A digression from social norms of mental health


A common exchange that happens every day is the question, “How are you?” The exchange happens so often that it is almost instinctive to reply, “I’m good,” or with some other cherry answer to smooth over the experience and to glide it along as quickly as possible to get on with the rest of your day.

I believe this lack of meaningful exchanges between people has a larger mental impact now than it ever has before. Whether it be from asking how someone’s day is, to the simple ways that we as humans interact with each other, there is an obvious lack of true concern for each other that plagues society and truly affects communities, such as schools everywhere.

What does this mean? Am I crazy? Why do these encounters matter?

From the firsthand experience of a person who is enjoying life, they are relaxed, life is normal, everything is great, but for a person who isn’t having a good swing of things, or deals with such things as anxiety or depression, no matter what extent, these exchanges sting. They sting because it is expected of people to always say “good” or “great”, but when things really aren’t good, and you’re continuously expected to act well, this tears down the person from the inside, it further isolates them.

Am I really the only person who feels this way? Why am I the only one upset? What is wrong with me?

These questions are formed in the mind of many because few stand to speak up and say it is “okay” to let emotions out, and it is “good” to have bad days, just don’t keep it in. I know especially in many of our cases, being at an all-boys high school, many of the students here feel like they have to be in their A-game 100% of the time, no bad days, no mess ups, nothing other than their best, and that’s one of our major flaws.

We are not here as people to hurt each other, that’s not cool. It’s not respectful. It’s not even notable.

We are here because we are all going through the same thing. Speak up. Isolation is self-inflicted.

This comes from having worked with a group of therapists the past half year as the receptionist, the results of people coming in and leaving happier than they came was something truly inspiring.

So why wait? It doesn’t have to be a therapist who makes someone feel like they are not alone.

It can be you.