Anxiety. It sounds almost silly to someone who’s never experienced it. I always thought people who had anxiety were constantly in a panic over redundant things. It took me until I hit rock bottom during my sophomore year, emotionally, academically and mentally to realize that knowing you might need help isn’t always easy to identify.
I was irritable and exhausted. My mind was always racing, asking myself unfair questions like, “Why would you think you’d look good in this top? You can’t pull this off,” and “Don’t bother studying too hard for that test, you obviously aren’t going to earn an A anyway.”
These were automatic for me. I wasn’t consciously mapping out insults to tell myself every day. Since I seemed to have it all together, I didn’t think a little self-doubt could be unhealthy.
However, I avoided addressing my unhappiness. My grades begun dropping and I started losing interest in things I used to find passion in. I finally admitted to myself that I wasn’t quite all right; I deserved to feel the same happiness that others feel, and to identify what was up with me was the first step in that direction.
I found many useful resources, both online and through campus services, friends, and family.
The most helpful aspects of my research to me have been identifying minor signs of anxiety:
1. Excessive worry. If you can’t change something, let it run its course. You know this, but your mind remains wired on it for longer than you wish.
3. Stomach aches and nausea.
4. Loss of appetite.
6. Getting worked up over something that you logically know has a simple answer, but still being unable to calm yourself down.
Seemingly minor ailments like these can be destructive over time. If you feel like you have a problem with one or more of these on the list, you can consider visiting the Health & Counseling Services on campus, or reaching out to a friend or relative.
Don’t forget: you aren’t alone. No matter how alienating these feeling can be, (trust me, I have been there so, so many times) know that there are people in your life that care about you and want you to be at your happiest.
Addressing my anxiety has helped me cope, and it’s made daily struggles go much smoother. I’m nicer to myself; I know that my needs might be different than some other people’s and that’s okay. And I wouldn’t want it any other way.