By Anonymous contributor
I’m about to spill some major truth on you. Not so you can feel sorry for me or anything like that, just so you can understand me a little better. I am a college student. I am getting my degree from a very PC, safe space, use trigger warnings friendly campus. And I suffer from depression, anxiety, and an eating disorder/body image issue. I’ve had these mental problems for years. And I mean YEARS. In 6th grade I was bullied to the point I thought I should commit suicide (and almost did). In the 8th grade I had limited my food consumption to one lonely bowl of cereal, which I weighed out, a day and exercised an excessive amount. Now a days, I average at least one panic attack a day, sometimes lasting up to two hours. Yeah, you could say my mental health leaves a lot to be desired but I’m dealing with it and it’s getting better each day.
It wasn’t society that caused my problems. It was my brain. Sure, I was bullied for my appearance (I was born with a slight birth defect but you know how kids are incredibly cruel). I was a little bit pudgy (but not overweight) and the thinner kids, because everyone was already making fun of me, thought they should join in by calling me fat. Kids are mean. It happens. Not saying it’s right, but it happens. Unfortunately for me, my brain has a chemical imbalance, making me more prone to mental disorders.
So when I went to college and saw people freaking out because someone said they were conservative or pro-life, I was pretty angry. Here I am, someone who actually does have a mental disorder, fighting to get passed it, not hindering anyone’s freedom of speech because it may “trigger” me (it won’t, I can function like a rational human being) and these CHILDREN are upset because someone doesn’t agree with them? Get. Over. Yourself. People aren’t going to agree with you. That’s life. You can’t go around making the world a “safe space”; people are going to laugh at you.
Are “triggers” complete BS? Not necessarily. I have been triggered into bouts of Major Depression. Do you want to know what the trigger was? My grandmother, the woman who taught me how to read and spell, whom I loved with all my heart, died. Wait, it wasn’t Trump saying he was going to build a wall? Or someone discussing sexual assault with me? Nope, it was something that could make anyone go into a bout of depression. So yes, triggers are real, but not the kind that’s being pushed on campuses around the country. These 20-something children have taken trigger warnings way too far.
These are the same people on my campus who preach on how to help those with mental disorders. Well, as someone with a mental disorder, I just have one thing to say: you are not helping, you are making it worse. You are telling us that we can use anything as a trigger. You are ENABLING our disorder, not helping it. We want to move past it, you want us to stay in it and use us as your pawns to push your political agendas. Well I’m not falling for it. This is one person who isn’t falling for the PC bullshit and is fighting back. And one day I’ll be fine, because I didn’t let the PC culture get to me.
If you know someone with a mental illness, don’t “help” them by treating everything as a “trigger”. Help them by talking to them. Talking is helping; using trigger warnings and safe spaces is enabling the disorder they are trying to get over. Seeing what the University of Chicago has done is a step in the right direction. So take their lead; make trigger warnings history.