allison weitzel

SENIOR PROJECT: fighting against mental illness - depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, & eating disorders

allison.weitzel@academicarts.org

Hello, my name is Allison (Starla) Weitzel, and just like many others, I suffer from severe depression. Mental health is a serious issue many people deal with day to day, and unfortunately, going untreated, it can ruin lives. For over four years, I struggled with cutting my wrists; I did this so I felt some feeling other than being numb from my depression. The last time I cut was January 10th, 2013, but that doesn’t mean my depression has gone away. I started therapy in ninth grade after telling my mom about my struggles. In tenth grade, I was put on antidepressants, and in eleventh grade, I attempted suicide and was put into a mental ward for a few months. Everyone struggles with something, even if it’s not evident to others, and unfortunately some struggles can kill.

For my senior project, I’ve decided to study depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and eating disorders. I will go into depth about how they affect the human brain, the causes of each disorder, the signs, and treatments. Not all illnesses can be cured, but that doesn’t mean you can’t survive with them. There are ways to make an illness easier to deal with. Mental illness can destroy lives just as much as cancer can. Mental illness is something serious and should be taken as something serious. In the U.S. one million people each year commit suicide and 57.7 million people are diagnosed with a mental illness.

Mental illnesses affect more than one person. They can hurt families and communities. If a community is more aware of what mental illness is, the signs to look for, and how to properly help, these million deaths could, potentially, be prevented. Feeling safe can be difficult for some, but if our communities better understand what mental illness is, we can help protect people from further pain and suffering.