The Rising Epidemic of Mental Health Issues

Gabrielle Lowery 
Staff Writer

PC: Gabrielle Lowery

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, “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. 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. 

Categories: Features

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1 reply

  1. This subject has been in the news a lot lately. With all of the gun violence around the country, it is an easy way to project blame but the real issue is hatred. Gun violence is born out of hatred. The leadership of this country breathes hatred and allows it to continue using the very words that come from his mouth. Sure, he says it’s a shame these things happen but during his campaign he advocated hatred…when he told one of his supporters he would pay for them to get out of jail if they performed acts of violence upon non-loyalist of his party. Social media, video games, and many other things are promoters of hatred. Video games makes killing the enemy ‘fun’ and ‘exciting’. If you can kill an animated figure then killing a real human being is a piece of cake. NOT!

    Mental illness is a real issue; I’m not trying to minimize the impact it has on society. However, we have to stop acting like it’s a norm and take the time to help one another recognize it and seek help. If we as a people would show more concern and care for each other, recognize and accept our differences, and look for the anomalies in relationships that are warning signs of mental illness or instability; we could possibly stop some of the hatred, reduce violent crimes, and the fear that has proliferated throughout the country/world. Love and kindness can erase hatred.


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