Mental Health Disorders In College

Mental Health Disorders In College

Three of the most common mental health diseases college students struggle with
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One of the biggest things college students struggle with is mental health. Between school work, exams, campus involvement, and life in general it can be tough to keep up with everything and feel secure in yourself. There are many specifics that can be overlooked in a students life that can help to improve mental health status.

The biggest topic that always gets ignored is depression. 30 percent of college students are living with depression which means that there are a percentage of students who feel alone and defeated. If you are living with depression and ignoring it, please seek help. There are a lot of resources both on and off-campus that help students who may not be in good mental health. If you don't seek help it will get worse and you may find yourself in a black hole that will be extremely difficult to get back out of.

Another topic is anxiety. Whether it be anxiety about finals or an essay or scheduling it is always present on college campuses in some capacity. Again, seek help and try to take little moments to breathe. If you can remember to breathe and remember that you will get through whatever situation you are facing anxiety will slowly start to dissipate. If you are like me, you suffer from anxiety attacks and one thing I find helpful is going off by myself. Even if it's just taking a walk anything could help.

Eating disorders is probably the third most common mental health disorder found in college students and that can be due to a number of reasons. First, when you are busy you don't always have time to stop and eat a proper meal. This leads to skipping meals and getting less nutrition during the day. You also have the infamous freshmen fifteen which surprisingly is a real thing. People looking to avoid gaining those extra pounds tend to skip meals or eat very little or even purge after eating. Make an effort to be healthy in college and eat what you are supposed to.

Mental health disorders deserve more attention than they receive in college. If a student is struggling they should receive the help they need to get back to a state of security and happiness. If you see someone struggling, try to coach them towards help and maybe be the person they need in their life.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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To The Person Who Feels Suicidal But Doesn't Want To Die

Suicidal thoughts are not black and white.
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Everyone assumes that if you have suicidal thoughts that means you want to die.

Suicidal thoughts are thought of in such black and white terms. Either you have suicidal thoughts and you want to die, or you don't have suicidal thoughts and you want to live. What most people don't understand is there are some stuck in the gray area of those two statements, I for one am one of them.

I've had suicidal thoughts since I was a kid.

My first recollection of it was when I came home after school one day and got in trouble; and while I was just sitting in the dining room I kept thinking, “I wonder what it would be like to take a knife from the kitchen and just shove it into my stomach." I didn't want to die, or even hurt myself for that matter. But those thoughts haven't stopped since.

I've thought about going into the bathroom and taking every single pill I could find and just drifting to sleep and never waking back up, I've thought about hurting myself to take the pain away, just a few days ago on my way to work I thought about driving my car straight into a tree. But I didn't. Why? Because even though that urge was so strong, I didn't want to die. I still don't, I don't want my life to end.

I don't think I've ever told anyone about these feelings. I don't want others to worry because the first thing anyone thinks when you tell them you have thoughts about hurting or killing yourself is that you're absolutely going to do it and they begin to panic. Yes, I have suicidal thoughts, but I don't want to die.

It's a confusing feeling, it's a scary feeling.

When the depression takes over you feel like you aren't in control. It's like you're drowning.

Every bad memory, every single thing that hurt you, every bad thing you've ever done comes back and grabs you by the ankle and drags you back under the water just as you're about the reach the surface. It's suffocating and not being able to do anything about it.

The hardest part is you never know when these thoughts are going to come. Some days you're just so happy and can't believe how good your life is, and the very next day you could be alone in a dark room unable to see because of the tears welling up in your eyes and thinking you'd be better off dead. You feel alone, you feel like a burden to everyone around you, you feel like the world would be better off without you. I wish it was something I could just turn off but I can't, no matter how hard I try.

These feelings come in waves.

It feels like you're swimming and the sun is shining and you're having a great time, until a wave comes and sucks you under into the darkness of the water. No matter how hard you try to reach the surface again a new wave comes and hits you back under again, and again, and again.

And then it just stops.

But you never know when the next wave is going to come. You never know when you're going to be sucked back under.

I always wondered if I was the only one like this.

It didn't make any sense to me, how did I think about suicide so often but not want to die? But I was thinking about it in black and white, I thought I wasn't allowed to have those feelings since I wasn't going to act on them. But then I read articles much like this one and I realized I'm not the only one. Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, and my feelings are valid.

To everyone who feels this way, you aren't alone.

I thought I was for the longest time, I thought I was the only one who felt this way and I didn't understand how I could feel this way. But please, I implore you to talk to someone, anyone, about the way you're feeling; whether it be a family member, significant other, a friend, a therapist.

My biggest mistake all these years was never telling anyone how I feel in fear that they would either brush me off because “who could be suicidal but not want to die," or panic and try to commit me to a hospital or something. Writing this article has been the greatest feeling of relief I've felt in a long time, talking about it helps. I know it's scary to tell people how you're feeling, but you're not alone and you don't have to go through this alone.

Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, your feelings are valid, and there are people here for you, you are not alone.

If you're thinking about hurting yourself please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or visit suicidepreventionhotline.org to live chat with someone. Help it out there and you are not alone.


Cover Image Credit: BengaliClicker

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Being A Vegetarian In College Isn't Easy

Living on a college student budget does not make trying to eat healthy and be a veterinarian easy.

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Being on a college student budget for groceries does not make being a vegetarian easy.

Since my senior year of high school, I have been a vegetarian and I never had a hard time until college came around. Living at home and having your mom make you dinner, especially a vegetarian one, is a blessing I took for granted. Now that I have to juggle paying for bills, gas, and groceries every week, it makes it so much harder.

We all know how expensive fruits and vegetables are, and having a budget of $30-$50 a week for food limits the amount of food you can get for your money. Yes, there are alternatives to eating meat, but the substitutes like veggie patties and veggie burgers are still rather pricey.

Don't even get me started on trying to find a decent meal while living on campus, and having to pray they make a vegetarian option for dinner.

Salads get boring after a while and having carbs for every meal isn't healthy. It is sad that we live in an age where healthy foods are still so much more expensive than a burger or fries, and converting back to having meat again just isn't an option.

Pasta is amazing, but try having it for every meal.

Going out to eat is also a struggle because fast food is geared towards people who eat meat, so finding something other than a salad on the menu is a hit or miss. No one likes having to be the one to always have to say, "If we eat there, is there something I can actually have?" or being at a restaurant and realizing there's nothing there for you besides soup or a salad.

Not liking or eating meat is a struggle.

Meat lovers, I'm jealous.

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