Too many mental health problems, not enough healthy food

 

By Princyana Hudson, Richard Wright Public Charter School for Journalism and Media Arts

April 22, 2020


 

I am isolated in a two-bedroom townhouse with my mom, who is disabled with several chronic health conditions, and my dad, who has schizophrenia and a bad temper. Neither of them work, so tensions are high from being stuck in the same house together day after day.

My anxiety attacks, which I’ve struggled with since middle school, have started occurring more frequently, often multiple times a week.

A couple weeks ago, my close childhood friend was shot to death outside my apartment.

Could things get any worse?

Because of social distancing I haven’t gotten any hours at the pizza place where I was working, so I don’t have money to pay for personal items and food.

Volunteer services like churches and charities have either closed down for now or reduced services to prevent the spread of the virus. This hits especially hard for people like me who get a lot of their food from these types of resources to supplement the meager amount that food stamps can buy.

People are also going to stores and overbuying without even considering the fact that other people need stuff, too. In a time like this, we need to be more generous, not less.

This pandemic has a huge effect on a lot of people like my family who live in low-income housing. My mother can’t work because of her disability, so her check goes toward paying bills and living expenses. But living in Washington, D.C., that isn’t enough to survive.

As a high school senior, this year was supposed to be my best year, but schools have all had to push back graduation and prom due to the chaos.

This pandemic’s health impact is serious, but its social, emotional and economic impact is worse than the virus could ever be.

Personally, I start feeling my depression way more when I can’t do things that make me happy, which include going outside and spending time with my friends. But the panic I witness everytime I step outside honestly makes me want to stay in the house even more.

People seem so unhinged. I can no longer find the tranquil meditation that I crave. Now it is a warzone filled with anger and chaos.

I can’t wait until everything goes back to normal, and we can get our summer jobs, and I can get away and start college at Bowie State in the fall.

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