On World Mental Health Day I wanted to write an article discussing anxiety and depression and how to deal with it at university.
Before we get into it I want to say that I understand. I understand that it is one of the biggest struggles to just get out of bed and start your day. I understand when you don’t particularly want to go to lectures or seminars because you feel like everything is pointless and doesn’t mean anything. I understand when you want to shut yourself out.
When you want to cut friendships and relationships off because you just want to be alone. I understand when you get lonely. When you’re so confused because you don’t want to see anybody but you are TERRIFIED of being alone in the dark. I understand when you start to hate yourself because of this. When doubt, confusion and hatred crawl around your mind in circles just before you go to bed. When insomnia holds you down so all you can do is stare and think about everything that you don’t want to. I understand how it feels like you’re having a heart attack every time you suffer from a panic attack.
It’s so easy for me, the writer behind your screen to sit here and try to advise you on how to make these negative thoughts and feelings go away. I am not a counsellor. I am not a doctor. I am just a writer. But I DO understand how it feels to feel lost and lonely and like nobody cares.
I have been through this journey. My flatmates and close friends have also been through this journey. Anxiety and depression is so common yet has such an overpowering negative stigma against it, which needs to come to an end. Mental health unfortunately effects 1 in 4 of us however, many still see those who suffer with a mental health issue as ‘weak’ or ‘unable’. Ignorance is a key factor in this negative stigma and that’s why World Mental Health day is so important. There needs to be more awareness for those who don’t understand how it feels to deal with anxiety or depression.
University can be one of the most daunting and scary experiences yet can also be the most supportive and healing place. Going through this period and being involved in such a close community of students and teachers can make you so strong, wise and independent. Change is key. You are the only one who can change your mind set and view of how you see yourself and the outside world. Medication and counselling can be really helpful and aid you in your journey however, YOU are the only one who change and grow.
If you need help and support know you are not alone. There are many organisations and charities that will help you along this journey.