Now, I am someone who will talk openly about my mental health. I have a form of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and anxiety called Trichotillomania which is just one long fancy word to say, "Hey! I pull my hair out when I get anxious!" Like anything, there is spectrum of different cases. I know some people who pull straight from the top of their scalp while I just pull from my eyebrows and eyelashes, and luckily we live in an age where makeup is an art form and mascara is only $7 at Walmart.
Something that commonly comes with anxiety is depression, which can be entirely aggravating because I will sit in my bed, binge watching "Friends," being depressed for no reason except I had just the right amount of chemicals in my genetic makeup that makes my brain under-produce serotonin. Since my junior year of high school, I have been seeing a therapist and I will preach to the choir when I say that everyone should see one. This, however, is not the point of the article.
When you have something like OCD, anxiety or depression it becomes so easy to assume that every unhappy emotion is only a side effect from your mental illness. I am here to tell you that this is not the case. As stated before, I have had many breakdowns since I began college. All of my tears were justifiable. Missing your friends who live over 13 hours away is a valid reason to cry. Going through sorority recruitment and not being invited back to the chapters you liked is a valid reason. Being stressed because you haven't been in school in months and can't remember how to even form proper sentence structures is a valid reason.
During one of my counseling sessions, I was going on about how nervous I was about something small like my grades in school. My therapist took it in and explained to me how there is such a thing as "good stress" and "bad stress.". Good stress is when you are anxious over things like making new friends or going to a place you've never been. It's those wasps in your stomach making you feel sick when you are about to move into dorm room with a person you've never met hoping to God that they don't already hate you. Everyone gets nervous over these things, one would be ridiculous not to. It's called "good" because it is almost a positive thing to be afraid of. We want to make a positive impression on people and we want positive memories to be made in these new adventures.
Bad stress is almost entirely the same, except it is more irrational. To be perfectly honest, these descriptions are coming entirely from my own personal experiences as well as my memory from A.P. Psychology at my high school. An irrational fear or stress is when your brain decides to start spiraling with intrusive thoughts. For me, my intrusive belief is that I am a boring person, no matter how many times my friends tell me otherwise, when I am at my peak stress level my brain gangs up on me. Yet, here I am in college surrounded by a constant flow of excitement and I am sitting in a bush crying because I am confused about who i want to be in college.
I know for a fact that I am not the only person thinking this, and I know for fact that after I am done crying that I will go out and be happy once again. This is just life, and even people who don't have anxiety get anxious and people who don't have depression have sad days. It is completely normal and at some point, you just have to accept it for what it is.