How My College Experience Led Me To The Field Of Mental Health
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Health and Wellness

How My College Experience Led Me To The Field Of Mental Health

I have this desire to eliminate the stigma attached to mental health.

How My College Experience Led Me To The Field Of Mental Health

My college experience has been interesting thus far. I have many successes and failures. I have had times where I am motivated and times where I have just wanted to quit. I have had major internal conflicts in what I have wanted to study. I went from wanting to be a nurse, to business administration, to a teacher. In reality, I see myself now doing none of the above.

Nursing was out of the question when my dad got sick. He had issues with a hernia repair in which his intestines were nicked, which led to septic shock. He was on a ventilator for two weeks following a bowel resection. I was miserable going to the hospital two and three times a day not knowing if it would have been the last time I would see him. He looked like he was dying. How on Earth do nurses do it? I would let my emotions, overall, get the better of me. In conclusion, I do not feel as if the medical field is for me.

Being a manager somewhere would not work out. Business classes are DRY. I would seriously cry my eyes out if I had to take any other business course besides macroeconomics. Managers for businesses have very hectic and irregular hours. Did I also mention that the human race can be very nasty? People hate it when they don't get their way, especially in retail! I often wonder what mentally goes through peoples' heads when they throw a fit and want to "speak to the manager". It makes me wonder how common mental health issues really are and how often they are not diagnosed. I want to learn as much as I can about mental illness and how often it is not diagnosed as well as the statistics about mental health within my area.

Within my scope of studies, I decided "let's be a teacher." I was set onto teaching for awhile. I didn't mind school growing up. In fact, I loved school so much that when my mom picked up the daycare kids from school (she ran an in-home daycare), we "played school". I decided to opt out of being an education major because I hate how the education system is turning out to be! I hate how teaching is becoming so standardized that the only thing I feel like kids are learning these days is "how to take a test."

Within the few teaching courses I have taken, I learned that lesson plans are very rigid and strict. They have little wiggle room for what a teacher wants to actually teach. Lesson plans must follow the guidelines set by the Florida Sunshine State Standards. In my opinion, all of it sounds super draining. How can a teacher mentally endure making lesson plans, grading papers, teaching kids who may or may not want to learn, having pissed off parents breathe down their necks, meet test score criteria, and so on? It sounds exhausting.

In the mix of life in my twenties, it dawned on me. It's not normal going on frivolous shopping sprees, eating out every single day, staying up super late trying to write a novel, opening up a bunch of credit cards, or going days with little to no sleep. It is also not a regular "personality trait" to want to have things go exactly your way without having fits of irritability. Major crying spells over everything and episodes of extreme depression are also not uncommon for me. I thought, initially, I am just stressed about work and school. I thought it was normal for young adults to feel so depressed and hopeless as I was and sometimes still am.

During my spring semester of 2016, I went to go see a therapist. I went to go see a therapist for difficulties in school and overall not knowing what I wanted out of life. I went to see a therapist initially feeling as if I had Anxiety and ADHD. To this day, I still have trouble focusing and sometimes get overwhelmed very easily. I have neither anxiety or ADHD however, I was given the diagnosis of Bipolar Type 2. In my case, the diagnosis comes from a genetic predisposition on my father's side of the family.

Bipolar Type 2 is a type of mood disorder where there are highs (shopping sprees, opening up credit cards, elevated mood etc.) and lows (feeling hopeless, depressed, crying easily, feeling overwhelmed, not being able to focus, etc.). Bipolar Type 2 is different than bipolar type 1 for a few reasons. Bipolar Type 2 does not involve hallucinations, delusions, or episodes of psychosis. Most people associate and stereotype those with bipolar with bipolar type 1. That is where the stigma of mental illness comes into play.

I have this desire to eliminate the stigma attached to mental health. I want the treatment of mental health to be as simple as going to the doctor for a cold. I want to study mental health and its effects on others and how it affects development over time. I feel like there is more to this world than what we know. What better person to study mental health than someone with a mental health diagnosis themselves?

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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