We all know that college is hard. From the grades, to the social time AND trying to keep your mental and physical health up to par, it can get really difficult to maintain. There are the highs, lows, the highest of the highs and the lowest of the lows. But no matter what we do in our environment, we still deal with the problems inside our own head.
When I came to college, I began to heavily deal with stress, my anxiety, panic attacks and depression. I had always had them, I just didn’t know what to call them. After a point in my first semester sophomore year, I decided I needed to get help so that I could function with all of my commitments. Trying to be apart of 3 major organizations, spend time with my friends, continue with a long-term relationship, dealing with anxiety/panic attacks and just be okay with myself got too hard to handle. I had to have a serious conversation with myself (which is totally normal) and decide I wasn’t going to let this beat me. It was then I decided to start my journey in self help.
At first, my anxiety controlled me. It dictated what I did or didn’t do, and prevented me from doing the things I enjoyed. I started counseling through the University Counseling Center and with the help of the counselors, medication, time and mental breakthroughs I am able to say that I have gotten to a place I am happy with.
If you are struggling with a mental illness in college, please don’t hesitate to get help. Feeling like a burden to others, not having time or thinking you’re too far gone to be helped are not excuses to why you haven’t seeked help. Generally, anxiety, depression and other mental illnesses are chemical imbalances in the brain and are very much treatable and are very common. As studied by the American Psychological Association (APA), 41.6 percent of students in college deal with anxiety related problems, and 36.4 percent of students deal with depression. These issues are more prominent than you think and takes lots of will and fight to work through, but it is possible.
The road to self help is hard, there is no doubt to it. But here are some tips if you choose to get some help.
- Counseling. Speaking with someone who is a licensed psychologist can help you move forward on your road to recovery. UNCC’s counseling team knows how to work through every issue, give valuable feedback and just listen when you need to talk.
- Medication. This word scared me too, but if you are considering medication for your mental illness, please do not hesitate to do your research and talk to your doctor.
- Meditation and relaxation. Like most people, I love down time. I use my free time meditating, or if I can’t i just take the time to do a face mask or paint my nails. Helping your body relax is a gateway to keeping your anxiety or depression at lower levels.
- Take a break. Take whatever is bothering you, and put it to the side. Collect your thoughts and make yourself your favorite tea, go for a run, take a nap, or do your favorite activities. It really does help to get your mind off what is making you nervous or depressed.
These tips are here to help you, but will in no way cure you. Explore your options when it comes to treatment so you can get the best results for your situation. Remember you are not put into a life you couldn’t handle, so take each moment and use it to your advantages. Take the time to learn about what you’re dealing with and how to get the right help for you. For more information, contact the University Counseling Center at 704‑687‑0311.