think of an America where everyone is socially conscious and aware of other people’s feelings, we would be the happiest place in the world! But, if this issue continues on the path it is going, our future isn’t very bright. Mental Illness is a problem, and it needs to be solved.