My Ticket To Paradise

My Ticket To Paradise

My ticket to go anywhere in the world could possibly be someone else’s ticket to staying in the world.

Some of the most beautiful places in the world often mask some of the most devastating realities. I would be excited to visit South Korea because of Busan's beautiful beaches, the aromatic smell of Korean Barbecue, competitive gaming and high-speed internet, booming Korean pop-stars, and hiking over their beautiful, scenic mountains. One of the world’s best educated and advanced countries cannot mask the devastating truth of how it has one of the highest suicide rates in the world. This phenomenon is caused by all types of societal and cultural pressure.

All across Asia, there lies a stigma that mental health does not really exist. To many people, if you cannot see the epidemic of depression, then it must not be there. One of my college essay prompts asked me where I would go if I had a ticket to go anywhere. This is one of my many responses on how I would tackle the stigma that mental health does not exist... because it does. And it is very much present.

My ticket to go anywhere in the world could possibly be someone else’s ticket to staying in the world. I would grasp the opportunity to take others to a better place in their minds; that would be my ideal paradise.

In order to tackle South Korea’s mental health problem, I must first understand their culture and language. Their idea of mental health is that it is better left in the dark and untreated because once someone is labeled with a mental disorder, he or she is seen as weak or dishonorable. I would aim to target younger generations since they would have greater insight towards changing eras than their older, more traditional parents and peers. I hope to educate younger generations about the importance of this plight so they can identify warning signs and potentially help combat the problem as they grow older.

The more young adults invest in battling the stigma behind mental health, the more widespread the battle cry can become and therefore lead to seeking help. Those who support one another can unify their voices, create a movement, and shine a brighter light on a hidden issue that takes many people's lives. By doing research with the Yonsei University Health System, I could develop my knowledge over general health and treatments all across Korea. Although the process may be controversial in the beginning, an important step is to seek out more effective methods to combat the negative connotation of mental health. Even though it may be ambitious to change an entire country’s mindset and culture, I would help inspire many to aid other countries further fight the stigma.

I chose to target South Korea first because by challenging mental health in a highly developed country, it can more effectively lead other developing nations to similar initiatives over time. Therefore, rather than initially targeting closed off places in the world that currently lack resources like North Korea and smaller areas in the rural world, I can first spark a change in a more developed country that has the tools to aid other regions of the world.

The first step to making that happen would be to encourage people to take my hand and not their own lives.

Cover Image Credit: Nicole Ma

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Overcoming Loneliness Or Depression Requires Help, It's Worth Reaching Out

"You are not your illness." - Julian Seifre


Loneliness is something everyone in this world has probably felt at some point in their lives. You might sulk and internally whine, or make a sad post to social media, boldly letting the world know that you feel alone or sad of some sort. There are still some days that you just can't shake no matter how bright the sun is. Loneliness in itself is something that anyone can feel u don't have to be single or in isolation. You can feel loneliness even if you're taken, married, or in a crowded room.

Sometimes even when you tell people about the loneliness and they try and help and the thought of them trying to cheer you up is nice for a second, but deep down you still think that you are alone and that no one cares.

I think, in a way, loneliness ties in with depression. A person will become lonely for too long and start to feel the overwhelming sadness and start to develop depressive traits. I remember reading this post on Facebook about how depression can come in subtle forms like a messy room, unwashed dishes, laying in bed 24/7, not showering, skipping meals, and canceling plans, then the post proceeded to explain how they had walked into their brothers room and moaned at the state of it and the brother said he was depressed and they assumed it was an excuse - until three days later they were pulling his body out of a river. It's posts like that that make the world think "hmmm I'm depressed or someone I know is" because, let's be honest, everyone has probably had a messy room and you look back and think to yourself maybe you were going through something during that time.

I mean depression and loneliness can be situational. I feel like some people in today's society feel like some mental illness is all or nothing type ordeal. You can feel depressed for 2 weeks and then get better or you can have depression for months and still be on the route towards improvement. I believe there is a reason for everything and people are lonely or depressed for a reason.

I understand there are some things that are hard to heal from and sometimes healing takes time but establishing why you feel the way you feel is probably a step toward improving your emotional state. Talking to someone will also help so you don't have to keep your emotions bottled up inside. Even if you feel there is no one to talk to, there is always someone. God is always a viable option when it comes to needing to talk, I assure you he is definitely hearing you out.

Maybe depression is a choice, a cry for attention, and maybe people are depressed because it is easier to be sad than to stay happy and very satisfied with how your life is going or will go.

I just think that even though a person is sad or going through emotional turmoil right now doesn't mean they always will be. The future is the future for a reason, do with it what you will, and maybe try new things you have never tried before. Find an inspiration to live, and if that inspiration fades away, then find something another one. There is too much to do and so much to see and letting temporary thoughts and feelings drag you down isn't the way to go.

Also, happiness isn't just in people, but happiness can be in things and moments too. I understand everyone can't just brush things off but it's good to let things go so you can continue to better your life for yourself. Yet again, there is always someone to talk to or someone that can help you, and if you choose not to get help you are only hurting yourself.

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