What Mental Health Awareness Month Means To Me
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Student Life

What Mental Health Awareness Month Means To Me

Anxiety shouldn't define who I am, but it does.

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What Mental Health Awareness Month Means To Me
Taylor Dean

Anxiety has always been a big part of my life. It determines whether or not I get out of bed in the morning or what I will do that day based on how I feel. My sophomore year of high school, I was officially diagnosed with severe anxiety. I had always gotten nervous about big events or tests or presentations, but this was completely different.

There were many things that ultimately lead up to me going to see someone to get diagnosed. Once I had gotten the diagnosis, everything changed. Me getting out of bed in the morning now depended on what my anxiety was telling me, as opposed to what my body was telling me such as if I was too sick to get out of bed. Participating in activities was also a struggle because if I did not feel good about an event, as in thinking about that event made my anxiety spike through the roof, then I did not participate.

This changed my personality also. I used to be so outgoing. I used to go up to anyone and everyone and talk to them, and suddenly I shut down. If I didn't know someone, I wouldn't go up to them and start a conversation. When I was introduced to people I was very reserved and quiet. I am a very outgoing person, once my anxiety calms down and I am able to show my true self without that one thing stopping me.

Anxiety has also changed the way I saw myself and saw other people. I started to put others before myself and started neglecting myself completely. I still do. I put my own thoughts and feelings and opinions aside because I am so anxious about what other people think of me. I have a really hard time presenting myself to others because I am so obsessed with making the other person like me.

I have had to learn many hard life lessons. These are things that I am still learning and coping with. I need to not neglect myself. I have to put myself first. I also have to learn and understand that not everyone is going to like me. This is the one thing that I have the most trouble with because I want everyone to like me and if they don't, my anxiety spikes every time I am around them.

I have had such a strong support system through my journey. My mom is my absolute rock and is always there for me no matter what. I can always count on her to make me feel less anxious when my anxiety hits me hard, which it has recently. College has been a struggle for me. My anxiety has definitely shaped my college experience and I regret it. I want to not listen to my anxiety and be able to enjoy college, and sometimes I just can't. My grandma has been a huge part of helping me cope with my anxiety in college also. I know I can always call her and she will give me the best advice and help me get through whatever I am going through.

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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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