• May 15Dance Company Performance Wednesday 5/22 at 5:30 - Woodbridge Community Center
  • December 21WMS Boys Basketball Plays AMS today at 4:00 in AMS
  • October 16WMS softball team plays Avenel in the playoff game today at WHS, 6:00!
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The Warrior Messenger

The student news site of Woodbridge Middle School

The Warrior Messenger

The student news site of Woodbridge Middle School

The Warrior Messenger

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Your mental health is a priority

A+girl+kneels+down+in+the+hallway+experiencing+a+rough+day.+This+would+happen+less+if+people+opened+their+heart+to+kindness.+
Sam Morel
A girl kneels down in the hallway experiencing a rough day. This would happen less if people opened their heart to kindness.

I grew up in a family that was solely based on traveling. Every summer there was always a plane ride or somewhere to go. I was always so young that I wanted to remember one thing from each trip. On one of those trips, we went to California. I was about 8 years old at the time. I remember walking alongside the pier, feeling the October breeze, not giving a care in the world. I recall looking to my right and seeing a man on the ground, pale, with a couple of blankets, and a jar in his hand. Today, I know that’s a homeless person, but at the time I couldn’t help but stare. My sister took my face and turned it away saying, “Don’t stare. That’s rude.”

That day I learned to never judge someone for their situation because you don’t know. Not judge because you think it’s rude but because it just isn’t the right thing to do. We think we know so much about others, but all we know is what they’re willing to give us. Due to the battles people face in silence, I decided to interview the staff and students of Woodbridge Middle School to get a new perspective on why society is the way it is towards mental health awareness.

Feeling and Expressions

At a very young age, people feel things very differently. When you get taught from the beginning that you aren’t allowed to express how you feel, you start to believe it. Ava Wdovichik, an 8th grader at WMS, stated, “The terms ‘man up’ or ‘woman up’ can make you feel like your feelings don’t matter. It doesn’t matter who you’re saying it to, how old they are, you’ll get the same reaction out of them which is hurt.”

It’s important to understand that someone who grows up with trauma responds differently to situations than someone who didn’t necessarily grow up that way. There’s a term called inner child. Every time someone does something specific, it triggers a particular response that makes you feel like you’re a child again. These types of responses could be anger, sadness, or even a sense of an attitude. People don’t understand this because others don’t wear their trauma, they grow along with it.

Wdovichik said, “Your feelings shouldn’t be disregarded because of your sadness. You don’t have to be depressed for people to care about your feelings.”

Feelings do not have their limits. We all have our highs and lows and for some of us our highs are really high and our lows are just as low. We can’t control how we feel, which gives us no right to judge others for how they feel. We tend to put ourselves in other people’s shoes very rarely because, in reality, we don’t want to know what that feels like. Pain is pain no matter how you wear it.

Causes of Depression

Depression isn’t just caused by one thing, it can have many causes that lead to certain stages of depression. When you’re born into a family that is so ‘tough hearted’ yet you have a soft and vulnerable heart you feel the need to hide your emotions because there is no way they can understand. How can people understand vulnerability if it is not explicated? This also begs the question, how can we find out before it is too late?

Depression or mental health disorders can be caused by family, but social media plays an important role as well. Paityn Cardona, a cheerleader at WMS, said, “I think depression is so common within the teenage years because you’ll always feel as if someone is better than you so you’ll always feel like you have to top them.”

Students now, more than ever, compare themselves to unrealistic standards that we see on social media. That, on top of the standards placed on us by parents, peers, tests, and teachers, can be debilitating.

Self-Care

Physical accomplishments are great – don’t get me wrong, first place is great – but it’s paramount to understand your mental capacity to reach these accomplishments. We need to know when it’s the right time to step away from the mask and be true to yourself. It’s okay to set boundaries if it means making your life easier.

Not only people who portray signs of depression or any mental health disorder are struggling. Oftentimes, the people who are always smiling and constantly helping others out are going through very difficult times and use this as a coping mechanism to hide their depression.

Be Kind

Everyone around you has their thoughts, problems, and home lifestyle. Not every seemingly ‘happy person’ is happy.

This is your reminder to check up on the people around you and show them your love and care. A quick, “Are you okay?,” goes a long way. If you ever are going through something, understand you are never alone; many people who are struggling just the same are probably right in front of you without you even noticing it. Take care of your mind just as you would your body. It is always okay to not be okay.

It costs nothing to be a kind person.

 

If it’s an emergency, please dial 911.

Suicide prevention – (800) 273-8255

Grief or loss – (800) 395-5755

Family violence – (800) 313-1310

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