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Mental Health While in College

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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at CWU chapter.

Sensitive Material: This article may contain a discussion of depression, and/or a reference to other mental health disorders that may act as triggers. Continue at your discretion.

While I have had a lot of ups and downs in college, I can say my mental health has been the one thing that I have struggled with a lot. I was in a car accident that started a lot of issues for me to deal with. There are a lot of medical problems now because of the accident; dealing with a major back surgery and then handling moving in with my dad whom I had never seen eye to eye with, plus my stepmom who never liked me as well. I was in a place where I knew I was not fully welcomed, and it was a place that did not have stairs. It’s funny the things you can no longer take for granted because it hurts to lift your legs to a certain height… When you can’t do stairs for a while and where I was living in my hometown, my room was upstairs. I lived at my dad’s for two months meaning two months being two hours away from my family who raised me and my friends, so I had nobody to talk to and I wasn’t allowed to talk about my car accident online since it was going to court.

A lot went through my mind through the months going in and out of doctor’s appointments and to the doctor’s appointments and since I couldn’t drive (I couldn’t handle being in the car and the idea of driving scared me), people still had to drive me places. I moved to Ellensburg during my second year of college and I did have to have a car at college with me due to the fact I needed to drive to places if needed, like urgent care if needed. During this whole time, my doctors never asked if I wanted to go to therapy or not. I always asked the question as well since I knew I needed some type of help. I always think about how my doctor made me go on anti-depression drugs and even though she was a doctor, she was not a therapist and didn’t ask if it was something I wanted to go on. 

When I moved back for my Junior year of college, I went to a therapy place in my college town and I was told I had post-traumatic stress disorder that I had been suffering from for a year, and that it wasn’t depression and that it was not going away and is something I have to live with and cope with for rest for my life. I did therapy during the summer and I have been doing it for a year. I have seen improvement in my life but also in my new relationship even though we are long-distance and it is hard, I see my mental health go up and down because of it. With some nights feeling alone and Facetime not being enough and when you plan a weekend visit and that weekend comes to an end, it becomes harder to plan the next visit since not all the schedules line up. When school breaks happen it’s harder to make sure you see family and also the people you want to see.  

The one thing I learned so much in college about myself in such a short time is that it is okay not to be okay. I also learned to step out of things and take care of my mental health since nobody in my family talked about it, and how to speak up and get the help I needed when I needed the most.

Hi am Lauren I am from Poulsbo WA, I am a junior this year majoring in social services and minoring in Law and Justice. I work a full time job at Central Washington Disability Resources helping people who self identify with a disability find housing or get on social security disability or even apply for food stamps. I enjoy writing topics about people with disabilities and laws around woman’s rights.