Mental Health and Me: Recognising some of the signs.

By Aliraza Manji

How does someone cope with the ‘un-copeable’? How do we swim when we feel like we’re drowning? These may be questions which come to mind, if like me, you struggle with your mental health. This article will focus on the signs, and how you can come to terms with your mental health.

To begin with, I’ll reiterate the cliché line that ‘you’re not alone’, however hard it maybe to see it, believe me, you’re not. For me, mental health issues have been constant since Year 9, relaying messages of low self-worth. It’s safe to say that after years of hearing it, I began to accept it. Questions as to why others enjoyed secondary school and I didn’t seemed to fade away in the midst of acceptance. The combination of anger, extreme sadness and exam stress of Year 11 GCSE’s drove me to a point of suicidal thoughts as what was the point in life, if all I could feel was this if all I could be was less than another? Gradually, by Year 12, I was at a tipping point; I couldn’t let myself fall again, or much rather, when you’ve hit rock bottom all you can do is rise.

Once I admitted to myself that something was wrong, my journey began. I looked for signs and answers as to why I felt the way I did. At the time, I had not been officially diagnosed with any mental illness. Whilst doing my research, I found that the detachment I was feeling, constant anger, sadness, tiredness, the lack of purpose, belief, and worth were all symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Knowing the signs which would signify you are struggling with your mental health is good. Better yet, finding methods of coping will help you on your road to recovery, whilst bearing in mind that everyone’s road is different, but there are certain actions we can all take to better our mental health. After coming to the realization that I potentially had depression and anxiety. I tried to open up to my close friend; luckily for me, in spite of being unsure about what I had, he was willing to listen to years of bottled up frustration, anger, pessimism, and childhood issues. Over time, many tears and conversations later, it’s safe to say that I am in a better place today. You can also help yourself by introducing some sort of routine to your life. For example, going to the gym regularly will mean you’re keeping busy and limiting the time for negative thinking.

Finally, most important of all is not losing sight, hope, and remembering you are worthwhile. There are resources out there to help you, for example, if you need someone to talk to try the University’s Student Support Services, they’re specialised in providing support for you so you won’t be bottling up your emotions. It’s your duty to keep your mental health in check, for your own wellbeing.

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