By Andy Keating
In Transition Year we are required to do a module on mental health and mental ill-health. We did this module during social studies with Miss Doran. We never looked at it as a class; it was more of a discussion. The tables were pushed to the wall and the chairs put in a circle so everyone could be seen. I’m not entirely sure as to when we started but the discussions on mental health were never weekly, they were very spread out.
When we started learning about mental health I did not really know much on the topic. I don’t think anybody really did. We started off with schizophrenia; watching an account of a young man with schizophrenia. I was surprised at a number of different things that he talked about. He talked about how when it first started out, he didn’t know that he was ill. He started getting hallucinations and paranoid with everyone around him. He couldn’t go into town; he could barely leave his own house. As his mental health worsened, he lost his job and was put on heavy medication. Schizophrenia affected every aspect of his life and it, honestly, really scared me when I heard the statistics of how many people it affects in Ireland.
We took a break from mental health for a while as a lot of the class would be taken back by what we would learn in the class. Sometimes it would be me, I don’t know anyone affected by schizophrenia but it still really scared me.
After schizophrenia, we moved onto bulimia. Bulimia is where you still eat your food but then proceed to vomit it up after to prevent yourself gaining weight. By doing this you stop your body from getting the nutrients it needs and it can take its toll after a while if it is not found out and treated. Bulimia can be brought on by insecurity and set off by one bad comment about someone’s weight. The case study we looked at for bulimia was again another young person, but this time a young girl. She had always been conscious of her weight...