Every Student Should Be Required to Take a Course on Mental Health
I often think how different my life would have been if we were taught about mental health in school. Kids graduating from high-school would be aware of the symptoms, know how to support others, have learned some techniques to deal with stress, and know how to get help if they need it. Mental health would lose it’s negative stigma – wouldn’t that be great?
I Wouldn’t Have Felt So Afraid
Thinking back on my very first experience with a panic attack, I wonder if it would have escalated to the level it did if I knew what was actually happening to me. A mental health course would have taught me about anxiety and panic attacks. If I suspected that was what was going on, maybe I could have reasoned with myself.
I Wouldn’t Have Been So Embarrassed
If all students were educated on mental health, and how common it is, maybe we wouldn’t be so ashamed to talk about it. We wouldn’t be hesitant to get the help that we need. Who knows, it’s possible the suicide rate would decrease!
I Would Have Had More Support
Still to this day, I am very selective as to who I share my illness with. I pretty much only open up to friends that are educated on mental illness or suffer with it themselves. If more people were educated on the topic, I would feel comfortable talking to many more people about it.
Mental health illnesses are not going away. The world we live in can be a very scary place, especially to those of us who suffer from an anxiety disorder. I am confident that everyone in this world could benefit from learning about mental health, whether or not they will be diagnosed someday, or close to someone that has a mental illness.
There Are Times When I Can’t Complete Simple Daily Tasks
If you are like me, you have anxiety and depression. I have struggled with this illness most of my life, and I am pretty sure there is no symptom of anxiety I haven’t been nose to nose with. There are many times in my life where my illness is well controlled. There are also times when I can’t complete simple daily tasks because of crippling anxiety or depression. It’s during those times you learn what the true definitions of insecurity and vulnerability are.
I Find Myself Seeking Out People I know That Have Anxiety or Depression
Seeing a medical professional will always be my first suggestion. Whether a medication change is necessary, or you just need someone to talk to – See a doctor! Next, I find myself seeking out people I know that have anxiety or depression. Those are the people I feel comfortable with. I can share what symptoms I am experiencing without the fear of being judged. I feel blessed to have some family and a few friends who can relate to me and I can always count of them for support.
Anyone with empathy for my situation is what I find myself searching for during my low times. Sharing feelings, fears, & symptoms with someone who understands has always proven to be the best therapy for me. The first time I almost passed out during a panic attack was one of the most fearful moments in my life. I thought for sure I was near death. Once I began to feel a little better, I started worrying about it happening again. I would obsess about it. I talked to a family member about my experience and she told me it was nothing to worry about. She experienced the same thing many times and gave me a paper bag to put in my purse to breath into in case it happened again. Once I knew she had the same thing happen to her, I wasn’t as afraid anymore. At that time, it just became a normal symptom of anxiety and I knew I would be okay.
We Need to Keep Talking to Each Other and Learn That We Are Not Alone
Anxiety and depression can be very scary, especially to people who have not experienced it before. Once you learn that your symptoms are typical for your illness, it lifts a huge weight off of your chest. We need to keep talking to each other and learn that we are not alone. Send me a private message if you need someone to talk to. I have been so fortunate to have people in my life who know what anxiety and depression can feel like. I can’t imagine how I would have gotten through some very tough times if those people weren’t there for me. For those people who feel alone – I am here to talk to. I am not a doctor, but I sure have experience with mental illness, and I’d love to help you!
Why Am I Having Anxiety Now?
I have often asked myself this question. How can I be feeling well for so long, and then my anxiety symptoms appear out of nowhere?
Anxiety and depression have been a part of my life for longer than I can remember. I have become an “anxiety expert” and have a very good understanding of what feeds my anxiety. Trust me, it has taken me years of severe episodes of anxiety and depression to pin point triggers, and learn ways to manage the symptoms. At times, being able to continue my daily routine was very difficult, and sometimes impossible.