Dealing With a Mental Illness in College

Mental illness is a real thing that a lot of people do not take seriously. All over social media, you see things like “I don’t understand depression, just don’t be sad.” Or something like “Oh I totally understand anxiety, you’re just like nervous all the time, right?” And you hear people say these things aloud and it makes you upset because it seems like people will never be able to understand you or what you are going through. But the truth is, no one truly understands a mental illness unless they too have had to live with one, and still the symptoms that people experience with their mental illness(s) are not the same for everyone. So it makes sense if you are one of the many people who has kept their mental illness(s) underneath the rug, especially in college where you are supposed to be having fun 25/8. Here are a few things that have helped me and could help you too!

 

Talk to a professional.

I know this may seem scary, but talking to a professional third party is one of the best ways to come to terms with what you may be going through and help you overcome things you may have never thought were possible. Even if you go and don't like it, at least you tried, right? And it is rare to find someone who matches with your personality the first time. But when you are ready to talk, there will be someone who is ready to listen.

 

Your best friend or S/O may NOT be giving you the best advice.

I am sure you are thinking “What???? I tell them EVERYTHING and they always know exactly what to do.” But I say this because, sometimes, they just don't understand what you are going through. I know, I know, I sound crazy, but hear me out. If you were about to go skydiving for the first time ever, and your best friend or S/O thought skydiving was when you dive into a pool from the sky, would you take their advice when they told you to keep your chin tucked and your arms straight? No you wouldn’t because that would be crazy. So why take their advice when they are telling you how to handle your depression, anxiety, PTSD, etc.? Sure, they are a good outlet to vent to, but someone who does not understand, is honestly not the best person to take advice from.

 

Stay off of Google.

Google, a.k.a. brain poison. Do not ever, I repeat, EVER Google your mental illness. You know why, so I am not going to explain this one. Just trust me, do not do it to yourself.

 

Self care is key.

Self-care does not necessarily mean a face mask and a bath, but it could help. Self-care is taking care of yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally. There are days when you cannot physically get out of bed, but make yourself take a shower, even if you need to lay back down after, the fact that you got up and showered will make you feel better. Go for a walk, sit outside with a book for a little bit, play your favorite ~upbeat~ music, write down how you are feeling, good and bad feelings. Save the good feelings and throw away the bad ones, all these small things count as self-care because they are helping YOU. You know what makes you feel better, so do it. I know it is easier said than done, but once you start, you won’t want to stop.

 

And no matter what, remember you are not alone.