Myth: People with mental illnesses tend to be violent
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Myth: People with mental illnesses tend to be violent
The University’s undergraduate population boasts students from 62 different countries, with 11 percent of the current freshman class being international students. With this cultural diversity comes a mix of perspectives, cultures and experiences, especially in regard to mental health. In response to increased globalization over the last century, many countries have seen stigma against and support networks for the mentally ill change. Regardless, most cultures still have perspectives about mental illness that greatly reflect their regions’ traditions.
I wrote a piece.
For as long as I can remember, my stomach has always hurt. Sometimes, I would feel like I was being stabbed with a dull knife, over and over. Other times, my body would break out in a cold sweat from waves of nausea. Even when I wasn’t in pain, my stomach would make noises, prompting people to ask what was wrong. I usually just said that I was hungry, even if I wasn’t.
Writing about mental health is a touchy subject for me.
When most TV shows or movies portray a character with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), that character can usually be found washing their hands for 15 minutes straight or flipping a light switch on and off five times before leaving a room. And to most of the world, that’s what OCD is.
Every day at 7 a.m. my phone lights up with a “mindfulness reminder” from the Calm app. The daily message, which serves as a reminder to complete a meditation, is usually a cliché — for example, “You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.” Despite the triviality of the notification, it reminds me to log onto the Calm app and complete one of its many guided meditations.
If you ever have the chance to peruse the “Parents of Johns Hopkins University Students” Facebook page, you’ll see more than one post from a parent whose child has developed anxiety and depression during their time at Hopkins.
In 2016, student and faculty representatives from across the nine schools of Hopkins convened to discuss ways to improve mental health on campus. This spring, the Task Force on Student Mental Health and Well-being released a final report, which provided data and recommendations on the climate surrounding mental health at Hopkins.
Senior Art History and Archaeology major Casey lives with hearing loss and tinnitus caused by a traumatic event earlier in her life. During her sophomore year, she decided to book an appointment with the University’s Counseling Center to seek help in coping with her disability.
The latest pop smash echoes through the room, shots of grapefruit-flavored vodka line the worn table and the scent of cinnamon wafts from a tray of snickerdoodles in the corner. One of these things is not like the others. What is a plate of freshly baked cookies doing at a college party?
Every single minute of every single day I feel like I’m walking around with a massive jug of scalding hot water balanced on my head. I’m afraid to spill a little tiny bit of that water because the whole jug will start to fall and burn the people around me.
The quick answer: It depends. It depends on the struggle. The enormity of this question paired with the spectrum of mental health issues, possibilities and struggles, makes this answer near impossible to tackle in a mere 1,000 words. My experiences as an A Place to Talk (APTT) trainer, QPR-certified member, Sexual Assault Resource Unit (SARU) hotline respondent, psychology major and hospice volunteer will hopefully prove useful, though. I am going to break all the rules here and give advice (which is usually the worst thing you can do in supporting someone struggling with mental health).
Ask anyone who knows me well and they’ll tell you that I love to talk, even to people I’ve just met. But I wasn’t always like this. Up until about my first year of high school, I was shy and stayed quiet around people who I didn’t know well enough.
Forgiveness is a complicated thing. It is touted as the one path to inner peace. Bitter people are never happy; angry people are never at peace. Accepting this was hard for me, because I am angry, and I am bitter, and I don’t think I want to let go of that. I think my anger is what drives me, and some may say that is no way to live your life, but I think it has been the only way to live mine.
I usually don’t like to tell people I’m dating about my struggles with mental health for a couple of reasons. For one, it’s something that I’ve learned to cope with mostly on my own. With obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and attention-deficit Disorder (ADD), difficulties mostly pop up on a brief, day-to-day basis, and I’ve adapted to handling small anxiety flare-ups and focus issues without too much help (though there is no downplaying the amount of help from family and friends I needed in order to get to this place of daily comfort with my disorders).
The question of what causes mental illnesses and disorders has been debated by doctors, researchers and psychologists for decades.
Ancient civilizations thought mental health disorders were the work of the gods — piss one of them off? Here’s a mental illness. Today scientists understand these disorders much better, and the Mood Disorders Center at Hopkins is continuing to bring more knowledge to the table.
As students at Hopkins, we are all residents of Baltimore City. It is easy to forget this when we talk about mental health at Hopkins, an indisputably academically stressful environment, yet a privileged population. In some neighborhoods in Baltimore, mental health stems from deep-rooted issues of segregation, poverty and socioeconomic disparities.
Sometimes it helps to set everything down and stare into space for a few minutes. If I’m at home, I like to open the window, sit on my bed and focus on something aesthetically pleasing in my room, like my succulent, Luna. I’d listen to something instrumental to slow down my heart rate and breathing: Studio Ghibli soundtracks, Hilary Hahn’s Bach recordings, Schumann and the “Peaceful Piano” playlist on Spotify are always helpful. Afterward, I always feel more grounded, alert and focused.