Students Talk of Their Experiences with Bad Mental Health Advice

Katherine Holloway, Staff Writer

Critical parts of becoming psychologically mature are finding healthy ways to cope with anxiety and understanding your emotions. In high school, teenagers can endure countless amounts of emotional stress and sometimes need guidance in the right direction to keep a positive mindset. Some guidance could set one on their path straight to healthy coping, but others can knock them off track. Students at Roswell often experience this stress and have shared their encounters with help around the school.  

When asked about the worst mental health advice they have received, Alexandra Markos, a sophomore, feels that once when presented with unhelpful guidance during her difficult times, they were told to “fake a smile and pretend to be happy until you’re happy.” Alexandra expresses that this advice did quite the opposite of making them happy and worsened their feelings about their struggles. When one hides their true feelings and pretends they are okay, it closes opportunities to talk out their feelings and become at ease with their thoughts. Bottling up important emotions that should be expressed can take a toll on someone and their mental health. Better advice can lead to better resources to express feelings.  

Some people believe that mental health is not nearly as important as life essentials such as education. An anonymous sophomore shares their struggles with poor advice from a loved one with that mindset, saying their parents told them to “push through” or says they “don’t put in enough effort.” School can be one of the most stressful and anxiety-driven things at this age, and having a parent take over your decisions does not help. They express that their parents pushing them does not allow them to become more productive and worsens the stress on their shoulders. The student states,” You can’t just push yourself through mental struggles, you need further help and support for that.” Sometimes a parent cannot see through their child’s struggles, mainly due to communication, which can cause even more unnecessary stress. They disagree on topics, leaving the child without a reliable resource to talk to about challenging things thrown into their life.  

Having a mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of, and it is okay for someone to take a break for themself. Taking mental breaks allows one’s brain and body to take the necessary recharge to push ahead. An anonymous senior explains that they have been attempting to prioritize their mental health because they feel they have lost themself in their illness and explains that their parents’ support for them has not been the greatest. Their parents told the student they needed to “get over themselves and do not know what is best for them.” Sometimes a child may just need to be listened to, especially by their parents, to get guidance academically and physically through these mental struggles. Without this guidance, one may fall into an even worse state than before.  

If you or someone you know is struggling and needs help, there are resources around school available. Talking to your assigned counselor is an amazing outlet for healthy coping by talking about your feelings and utilizing the private space of The Hub is a peaceful, helpful place if you need a break.