Photo credit: amenclinicsphoto (via Flickr)
Advice

It’s okay to not be okay

By Sarah Harris

Looking back at my journey with mental health problems I wish someone had told me it was ‘going to be okay.’ If you’ve ever had issues with your mental health, you know it can leave you feeling destructive and unworthy. At some point in the academic year, many of you may struggle with problems relating to mental health and may even have a mini breakdown at some point. Going in to my third year at University, it would be a lie if I told you I hadn’t spent nights crying and contemplated dropping out to move back home at one point or another.

In the moment, your problems can seem overwhelming but it’s important to remember that you’re not the only person in that position. Just because people have a calm exterior doesn’t mean that the aspect of looming deadlines and adult life isn’t daunting for them. It’s important to talk to people as soon as you start to doubt your mental health, just in the same way you would if it were your physical health. Like I said, it’s very likely that a lot of people around you are in fact on the exact same boat as you and are just too afraid to stay it.

It’s also important to remember that sometimes medication or counselling isn’t always the answer. Although this has been scientifically proven to help the vast majority of people, sometimes all your body needs is a chance to let go and maybe cry a little or have a cuddle with your best friend.

The university does offer excellent support if you still feel you need to talk to a professional or you don’t feel comfortable talking to the people around you. A lot of people often ask me what counselling and therapy are like because the whole process tends to make them nervous but you should remember that these people are trained to make each person comfortable in their own way. It’s not at all like they show in movies and I highly doubt they’ll ask you to lay down on a sofa and close your eyes at any point.

Of course, if you feel your problems need medical attention then make sure you book an appointment with your local GP as soon as you possibly can. They’ll discuss what the best route of treatment is for you and help you identify any mental health problems you feel you have.

Remember that you’re human and there will be days you feel sad for no reason whatsoever. Just make sure you seek help on those days and try to surround yourself by people who also have your best interest at heart. As crucial as it is to put yourself on the road to recovery, sometimes it’s okay to not be okay.

(Image via amenclinicsphoto – Flickr)

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