Mental health is a universal issue that is specifically plaguing the young adults striving to achieve a collegiate degree. According to the American Psychological Association, anxiety is the top presentable concern among college campuses, ranking at 41.6% of the campus. Depression follows close behind at 36.4%. Mental illness truly is a silent killer that aims to break down its host with irrational, sad thoughts, feelings of loneliness, and much more.
However, mental health problems don’t always look like sad thoughts and loneliness. More often than not, the person sitting right next to you in class with straight A’s and a huge group of friends could be battling their inner demons on their own.
It’s hard to fully understand mental illness. The concept of something in your brain telling you something that is different from the reality of it. Nearly 1 in 5 American adults suffer from some form of mental illness every year, and there are still some people who can’t fully understand what it is. While the forms of mental illness vary in the ways that they affect the brain, there’s something that they all have in common – affecting the body negatively. When it comes to mental health, it is imperative to find the means of help that the brain needs to feel ease again, similar to that of a physical illness. Both need to be properly taken care of.
If there’s one thing college students know far too well, it’s the pressuring feeling of stress and responsibility. This varies from friend groups to inside of the classroom. The average person might be saying, “But everyone gets stressed sometimes. Stress is normal.” Wrong. Stress is normal, however once the mental stress begins to negatively impact the body, it’s time to consider the options of decreasing those stress factors before it escalates to an extreme level. The question now is, how?
Many college students benefit from simply talking things out. Whether it’s with a friend or a trained professional at your college/university, sometimes just getting it all out can work wonders. A trained counselor might refer you to other professionals in the area or encourage you to self-help when you don’t have time to see a counselor.
There are plenty of collegiate clubs throughout the country that are U-Chapters for international mental health organizations, like To Write Love On Her Arms. Most of these clubs are formed to help raise money to fund the means of help for those who can’t afford it, including medication or therapy. Simply starting a club like this and getting the word out will help you and others on campus to feel like they aren’t alone and feel like they can truly make a difference.
While it’s important to go to class, get your education, and keep up an active social life, it’s important to take at least one day out of your week for yourself. Do whatever makes YOU happy and comfortable. Spend the day focusing on positive self-improvement and realizing your self-worth. Constantly focusing on fixing yourself up to meet others expectations will truly suck the life out of anyone, so it’s very important to take care of yourself, both mentally and physically.
Most importantly, never be afraid to reach out for help. Mental illness can become a serious situation quickly if not treated properly. More than half of U.S. adults DON’T reach out for treatment for their mental health issues.
If you or someone you know is struggling, please be proactive. It could save a life.