The Stigma Of Dealing With Mental Illness In College Is Very Real, Even Now

The Stigma Of Dealing With Mental Illness In College Is Very Real, Even Now

#EndTheStigma

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Mental illness, for lack of a better word, is a bitch. With everything students have to deal with, you'd think our brains would throw us a bone, but no.

Maybe as a child, we dealt with social anxiety and nervousness like a lot of kids did, but then it went away. My mom used to tell me that when I would see strangers or get into an uncomfortable situation, I'd bend down and act like I was tying my shoes to avoid eye contact. The funny thing? I wore Velcro shoes.

I also used to be terrified of loud noises and roller-coasters (every kid, has a fear, right?). One time, the fear of fireworks scared me so bad that I had my first panic attack. I was nine-years-old. No one thought anything of it then.

Flash-forward ten years, the fall of 2017, I'm under a lot of stress at school, stressed at my two jobs that I work 30 hours a week at, and family issues never help. My anxiety came back full force from something so minute. It changed the way I live my young adult years. It will hit me at random moments; I won't be able to breathe, my mind starts racing, my fight or flight responses kick in and my entire body is stone cold. It can happen at work, during class, or even while I'm just laying down watching T.V.

Some people read the word anxiety and roll their eyes. You're just overworked, calm down. Take a deep breath and go on about your day. What they don't understand is that at times, it can be so crippling you don't want to get out of bed because you're afraid if you do, you'll die.

People that aren't plagued by mental illness don't understand the need for a mental health day or the actual anxiety that some experience just from daily tasks. Generally, older adults think we're weak, gentle snowflakes that cry wolf every five minutes. What they don't know is that mental illness is a real issue on college campuses and among young adults from ages 18-24.

Things aren't as easy as they used to be for the previous generations. Many students are putting themselves through college alone, working many part-time jobs or at least a full-time job at the same time.

Our school work piles up as we work, and work, and work, and then we come home late at night to study, and repeat it all the next day. Without the time to ourselves to decompress or proper time to sleep, we're driven to mental illness by the monotonous day to day "grind" that everyone boasts about. Students don't have the same time to relax as others, it's a constant go, go, go.

The worst part about it is the stigma, the disbelief that you're actually ill and just overthinking everything. Employers, family members, and unaffected friends push you to keep going, to swallow your feelings until you can't quite take it anymore and explore in one way or another.

It's not all dark and scary, however. There are other friends that are there for you to listen, to suffer with, and to help you understand your feelings and get help. Sometimes with a little medicine or a chat with a professional can help lessen the anxiety, the depression, or any other mental illness that affect your personality.

#EndTheStigma

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255

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10 Bible Verses for Self Esteem

Sometimes you need to search for inner strength and find your own self worth.
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We all get those days that we just don't feel good enough for anything. Everything is going wrong. For me, I go to the bible to read the words of God. His personal dialog for us is filled with encouragement, hope, and lessons we can learn from. Here are my top ten verses that are uplifting and impacting when at the lowest of lows:

1. Philippians 4:13:

I can do all things in Him who strengthens me.

2. Psalm 46:5

God is within her, she will not fall.

3. Proverbs 31:25

She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.

4. Psalm 28:76

The Lord is my strength and my shield.

5. 1 Corinthians 25:10

By the grace of God, I am what I am.

6. Romans 5:8

I loved you at your darkest.

7. Psalm 62:5-6

Only God gives inward peace, and I depend on Him. God alone is the mighty rock that keeps me safe, and he is the fortress where I feel secure.

8. 2 Timothy 1:7

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self-discipline.

9. 1 Peter 2:9

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

10. 2 Chronicles 20:15

The battle is not ours, but God's.

Cover Image Credit: chinadaily

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No Matter How Challenging School Gets, You Have To Put Your Health First — A Degree Won't Mean Anything If You're Dead

Panicking and pulling all-nighters will not allow you to get an A.

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Some of the best advice I've ever received was from my social studies teacher in sophomore year of high school. He stated, "If you don't know it at midnight, you're not going to know it for the 8 a.m. exam, so get some sleep."

It's such a simple piece of advice, but it holds so much accuracy and it's something that the majority of college students need to hear and listen to. "All-nighters" are a commonality on college campuses in order to cram in studying for an exam that is typically the next day.

Although it seems like you're obtaining so much valuable information in that period of time, the lack of sleep most likely is causing you to retain little to no information at all. There's a reason that doctors recommend a certain amount of sleep, especially for students, because that's the amount they need to function properly throughout their school day.

Putting aside even half an hour a day to dedicate to that subject could alleviate the pressure you feel right before the exam because you'll feel comfortable and familiar with the material. This could benefit what is known as the mental health portion of the health triangle.

In the eighth grade, my health teacher lectured on for multiple classes about something called the "health triangle." It consists of three components; mental, social, and physical health. The message of the lectures was always that the triangle contains a domino effect, with each part of it affecting the others. If one section is displeased, the others will follow in their footsteps.

This lesson is one I have valued for over five years because while carrying out my everyday activities, I've realized how valid this theory is.

Many college kids feel as though they need to stay inside the library or their dorm during any free time in order to do homework or study. This will negatively affect both the mental and physical aspects of the triangle, therefore throwing everything off. Yes, the majority of a college student's time should be spent performing school-related tasks, but it's important for students to go out and be entertained even an hour per week in order to not completely lose their mind.

By "going out," in no way do I mean parties, bars, or anything related to that. Even something as simple as sitting in your friend's dorm and talking about life for an hour can reboot your brain to prepare it to return to studying.

In terms of the physical segment of the health triangle, many people think of this as just diet and exercise. While that is partly true, it also involves personal hygiene.

Many college kids eat their sorrows away with the junk food that they're surrounded by on campus. Others skip most meals in order to have that extra 20 minutes to study for their midterms. In either case, that isn't good for your body and surely isn't going to help you in your classes. Proper meals give you the energy you need to finish studying for that midterm you have coming up.

I've witnessed so many students walk around campus with their hair unbrushed, haven't showered in days, haven't bothered changing out of their clothes from the previous day, and practicing other gross habits. Trust me when I say that it's okay, and even important, to set aside an hour to practice proper personal hygiene. It will allow you to feel better about yourself and put you in a better mood to get your work done.

Although worrying is inevitable, in no way will it help you get a better grade, but could instead make your grades suffer. We've probably all looked at a test at least once in our lives and completely blanked on all of the answers simply because we were so scared about the grade.

Deducing stress could be helped by all of the advice already stated, time management, office hours, and tutoring. It's okay to ask for help, whether that be from a peer, a teacher, or upperclassmen. College isn't meant to be easy, but there are ways you can make it easier.

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