External to Internal: When outside words intertwine with the mind

Get educated on how words and actions can affect a person’s mental health
Illustration made via Canva
Illustration made via Canva
Lily Johnson

During teenage years, kids will have a lot of things going on in their head and may have a lot on their plate. Many things can play a part in affecting a child’s mental health. Bullying, feeling overworked, stressed, etc. are a few things that can affect a child’s health. 

A child may go to their parents and tell them about how they’ve been feeling because it’s been hurting them and they want to feel better. The way that a parent reacts and comforts their child can definitely help their kid or potentially hurt them more. 

If a parent reacts harshly saying things like “I went through hard things in my childhood and I turned out fine,” and compare their life experiences to their kid, it can make the child feel as though their feelings aren’t valid or worth hearing. It may make their child more closed-off and less likely to go to their parents when they need help. 

I think that when a child goes to their parents for mental health help, it’s very important that the parent reacts softly and calmly so they don’t upset their child further. When my family first became aware of my struggles with my mental health, there was a lot of crying which made me feel guilty about putting my problems and struggles onto them. 

I know friends who also had struggles with their mental health and they told me that their parents reacted softly and made sure they got the help they needed. To which they believe they felt better and recovered faster than they would if they never got help. 

Not only do parents play a role in a child’s mental health but so can school. Heavy work, the environment, and extra curricular activities can play a big part. I’m in an accelerated class and sometimes I feel very stressed out and upset when I don’t get a good grade. Also as a student athlete, it’s even harder to make time for all of the extra activities I like to do. Also since I have a very busy schedule, it’s harder to find time to hangout with my friends which makes me feel sad since I can never really see them outside of school. It can be very stressful trying to balance a social life, sports and my classes. 

…the countless times I’ve compared myself to another girl.”

— Lily Johnson

Teens can also feel pressured by peers to behave or look a certain way. I sometimes catch myself spending over 30 minutes to get ready in the morning because I’m scared of looking bad or getting made fun of. Minutes and minutes of applying mascara to make sure it looks even and not clumpy. Not to mention the countless times I’ve compared myself to another girl. 

Also some people you may believe you are close friends with can sometimes talk bad about you to others. Personally, I’ve had this happen to me on multiple occasions which made me feel alone and betrayed. It can be hard to reach out to people to talk about your feelings when you’re scared they might tell other people or talk harshly about you. 

I think for parents, if your child comes to you for help with their mental health it’s crucial that you respond in a way that makes your child not feel like a burden and get them extra help with a professional if it seems needed. In school, it’s important to treat everyone with kindness and to not judge people because you’re not aware of the things they may be going through.

 

 

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About the Contributor
Lily Johnson, Staff
Lily Johnson is a freshman at McIntosh High School. It is her first year on the Trail and she is looking forward to working with the other members of the staff and getting to know more about journalism. As a part of Beta Club, Johnson enjoys helping those around her and being a part of a team. She likes volunteering at PetSmart with the Fayette Humane Society. She loves being able to know that she’s helping the animals be put into good homes and will be able to live out the rest of their lives happily. She also volunteers at Clothes Less Traveled. Johnson enjoys reading, working out and cooking. She also enjoys many forms of art such as writing, painting, pottery and music. Some of her favorite musical artists are Lil Peep, The Weeknd, Arctic Monkeys, Chase Atlantic and The Neighbourhood. Outside of school, she likes to play lacrosse, read and skate. Johnson has been playing for Peachtree City Warriors for almost three years.
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  • jacobFeb 5, 2024 at 7:10 pm

    this story is really good perfect even these things are all true and lily is a very good writer i like to read her stories i would like to see more of her

    Reply