I wonder how many of you reading this are feeling the same way that I have felt. I wonder how many of you have already clicked away out of frustration of seeing another post about students’ mental health, or out of fear of confronting something within you that you don’t want to face.
I have depression. It has taken me a long time to come to terms with the fact that depression is something that I have, and that while I am highly functioning at times, at other times I feel a complete mess. Of course this is different for everyone, and people have their own experiences of dealing with difficulties in their mental health, but I thought I would share what depression means to me.
Depression is getting up for all 5 of your alarms you set in the morning, only to return immediately back to bed and sleep in till late afternoon. Depression is not feeling hungry, but still bingeing on all of the snack foods, and yet not feeling satisfied. Depression is having an extra long shower, just to feel some kind of warmth. Depression is feeling numb, like your floating in a vacuum, and then being suddenly crushed by overwhelming sadness, fear, regret, and guilt. Depression is not enjoying the things that usually make you happy. Depression is not giving yourself the time to do the things that make you happy. Depression is not allowing yourself to feel happy.
Having had therapy in the past, I know first-hand how important it is to reach out and get some help. Admittedly, my pride was a big factor in prolonging doing just that, as I felt that I could just get over it, or convince myself that nothing was really wrong. I eventually broke though, and ended up seeing a counsellor for a few months, and I am so glad I did. Since then I have had my low periods, particularly during stressful times in my life, but I have been so much better equipped to deal with them, and I do not allow it to fully take over my life.
Basically what I am trying to say is that you are not alone. There are other people out there are going through very similar things, and it is ok to go get help for that. Particularly as we are fast approaching exam season. At Staffs there are many ways to get support, one of those by getting in contact with the counselling service at the Student Enabling Centre (firstname.lastname@example.org). You can also find information about support and services from the Ay Up Duck page on the Student Union website; a campaign run last year by our current Union President Jaime-Lee.
You are worthy of love, care, and support, and you are not weak for getting help. Reach out, and help someone to help you.