How to Overcome Anxiety (and Why Therapy is a Suitable Option)

While our society has moved towards being very open and accepting of new social norms, one that is still often overlooked and underrepresented is mental health. Several people, especially teens, suffer from mental health issues. The most prevalent are those who suffer from depression and anxiety. Mental health is no joke, nor is it something that should be taken lightly. In order for there to be change when discussing the issue of mental health, there must be an open conversation about the matter. That is why I plan on sharing my story about dealing with my anxiety.

I’ve always been someone who couldn’t deal with change well. However, I never really let it me bring me down severely. As a kid, I was always excited and happy about almost everything. There were still certain things that I would panic about as a child. The first day of school was a big one for me. The night before each first day, I’d be so restless and anxious about the day to come. But that was really it for my anxiety, besides the normal anxiousness before a presentation or test, I was relatively fine the rest of the time.  

That all changed when senior year of high school came around. I began to constantly worry and obsess about the future. College seemed like the biggest change. My biggest issue was leaving my family behind. They meant everything to me, and the thought of moving away to college and being on my own felt impossible due to my anxiety. I was constantly thinking about move-in day and saying goodbye, when it was still a year away. Every morning I woke up to the same thoughts and everyday my heart would beat rapidly non-stop. I knew it wasn’t healthy to be this anxious, but I felt I couldn’t escape from my own thoughts. They became too much. It wasn’t until November that I finally voiced my thoughts and struggle to my family which helped so much. I was met with love and reassurance.  

But sadly, that wasn’t the end. A few weeks later the feelings and thoughts came back. I started to be open immediately, but after a while that wasn’t enough help anymore. The anxiety got so debilitating at one point that I thought I couldn’t even leave home, almost settling on a college nearby just so I could stay. Around April, I finally felt I needed to see a therapist. It was obviously very daunting at first, but I knew I needed to do it for my sake and to gain some peace and advice. I wasn’t able to get an appointment until after decision day, but I still stuck to my heart and chose Virginia Tech despite my struggles. I somehow knew in the end I would be happy here.

 

 

Going into therapy was scary, but I will never regret choosing that path. I not only was able to talk my feelings out, but I learned several tips from breathing exercises to having a better mindset about everything that was going on. Coming out of it, I now recommend therapy to everyone I feel that needs the help. While it might daunting, or seem that there’s no way the thoughts or feelings will end, I promise there always is a solution.  

It’s ok to admit you need help, there’s absolutely no shame in that. If you or someone you know on campus is struggling, the Cook Counseling Center is a great resource at Virginia Tech that can provide students with help. They even provide therapy dogs for the students. Another piece of advice I can leave you with is don’t ever let your struggle keep you from trying new things or changing any plans. If I had settled for a different college, I know I wouldn’t be as happy as I am now.

Image Sources 1