2 students. Both the same age, same major, same workload. One is struggling more than the other. The difference: mental illness. College is hard for anyone, but it is much harder having to deal with a sick mind too.
I have personal experience dealing with mental issues and trying to balance school on top of it all and it is hard. So hard when your mind's off and trying to get everything done. College is hard for healthy people, so imagine having to deal with an illness as well.
". . . a trip through this world can be a wildly different experience, depending on what chemicals are raging through one's mind." ― Matthew Quick, The Silver Linings Playbook.
Mental illness can be just as crippling as physical disabilities. The problem with mental illness is that is it invisible. Universities and professors all have their own opinions on the subject and it can be challenging having a student with mental health issues.
It has always been a debate on whether mental issues should be seen as any other physical health problem. Of course, if someone broke their leg they would be excused from class. But what if they had a panic attack? Would professors feel the same way?
Ball State University's Disability Services views mental illness like any other disability. Just like physical disabilities, all mental illnesses are different so they require a diagnosis for any student seeking help.
Sharon Harper, an Administrator Coordinator, says that Disability Services can do a lot to help students suffering mentally. They can allow students to schedule classes early so they can pick times that work best with their mood. They can also allow them to have flexible attendance in those classes.
The Ball State Counseling Services are free to any student. The physicist there can diagnosis a person's mental illness so that they can get the help they need from the disability services.
I go to the counselors there and I meet with the physicist once a month. They have been a huge help in getting me to where I want to be.
Before you just assume that your college or teachers don't care about your mental issues, find out for sure. I had no idea that they thought of it like all other disability and I wish I would have known sooner.
I have missed classed many times and been late on assignments due to my mind and it would have made such a difference knowing that they all understood and cared.