At a point in time of one's life, things can get extremely tough. Anxiety comes in all different shapes and forms whether it is through depression, OCD, panic attacks, or different phobias. The list can go on and on, but anxiety can alter you and change your mood from one hundred to zero real quick. It takes some people years and years to even admit to themselves or realize they have anxiety. You may find that you cannot handle it and do it alone anymore, so seeking help is not something to be ashamed of, it is something to praise yourself for.
Do not go finding answers online. Instead, find out your next step. Anxiety and therapy is a serious conversation and if you do not feel that you can talk to your parents about it, find other resources. I've come to realize only I can better myself and take a path towards recovery. Therapy and medication may have this stigma behind it, but everyone is different and you must take care of yourself. Odds are, you are definitely not the only person going through it. Once you have come to the conclusion to better yourself, help is not as far as you think. Recovery, remission, and acceptance may be a long road ahead but therapy can just be the next building over.
The first step to take is to find your resources. College students have a lot of on-campus therapy groups such as CAPS, but if you feel that your anxiety is way beyond that and you need to seek help otherwise, the next step is to go on your insurance's website. From there you can look up therapists or psychologists that are covered under your insurance and in your area because out of network therapy is not cheap. Do not ever feel that you can't afford help. Once you find someone or a group that is covered by insurance, give them a call. Make sure you express your anxiety over the phone to make sure that person specializes in what you are dealing with.
Always do your research on which therapist or psychologist you are thinking about seeing. Do not just call one, I would try and call a few. It may take a few different times until you find someone who is right for you and that is just part of the journey. A brief understanding and disclaimer, a therapist cannot prescribe medication, a psychologist can. A psychotherapist often treats mental disorders without the means of medication as well. Another quick reminder is to never classify yourself and never let your ego judge you. I understand how tricky anxiety can get but you must understand that you cannot get frustrated with your process and some things are just out of your control. Now it may take you months or years to come to terms with that, but it is OK to struggle.
Once you have found someone to see, make an appointment! I won't go into detail about the first few sessions, but just know it may take you a while to get comfortable with that person. They will not judge you and will give you tools to use to help your anxiety. Personally, I decided to go to therapy because I wanted tools to use and to try. If you find yourself struggling with those tools, you have to be open with whoever you are seeing because they can refer you to a psychologist if need be. Do not get ahead of yourself.
If you think you have waited forever to do something about your anxiety you are wrong and you are not your thoughts. Some people over the age of 50 have waited all of this time to go to therapy and take control of their lives, while your first step may be reading this and considering your next move. You do not deserve to have your anxiety beat you down and control the rest of your life. There are many methods to help one with anxiety, for example, if you suffer from OCD, cognitive behavior therapy aims to help your mental health by retraining your brain. Just know you may not be there "yet" but you are working on yourself, getting up every day, and trying to take back what is yours. Anxiety cannot be described in any way, shape, or form, but just know your anxiety does not define you.
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