To The Person Waiting On A Mental Health Diagnosis, This Is For You

To The Person Waiting On A Mental Health Diagnosis, This Is For You

This month is Mental Health Awareness Month and this is an issue that deserve's the spotlight.


Seeing a doctor, especially for mental health, is never as easy as the header makes it look.

Firstly, if you are feeling weak or broken for experiencing these difficulties, remember that if anything, you are not the only one. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, about one in five adults in the U.S. experience mental illness in any given year. Clubhouse International alleges that mental illness outweighs cancer and diabetes in sheer numbers and claims by 2020, behavioral disorders will far outweigh physical illnesses or disorders in prominence.

It is also clear that many of these patients go untreated Mental Illness Policy states that around half of all patients diagnosed with bipolar disorder or schizophrenia are not receiving treatment, or will stop taking their medications within nine months of being prescribed.

It can be extremely difficult to get a diagnosis, let alone proper medication and therapy. This was something I went through when seeking to receive ADHD medications as well as mood stabilizers. First, I had to wait for paperwork to be faxed from the psychologist who diagnosed me over to the doctor that would actually be overseeing my mental health care. Then, in order to receive ADHD medication, I had to take a urinary drug test, which took about two weeks to clear.

I waited for months before I was able to fill my prescriptions, and even once your prescriptions are filled, it doesn't guarantee that is the medication that will work for you. The whole thing can be disheartening and may be part of the reason so many people stop taking their medications.

It's also possible that the gridlock of the mental health care system means many people who need treatment do not see it at all. They may not be able to reach a therapist in their insurance network, they may have trouble getting in to see a doctor that they like, or the long wait times discourage them and they give up hope.

If you fall into one of the above categories I want to remind you again that you aren't alone. And because that somewhat cliche and cheesy statement can be rather intangible, I'd like to remind you that I understand. I want you to keep on fighting to find a doctor and a treatment plan that fits your needs and works for you.

Because of correlative symptoms and the issues mentioned above, it can a long time. You might receive a diagnosis and then find out that it's wrong if you elect to take medication you may find you need a different dosage or a different type of medication altogether.

But speaking from personal experience, the right fit can be absolutely life-changing. It certainly was for me. I went from struggling to get out of my bed and keep my eyes open in class, to graduating with the best grades I've ever had. It became so much easier to be motivated and to live my day to day life.

Your daily life shouldn't feel like a struggle. You deserve to find care that fits your needs, and while I recognize that it can be a struggle to be patient through that difficult time, it most certainly will benefit you in the end.

Editor's note: The views expressed in this article are not intended to replace professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.


To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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We Need To Recognize That Happiness Is The Journey, Not The Destination

Stop waiting to reach the peak, and recognize the climb.


I went for a run today and had an epiphany. This epiphany may just apply to myself alone, but I honestly feel that many people will be able to see themselves in it as much as I do.

My epiphany is that there are two forms of happiness. There is feeling happy, and then there is the recognization of happiness, and no, those aren't the same thing.

We spend so much time searching for happiness. Many of us dedicate our lives to finding happiness, and we believe that to be the best, or even only, way to live. Yet, somehow, we still feel like there's something missing in our lives. That's because we spend too much time looking for things to make us happy, and not enough time recognizing when we are experiencing happiness in the process.

See the thing is that feeling happy is an emotion. You are happy when you are surprised with concert tickets to your favorite band, when your parents tell you they're getting a dog, when you see that you got an A on an exam you were stressing about, and so on. These are fleeting moments of emotion. They don't last for long and don't contribute to your status of living a happy life.

Feeling happy is not a state of being. When someone asks you, “Are you happy?" you think of what you have in your life that is happy. Whether it be the college you attend, the friends you have, the dog you love, or the hobbies you really enjoy. When someone asks you that question, you respond with whether or not you believe yourself to be living a happy life. You don't respond with what current state of being you are in.

Then there is happiness. Happiness once again is not a state of being. Happiness, as I've recently realized, is a process. Happiness is taking a road trip with your friends when you stop at sketchy gas stations to pee and get snacks and then you all fight over who has aux. Happiness is seeing your mom after a month and telling her all about the frat dude who you met last weekend and the professor who you can't stand. Happiness is actually going on that run that you told yourself you would go on, even if it sucks.

Our problem in our search for happiness is that we expect it to show us a big flashy sign saying “Here it is!" when in reality a small sign has been there multiple times and you just haven't noticed.

In order to completely experience your processes of happiness, you need to acknowledge them.

If someone asked me right now, “Are you happy?" I would say yes, and not because I am happy at this moment, but because I am proud of myself for going on that run 10 minutes ago.

There was a point on my run when I thought to myself, “Wow, I said I was going to go for a run and I actually did. I'm running right now. This is happiness." Those are the exact words I thought: “This is happiness." And now is the moment where you, the reader, think to yourself: “Hold up, she was running and— happy???" No. I did not want to be on that run, I was out of shape from a weekend visiting friends and I was exhausted from a long bus ride home.

See I wasn't experiencing the emotion of happy, but I was able to acknowledge that what I was doing was a process of happiness. Acknowledging in the moment that I was experiencing that process was mindset-changing for me.

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