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Opinion | Athletes are under too much pressure
Opinion | Athletes are under too much pressure
By Jameson Keebler, Senior Staff Columnist • 12:50 am

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Opinion | Athletes are under too much pressure
Opinion | Athletes are under too much pressure
By Jameson Keebler, Senior Staff Columnist • 12:50 am

Opinion | It is important to prioritize mental health, not stigmatize it

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TPN File Illustration

If you do not already focus enough on your mental health, or mental health in general, you should start now. Rather than stigmatizing mental health, people should prioritize it. As someone who is majoring in psychology and wants to become a therapist or psychologist in the future — which we definitely need more of — mental health awareness is a huge part of my life. I believe it should be a huge part of your life as well.

Often, people do not understand that there are others out there who are different and cannot express themselves as much as they would like. Most people, including myself, prefer to keep to themselves. It is important to tell your family, friends or anyone else you truly trust about how you are feeling mentally, but you should not have to do it constantly.

There are people out there who represent true empathy, and we need more people like that. You will always have that one person in your life who you can talk to about everything. You will find that person if you don’t already have one. The way I see it, the person you are able to talk to about everything can also tell you everything — and in the end, you may both realize that you are pretty similar after each conversation. If you keep building those moments to talk with that specific person in your life, you will often realize that, yes, there are other people out there who are similar to you and who understand you.

While you may have that specific person you can always tell your thoughts and feelings to, it is also okay to not mention everything. For instance, if your friend or family member asks if you want to talk, you do not have to. You may trust them, but you are not obligated to tell them anything you are not comfortable with. If your friend or family member is upset because you do not want to tell them what is wrong, that is not your fault. If someone becomes upset because you do not want to tell them everything that is going on in your mind, do not feel like a burden. The problem lies with the friend or family member who is upset, not you.

There are also some people who are always the “therapist friend” in the group. This person is used to listening to their friends, family and others. Talking about their own feelings and thoughts is not always something they are used to. There are a lot of people who are like this, and it is important to realize that you are not always going to find out everything about your friend’s mental health, especially if they are a therapist friend. Yes, it can be upsetting sometimes because you want to fix things, and you want to make sure your friends and family are okay, but a bad mental state is a hard thing to fix. I think talking to others about your mental health is important. I am getting better at that myself, but people have to realize that they are not going to know everything that is going on in your life. In the end, you always find the people you need in your life. Those are the people you can truly and fully trust and possibly relate to in ways.

On a similar topic, we need to be more mindful when it comes to joking about mental health. Some of those who suffer from depression, anxiety or other mental illnesses sometimes use humor as a coping mechanism, which I can understand. It can be okay for them to joke about it once in a while, but if they joke about it around people who truly care for them and know what they are going through, it could raise some concerns. It is someone’s choice to joke about their own mental health and use dark humor, but it is hard to tell if that means the person is getting better or if they are getting worse. 

There is also a debate about whether people without diagnosed mental illnesses should joke about them. There are some people who do not mind and others who do.

If you do not already do so, please start prioritizing your own and other people’s mental health. However, you do not need to always talk about your mental health or feel bad if you do not talk about your mental health as much as others. There are people in our lives who want to hear how we are doing, but it is not something you should force yourself to do. You decide who you want to talk to, and you decide how much you want to tell them. Do not ever let someone force something out of you.

Irene thinks mental health is important in many different ways. Reach out to her at [email protected] if you want to talk to her about more.

About the Contributor
Irene Moran, Staff Columnist
Irene is a sophomore Psychology major with a minor in Sociology. She is from Philadelphia, PA and enjoys music, poetry, film, and much more. As a musician herself, she intends to write a lot about different bands and artists. You can reach out to Irene through