One solution to school safety might be focusing mental health


by Mason Eddins, Editor

Mental health is just as, if not more, important than physical health. A big part of the health of the mind is mental illnesses. Three major mental illnesses that millions of Americans suffer from are depression, Schizophrenia, and Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD).

In recent mass shootings, the shooters had some sort of mental illness. According to news reports, the Florida shooter, Nikolas Cruz, suffered from depression, ADHD and autism. After Cruz’s girlfriend broke up with him, he began cutting himself. He also announced that he would by a gun. Cruz also put racial slurs on his bookbag. Cruz also posted concerning posts on social media. His host parents didn’t know about these posts of some of social media accounts.

Roughly 6.7% of the American population suffers from depression. Depression is nothing to joke about. Depression can impact how you go about your daily activities. The symptoms need to be present for two weeks for someone to be diagnosed. Some types of depression include psychotic, bipolar, and persistent depressive depression. A few symptoms of the illness are persistent sad/anxious/empty mood, feelings of hopelessness, guilt, worthlessness, helplessness, loss of interest in hobbies/activities, trouble sitting still/restless, thoughts of death/suicide, and the list goes on. Not every sufferer shows all of the symptoms associated with the illness. Researchers suggest that depression is caused by a combination of genetic, biological, environmental and psychological factors.

Not everyone suffers the same. Due to this, there is no one-size-fits-all treatment. The earlier a person is treated, the more efficient the treatment will be. Depression can be treated with medication or psychotherapy. There are also more less conventional ways to treat depression, like brain surgery.

Schizophrenia impacts the lives of 3.2 million Americans (1.2%). This illness is chronic and impacts how a person will think, feel, and behave. Some sufferers seem as if they have lost touch with reality. Schizophrenia will usually kick in between the ages of 16 and 30. In rare cases, children may develop the illness. The symptoms fall under three categories; positive, cognitive, and negative. People with the positive symptoms “lose” touch with reality. These symptoms will include hallucinations, delusions, thought and movement disorders. Negative symptoms disrupt emotions and behaviors. The symptoms are the ¨flat affect¨ (reduced expression of emotions), reduced pleasure in everyday life, difficulty in starting and sustaining activities, and reduced speaking.

Some people suffer the cognitive symptoms severely while other have subtle symptoms. They are poor executive functioning, trouble paying attention or focusing, and problems with working memory. A few forms of treatment for Schizophrenia are antipsychotic medications, psychosocial treatment, and therapy that involves both individual and family.

Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is marked by ongoing patterns of varying moods, self-image, and behavior. People with BPD may experience episodes of anger, depression, and anxiety can last from a few hours to a few days. There are many symptoms of BPD. These include, self-harming behavior, recurring thoughts of suicidal behaviors/threats, chronic feelings of emptiness, distorted and unstable self-image or sense of self, a pattern of intense/unstable relationships with family, friends, and loved ones. The list goes on. Factors that could increase one’s chance of developing BPD is family history, brain factors, and environmental, cultural, and social factors. BPD has historically been a difficult disorder to treat. The treatments a patient could get are impatient, Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP), and therapy. It is important to find a therapist that you are comfortable with.

To buy a buy a gun, the purchaser should wait two weeks for the gun shop to go through a background check. After the background check, if there is anything that stands out, like mental illnesses or history of violence, then the purchaser should be unable to buy a weapon.

All in all, mental health is an important part of everyone’s life. Finding the correct treatment is very important. Mental illnesses are severe, and not all illnesses are visible. Reach out to those who you see are struggling. Help those who need help. Be the friend that’s there.

National Suicide Hotline # 1-800-273-8255