Effects of Mental Illness on Women

She seems happy at school. She talks to her friends, eats her lunch, and does her work.

Unfortunately, it all changes as soon as she opens her front door to return home.

She starts to take off all her makeup, then just stares at herself in the mirror. She sighs and walks to her room, where she just sits on her bed. She has a feeling she is about to cry, but no tears come out.

Instead, she just sits there, staring into the nothingness she lives every day.

This is a normal day for sophomore Riley Brown, who suffers from anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), and depression.

“It feels like when you’re outside on the icy ground and you slip, but you catch yourself, except it keeps happening and it never actually stops,” says Brown. “The medicine helps. Instead of worrying 24/7, (now) it’s more like 12/7.

According to mentalhealthamerica.net, one of the nation’s leading websites on mental health, around 12 million (roughly one-in-eight) women experience some form of clinical depression every year.

Compared to their gender counterparts, women seem to experience depression at twice the rate of men. Specifically, girls aged 14-18 years have higher rates of depression than males around this age.

“Men often display their depression with anger and overworking, while women suffer in silence,” says Allison Puckett, a former Wellstone Hospital employee. “They do, however, seem to experience more support.”

According to Puckett, someone who shows signs of depression may just need someone to open up to.

“It’s really important to talk about depression. You won’t cause someone to commit suicide just by asking if they’re okay,” Puckett said. “If the signs are there, you should ask. People need to know to never give up. There’s always hope.”

Signs of depression include increased feeling of tiredness or insomnia, overeating or loss of appetite, excessive crying, loss of interest in activities, and outbreaks of anger.

“I encourage someone who is having negative thoughts to go to a trusted adult, coach, or counselor,” says Jeffersonville High School counselor Tyler Colyer. “If someone is showing signs, be supportive, aware, and tell a trusted adult.”

Now that Riley has started taking her medication she seems happier and less anxious. When she recognized the symptoms she confided in someone she knew cared about her.

That changed her life.

“I promise things do get better,” Brown says. “It might just take some time.”

Jeff High’s newest club is all about inclusion and acceptance

This time last year, junior Matthew Begin was talking to his friend Noah Fetter, who attends Silver Creek High School.

While their talk encapsulated many different topics, unity and acceptance of others was at the forefront.

As their conversation continued, they began discussing the possibility of creating a club to unite different LGBT friendships, and educating students on mental health that is not taught in the traditional system.

Begin asked assistant principal Marianne Fisher her thoughts on starting up a club at Jeff, and she helped him through the initial process. Sophomore Ryan Curry overheard Begin and Fisher talking about it one day, and thought the idea was great and wanted to contribute.

Thus, the team of students created the Jeffersonville High School Gay-Straight-Trans Alliance.

All the club had to do was find a sponsor, and space to have their meetings. Mrs. Virginia Herfel, a counselor, was glad to take the responsibility. The group had their first meeting in the AP conference room on Dec. 6.

The kick-off meeting was met with support, and the members discussed future goals and achievements.

“We are trying to get more sponsors so that we can do things like community service projects,” Begin said. “We also have recently been discussing the possibility of a dance.”

The clubs two main goals are to have fun, and educate the community on the differences of the LGBT and the challenges that they face everyday.

“We want to normalize queer people and not isolate them and make sure that they know it’s okay to be yourself,” Curry said.

Their motto is “providing education and advocation for equality and understanding.”

Begin says that all student are welcomed, even if you would just like to come and support , or attend a meeting to see what they are about. The members are very excited to have this opportunity, and are anxious to see where they go.