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How Mental Health has Changed my Outcome in Life

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at ODU chapter.

Mental health is the most essential factor to consider when dealing with mental health. I think that it is crucially important to pay extreme attention to it. I am going to be vulnerable and raw with sharing my story of how mental health has changed the outcome of my life. I have dealt with depression and am still dealing with anxiety. I encourage stories that involve mental health because I think today’s society has a critical issue. Our emotional, intellectual and societal well-being all contribute to our mental health. It has an impact on how individuals perceive, react and behave as well as influences how we deal with stress, interact with people and make good decisions. Mental health is essential throughout existence, from adolescence and youth to maturity. People should discuss mental wellness because it is equally as important as physical health, and also normalizing the discussion of mental health encourages individuals to speak up and seek the treatment they require along with physical health.

In 2021, I was attending a four-year college after graduating from community college. I thought my life was put in place, but I was wrong; my life drastically went downhill to an extreme. I was in a vulnerable position from January to November that year. Every day, I felt lonely and lost: I barely left my college apartment; I only ate a meal once a day or no meal at all. I was depressed and had anxiety attacks. The most freeing feeling was driving around in my car from midnight to 1 a.m. on Route I-81 where I could relieve myself and breathe. I skipped all of my classes and hardly ever did any schoolwork. It felt pointless for me to study or even take the final exams. Every day was hard. I did not do anything besides drink. I hated myself for feeling like that; I hated the way I lived. I have hidden this from my parents and sister. I told them during fall break, and they decided that it was best for me to leave as soon as possible. After leaving, I stayed home and took the year off to find myself. I was encouraged to apply to an outpatient intensive program for two weeks. Being in that program was life-changing. I was able to speak out my opinions and thoughts that were discussed in each of the sessions. It changed how I feel today. 

After leaving that program, I have felt the most amazing relief. I did not feel that I was depressed anymore, but at times I still have waves of anxiety here and there. I had the opportunity to shift my perspective in life; I wanted to be optimistic and get my life back on track. I started to work from April until December of 2022. That duration of time gave me the opportunity to see what I can prepare for myself and what I need to do for my future. So, I wanted to go back to college and start a new chapter for myself. I want to start to create life goals and pursue the career that I want. 

I feel mental health should be discussed everywhere. Communicating honestly regarding mental well-being may help to dispel myths and stigma, as well as urge individuals in need to get treatment and establish supportive relationships. Caregivers, relatives and loved ones must grasp the impact of mental health on everyday life. Every year in May, Mental Health Awareness Month helps people with a problem overcome stigma and gain access to care by encouraging people to share their own mental health stories. It assists individuals, colleagues, relatives and loved ones in better understanding their situation and connecting them with support networks. May is a month to raise public awareness of those who suffer from behavioral or mental health difficulties and to assist minimize the stigma that many face. It is okay to discuss your feelings if you have a hard time on your mental health. Not everyone is perfect. We do have our own flaws that make us all unique in a way. I believe mental health is an important discussion to face and I have figured out what my mental health needs as I continue on with my growth. 

Northern Virginia Undergraduate at ODU Major: Strategic Communications Minor: Marketing