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Teen Talks: Mental Health Advice

by Jade Diane Pires, age 17

Mental health. We, as teens and tweens, often hear about this issue from the media, be it because a celebrity is struggling with it or due to advice shared by psychological associations. However, in many of our conservative families, these issues are stigmatised and brushed under the carpet. We are not taught how to deal with emotions, good ones and bad ones. We continue to sweep them under the carpet.

But there will come the point where we trip over the bumps on the carpet.

So, if you’re struggling, how can you deal with your issues in a healthy way?

First, stop feeling guilty. There is someone out there on Earth who has, at some point or another, experienced what you’re feeling. Your emotions are not a problem, a burden, or an ugly wound to cover. They’re part of you, and the only way to deal with them so that they don’t come back to haunt you is to accept them. But, on the other hand, it’s alright to resent them, because nobody wants to feel small, worthless, or insignificant. Nobody wants to deal with a jumble of different feelings affecting their life. The important thing is to embrace them; embrace the resentment, embrace the anger, and embrace the feeling of wanting to curl up in a ball and cry.

Accept your emotions.

Secondly—and this is the hard part—try (if you can) to identify the source of your feelings. Whether you’re dealing with depression, anxiety, insecurities, or even just a bad day at school, there is likely a source to these feelings. However, identifying them is the challenging part. So, the best method is to ask or talk to someone about them—a friend, family member, therapist, or even a teacher at school. Having a second opinion will not only allow you to look more rationally at the situation, but it will also provide you with emotional strength.

Admittedly, as a person who has struggled with relaying my own emotions to others, I understand that talking to someone about these issues may be difficult for you, especially as a teen. My advice is to use a journal of some sort; take a few minutes, or hours, to jot down what you feel and attempt to look at it from a rational perspective. Eventually, once you feel comfortable, you can relay these feelings to someone else.

Trust me, getting through this step could get ugly, but it will definitely be worth it.

Once you’ve gotten a grasp on what you think your specific mental health issue could be, you can figure out the next step you will take to work through it. Depending on the severity, this could be seeing a therapist, seeking advice from the internet, or just blasting music and hitting a pillow (my personal favourite). The main point being: do not sweep these feelings under the carpet. No matter how you choose to deal with them, as long as you accept and challenge your irrational thoughts, you will learn to develop a healthy relationship with them. It won’t be easy—you will have ups and downs, but remember that there are people also experiencing the exact same feelings as you. You are strong, you will get through this, and you can do it.

You can get rid of the carpet.

Disclaimer: The advice shared in this article has not been evaluated by a medical professional and should strictly be taken the views of the writer. Doha Family neither assumes responsibility for this advice nor endorses it. If you require mental health help, please contact a medical professional.