What is Mental Illness? Thoughts from a 12-Year-Old With a Tough Diagnosis


Mental health challenges do not define you: your strength and courage does. Mental health issues are not something to laugh about or ignore. Just think about it, the next person you are bullying could be someone with mental health challenges and is thinking about taking their own life. Take mental health seriously and don’t make someone feel bad because of it.

My name is Katie. I am 12 years old and have been diagnosed with Anxiety, OCD, and ODD.

I want you to imagine you are worthless to everyone, that no one loves you. Your life is horrible, you want it all to end. That’s what some people with a mental health issue might think. How does that feel?

Just think about it, we are all in the same game just different levels, dealing with the same hell just different devils.

So what is mental illness?

A mental illness is invisible.

But it affects your behaviour, mood, and thinking processes. A mental health challenge may cause you to have panic attacks. There are a lot of people in this world who have mental health issues. Around 20% of the world’s children and adolescents have a mental health problem. War and disasters also have a large impact on mental health and psychosocial well-being and for these reasons about 80,000 people commit suicide every year.

Suicide is the main thought or reaction for some people who struggle with mental health , but we can better stop this by getting people the help they need. But enough about the gloomy sad stuff: let’s get to the positivity. A mental health challenge also makes you unique. It’s not all that bad, and people with a mental health issue are usually more creative and they have a better imagination than someone without.

You should be proud to be who you are.

Just look at Demi Lovato: she is bipolar, she is proud of it. Bipolar is when your change moods from happy to being depressed in a blink of an eye. Some other celebrities like Howie Mandel suffer from OCD. OCD stands for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Do you ever wonder why Howie never shakes hands with anybody? Well, this is because his OCD causes him to be afraid of germs. Other people with OCD may be afraid of other things like animals, large groups of people, and small rooms.

People who are afraid of large groups of people and confrontation have social anxiety. Social anxiety is another type of mental illness. It is when someone feels anxious in social situations. They are very shy and can sometimes be anti-social.

If someone is bullying you because of your mental abilities and/or your mental health challenges, remember you are strong, you are loved, you are cared for and you…yes…you, are unique. So be strong, it may be stormy now, but it never rains forever.


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