It Is Never Too Late To Seek Help For Your Mental Health In College

It Is Never Too Late To Seek Help For Your Mental Health In College

Sometimes it is hard to admit that you need the help

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It is 2018, and there are some people still struggling with the fact that mental illness is a thing. We overlook the symptoms, the signs, and we let ourselves struggle and drown until we cannot think straight anymore. We think to ourselves, "You're just stressed" or "It's no big deal," but in reality, it is.

I went through my whole high school career without mental help and I was able to get by. I did have panic attacks and nights when I sat in my bed crying my guts out, but I made it through. Then I went off to college in Pennsylvania. I thought all my struggles and problems were back home.

They weren't. They followed me wherever I went. I made friends and lost them; my grades dropped because I was not taking care of myself.

Eventually, I went to my school's counseling center. Me. No one else pushed me to go. I had to bring myself and muster up the courage to walk through those doors. Eventually, I met with a counselor who showed me that I indeed have anxiety and depression. That I was not some terrible person out to destroy people or myself. There were things in my life that brought me to this, with a factor that it could be hereditary. Some people don't know that mental illness can be handed down in families.

That was the start of my self-help journey.

At that point, I disconnected myself from everyone I knew at PA, packed my stuff and went home. I needed to be with my family. When I disclosed my findings to my family, some were supportive while others either didn't believe me or just did not acknowledge what I said. Either way, it was a tough battle to go through.

I am now seeking professional help, and I have spoken with her for about 3 years now. I still have a long way to go, and I know there are more things for me to discover in order to help me, but this isn't why I wrote this.

I'm writing this for the person debating on walking through that counselor's door. The person who feels like their life will fall apart if they admit this to themselves. It won't. If anything, you might feel a weight lift off your shoulders because then you will know it is not your fault. None of it is.

If your primary care doctor told you that you have heart trouble and there are medication and other ways to help it, would you deny the help? Would you ignore the signs? Yeah, I didn't think so.

It is never too late to ask for help with anything.

I of all people can attest to that.

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


Cover Image Credit: BengaliClicker

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Why You Should And Shouldn't Pursue A Science Degree

From personal experience, here are some actual reasons, in my opinion, why a science degree is a really bad, yet really good idea.

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Since I was in maybe 6th or 7th grade, I've always dreamed of being a doctor. Don't ask me why, but for some reason, I just up and decided I wanted to pursue one of the hardest possible careers that exist. Anatomy, science, and math have always been interests of mine, but not necessarily strong-suits. These areas, for me, always take extra work and studying to excel on exams and homework versus English and history. Regardless, I ignored this. Why? I am dumb. I didn't pay attention to what my personal strengths are, but rather what my interests alone were. I guess what I am trying to say here is, through personal experience, I've learned that it's important to pay attention to what your personal talents and interests are and to find a good middle ground. This can apply to any degree, not just a science degree.

Interest in science has increased over time. As technology and medicine have advanced, people have recognized that there is a need for more people in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) field. There are more jobs available for people who pursue STEM degrees, and those jobs generally offer more money. According to Business Insider, non-STEM majors earn an average of $15,500 less per year starting salary than STEM majors. This is enticing to many but can be misleading. Science degrees are very difficult to earn, which is why they offer such high-earning salaries and give so many job opportunities after college.

If you are actually good at math and science and know the first 100 numbers of pi off the top of your head, by all means, feel free to become a neurosurgeon or aerospace engineer, but I had to learn my lesson the hard way. Just know that nobody's opinion matters but your own and this is your life. The decisions you make during these four years will affect your career for the rest of your life. Don't pursue a degree just because it will make you a lot of money. Pursue a career because you are good at it and you actually enjoy it.

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