I’m happy to be back and am ready to talk about some of the things I’ve learned as my semester came to a close. My semester was difficult, both in my education and in my life personally. It has been my hardest semester in college so far, so getting through is a major accomplishment. Going to classes was difficult in those last two weeks because my mind was constantly on projects and things that I wasn’t getting done by sitting in a lecture for an hour. However, about a week before finals, my personality psychology professor began his lecture on personality disorders. Before diving in, he began to talk about how important talking about mental health is and shared some of his own personal struggles with us. As he opened up, others started to do so as well, and suddenly that is what the class became. An hour where everyone talked about the ways they have been affected by mental health issues personally. One big takeaway from this conversation was something that my professor said that made many people (including myself) nod their heads in agreement: Sometimes your problems don’t feel big enough to be talked about. But he assured us that while he also felt that way, after seeking help, he discovered that any problem you have is enough. Nothing is too small if it is affecting you.
When you are struggling with your mental health, it can be tricky to talk about. It isn’t something people can see from the outside. You aren’t walking with crutches or wearing a cast. People can’t see what the problem is. That can make talking about your mental health scary. What if they don’t believe me? What if they just tell me to get over it? What if I’m judged? What if I’m just overthinking or overreacting? Is it really that big of a deal? All of those questions have popped into my head at one time or another and a lot of it stems from that feeling of my problems not being enough.
It’s easy to compare yourself to others. Especially now, with social media, you can literally do a side by side comparison of what another person’s life looks like next to your own. We also tend to do this with our mental health. I know that I have met other people with anxiety who seem to struggle more than I do. They have panic attacks frequently and I don’t. They’re on a higher dose of medicine and I’m not. Things like that can make me start to feel like my own anxiety isn’t as important. But it is. It affects me and how I live my life, and therefore it is just as important as the struggles they face.
A lot of times this feeling can stop a person from seeking help or confiding in their support system. My professor talked about how it took a while for him to go to therapy because he didn’t think his problem was big enough. However, after he went the first time, he realized that he wished he’d gone sooner. He described it as going to the doctor for a check-up. Everyone should do it and check in on their mental health. Even things that seem like small issues can affect your life, so it’s important to get them out in the open. Talking about it, either with a therapist or just the people around you, can make you feel less alone and feel like your struggles are valid. Everyone can benefit from therapy. I truly believe that. Don’t let the stigma surrounding mental health keep you away. Your mental health is just as important as your physical health. Your problems are enough. You are not alone.
Hearing other people in my class talk about their struggles really did make me feel less alone in my struggle, so feel free to leave a comment below telling your own story of your mental health journey. Thanks for reading and supporting me! Let me know if you have any suggestions for future posts now that I’m back!