Technology has helped make the world feel more connected, making resources, stories, and information much more accessible. This impact is significant for those who are physically isolated and may feel like they’re in the middle of nowhere. In the past, news and entertainment was extremely limited to things such as televisions, magazines and newspapers, and going out to explore was difficult because there were very few things close by.
Over the past year, I have been in graduate school online, working from home, and essentially living alone in my apartment. Despite the struggle of it all that everyone has endured, I had become accustomed to this way of life, filling my time with new things to read, hobbies to create, and other new trials of self-growth. This extra time came with its benefits and downfalls, and by the end of the spring I felt I was trying to make the best of it by painting, exercising, and trying new things.
It can be hard to focus on the good things, especially when it feels like the world is falling apart around you, and because of you. People are more likely to focus and dwell on the negative versus the positive – this is known as having negativity bias, and it’s nowhere near uncommon. Having good things happen to us feels great! But there’s a comfort to them that our brains can become complacent with, and when negative things end up occurring instead, they tend to have significantly stronger impressions on us, because we don’t expect, nor do we not want them to happen.
Mental health and mental illness are almost always tied to marginalized groups, with those who identify as LGBT being no exception. You’re probably somewhat aware of the staggering differences in statistics between LGBT+ people and those who are cisgender and/or heterosexual (if you want to check out the specifics, you can do so here), especially in LGBT youth as they try to navigate these identities.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by social media. With all the different kinds of accounts we can have, the way we can rely on the number of likes and comments we get, and the tendency we have to compare ourselves to others about what we post, social media can heighten feelings of anxiety and/or depression. It doesn’t help that people sometimes endlessly scroll through their social media during depressive episodes or times of increased anxiety, because that’s really all their brains have the energy to do.
Sometimes, it feels like caffeine is a necessity. It may be that cup of coffee before your class starts at 8AM or that energy drink to help you get through that last leg of your assignment at 2 in the morning. Given the hectic work and school schedules for teenagers and young adults, every source of energy is welcomed to get as many things done in the day as possible.
Nearly half of transgender, nonbinary, and gender nonconforming (GNC) youth between the ages of 3-17 are likely to be diagnosed with a mental illness. Statistics show that at least half of them have received a depression diagnosis, with increased rates of attention deficit and anxiety diagnoses as well.