Society’s influence


Christina Benavides

Christina Benavides, Copy Editor

There are many ways that society has heavily influenced people that are dealing with mental health issues, and it may be for the worse.

One of the negative influences is definitely within education. There is this pressure put on young adults to have our degrees in a specific span of time, but everyone completes their education at different paces.

There is something extremely important that all Educators must remember, and that is to be more understanding of students with mental illnesses or mental health issues. Our minds work differently than yours, and you should never assume that we do not need accommodations.

If students are not mentally well and are struggling in a course, they should be accommodated in some way. Mental illness has ups and downs. A student can start a semester feeling mentally ready, however when mental illness strikes, it can be devastating. There needs to be more compassion and kindness with students from educators, especially if a student chooses to share with them that they are going through a hard time.

Another negative influence affecting those struggling with mental health is the beauty standards for both men and women. I am not saying only this specific group of people is only targeted, but I believe they are largely affected.

Modern beauty standards are ridiculously pushed on society. Everywhere you look there is some form of this, an example is social media. If a person with a mental health issue is scrolling through Facebook or even Instagram and are not in a good place, social media can be unhealthy. All you see is other people’s achievements when you are currently trying to reach your own. It can be a downer when you compare your life to others. Whether you are comparing your appearance to another person or your achievements, it is unhealthy for you. Log off until you are mentally healthy enough to be on social media.

Something else that a person with mental health issues is affected by are TV shows and films that are directed at those who are dealing with mental illness, but claims it is for awareness purposes only. I am all for awareness, but if you do not have a trigger warning before or you do not pose the characters correctly, then it can cause harm. The film “Split” directed by M. Night Shyamalan, was a thriller about a man who had multiple personalities. Although, I personally thought the film was well done, I did not like the paranormal aspect of it. I would think that someone who has a similar personality disorder would find it offensive, and inaccurate.

Another show that probably should not be watched if you are dealing with mental illness or suicidal thoughts is Skins (UK). The show is beautiful written, but it touches base on several sensitive topics. All over Tumblr the main Character named, “Effy” is glamorized. Young teenagers compare themselves to her, and want to be her, even though she was absolutely mentally unstable most of the show.

There are plenty of negative influences out there, however you must push through it. Do not let it get to you. You are worth more than what your education level is, your appearance, and do not consume content about mental illness if you are going through it. It mostly makes things worse for you. In time, I hope mental health reaches more attention, and is portrayed with trigger warnings. I truly believe that there is always more we can do to help those in need. There is no excuse not to.