Making Peace With Panic

Do you feel like you are constantly worrying? Well, one in five college students is affected by anxiety or depression. Because anxiety is one of the most misunderstood and misconstrued terms for people to comprehend, it is crucial that we recognize the wide range of symptoms associated with this debilitating disease and hopefully find patience and compassion for friends and loved ones who suffer with it.

Many think of anxiety as something you experience because you hate public speaking or the nervousness you might feel before taking a test; yes these are forms of anxiety, but there are so many more and complex ways anxiety controls and dominates one’s lifestyle.

Anxiety is confusing and contradicting on multiple levels. It is wanting to go out and have fun, but not wanting to get out of bed. It is wanting to make good grades, but having no urge to be productive. It is being scared of everything, but not wanting to hide. It is wanting to be happy in earnest, while complacently embracing the darkness. It is feeling every feeling at once, and yet being empty and numb at the same time.

Anxiety is different for each individual, so it is important to distinguish how it affects you personally. My own experience with anxiety is that it comes on randomly and suddenly, with no warning flags at all. It is almost like I am floating and have no way to touch the ground, even though I want to. I believe we are not ourselves when anxiety takes over; we tend to think in irrational, exaggerated terms; heart rate accelerates and unexplained, unnerving terror dominates all senses and thoughts.

Because college is a major transition and considered one of life’s biggest stressors, it is important to be aware that anxiety is something many students are prone to and will struggle with at some point. You shouldn’t be afraid to talk about your mental health with your friends, family and even a counselor. There are many outlets, exercises and services that can help you channel your anxiety into positive creativity if you will seek out the pertinent information and even potential medical support needed to help you transition.


Carruth Center

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P.O. Box 6422 Morgantown, WV 26506


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