Mental Health Awareness: Part Two
In this article, a student shares how it feels to battle anxiety everyday, and a staff member relates to struggles with depression.
“What is anxiety? It’s that feeling you get when you see your crush, or when you are just about to ride a rollercoaster; that’s anxiety. But imagine having that feeling most of the day. Your heart racing, your mind going a million miles a minute. When I feel this way, I can’t focus and I lose my appetite. Sometimes I can’t sleep. But the worst part is, that becomes your normal life. Eventually, you don’t see how anxiety has impacted you, and it just becomes apart of your routine,” (Anonymous student).
Adults and young adults alike experience anxiety and depression. Here are some ways you can help the person in your life experiencing depression, anxiety, or any mental illness:
And finally, a staff member shares a beautiful insight:
“Depression runs in my family. My father has it. My paternal grandmother had it. And three of my four siblings have it. So it's definitely not a big elephant in the room that no one talks about. We're open with what new medications have worked, which ones don't, the trials of living with the side-effects of the medications (which are many), and the struggles of being one's most authentic self while still struggling to just live.
“This is how it feels to live with depression: you wake up and immediately want to go back to sleep. You overanalyze comments you made, interactions you had, emotions you feel. You live with people who don't understand that you need to take medications just to be nice to the rest of the world. And when you slip (which happens often) and let that undercurrent of anger and impatience seep through and reveal it's head, you fall deeper into depression because you hate yourself for hurting those closest to you. And hurting those closest to you feels as though it happens on a daily basis. So it's just easier to sleep and not hurt.
“It's easy to hide depression. I'm good at laughing. In fact, one of the greatest joys and feelings of accomplishment are when I see that something I've said makes others smile or laugh. Because at least then I know they're not hurting in that moment. I've brought joy to someone else. I'm good at covering the ugliness inside by dressing the outside in cute clothes and fun shoes. I'm good at listening and asking questions of others just to deflect any chance individuals will catch a glimpse of the load I bear. It’s not exactly healthy behavior, but it's what I do to survive.
“That, and I pray. Every day. God help me to be kind. God help me to curb my tongue. God help me to have the energy to face a new day. God help me. Amen. After the prayers, I get up and notice the world around me. The dressy-pink petal-soft trees, the greenness of fields everywhere declaring new life after a winter death, the robin parents busily building nests for the little ones soon to come. And I think to myself: This is what God is doing in me. I am petal-soft, new green, baby small. And he's helping me to unfurl into something beautiful. Amen. Even so, come Lord Jesus," (Anonymous Staff Member).
Compiled and edited by Faith Paden, Student Life Editor
Sources: https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/seven_ways_to_help_someone_with_anxiety, https://au.reachout.com/articles/6-ways-to-help-a-friend-with-depression, https://www.rebekahtisch.com/Anxiety
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