Until recently mental health seemed like a taboo topic. People with mental illnesses were typically seen as unusual and even shameful. Yet lately, mental health has been of growing concern within the U.S. Most people know at least one person that battles with a mental illness, which poses the question; why are they becoming more prevalent in our society?
According to Amjc.com, “mental health problems are on the rise among adolescents and young adults, and social media may be a driver behind the increase.” As social platforms continue to grow, the number of face to face interactions lessens. This may be a reason for the increase in the number of people that suffer from social anxiety.
People that use social media daily, also develop other forms of anxiety due to the need to constantly check the activity occurring on their phones. Not only are young people becoming more susceptible to anxiety, but they may also be becoming more susceptible to forms of depression and body dysmorphia.
According to The Lexington Line, “constant exposure to altered images can lead to an unhealthy pressure to achieve unrealistic body types, which can result in body dysmorphic behaviors. They also stated that, “social media has become increasingly dangerous…”
Social media has not only contributed to the rise in mental illnesses, but has additionally created what seems like a rippling effect of crime. The justice system has linked numerous crimes and instances of violent behavior to people that suffer from them. However, many individuals do not believe that they are truly connected.
Mass shootings are one of many violent acts that have been intertwined with mental illnesses. Abcnews.go.com stated, that at least 17 shootings have occurred in 2019 alone. Donald Trump also supports the idea that mass shootings and mental illnesses are inextricably intertwined, stating in a press briefing, “Mental illness and hatred pulls the trigger,” followed by, “Not the gun.”
However, numerous medical studies have been recorded to analyze the psychological states of mentally ill individuals. Harvard medical school stated, “most individuals with psychiatric disorders are not violent.” Yet, many individuals use mental illnesses as a means to justify much of the crime within our country.
As mass shootings become normalized, an increasing number of individuals continue to form types of anxiety out of fear. Students are prime victims of these forms of anxiety, especially due to the number of school shootings around the country.
Many institutions offer students a safe space to talk about mental health and even seek treatment if necessary. However, it is unclear whether or not mental health will continue to reach epidemic proportions nationwide.
If needed, UNCG offers mental health services on campus, including a crisis line which can be reached at 336-334-5874.